Most accountants think of outsourcing with regard to tax preparation and accounting services. As to tax prep, it normally has to do with the offshore work done in countries like India. In the case of accounting services, it is usually clients desiring CFO-type work to be performed.

There are others, but I am increasingly seeing one particular type. It is where a CPA firm develops a specialty and then offers help to other CPA firms in providing that specialty to its own clients.

It normally takes either of two forms: In the first, the firm is given material to be used in delivery and marketing of the services, is taught exactly how to deliver the service, and has the full support and guidance of the outsourcer as the specialty develops. In the second variation, the outsourcer actually delivers the service in conjunction with the other firm mainly there in the lead introductory position with the client.

In both variations, the firm acquiring the new specialty is able to hit the ground running without having to reinvent the wheel and making mistakes along the way. It gets a new practice area with proven methods up quickly, and without a high initial development cost or investment of substantial nonbillable hours.

For the outsourcer, this works out extremely well as there is an additional revenue stream for that specialty and the staff of the firm working on the specialty stay busy.

I see this being done in a number of practice areas including cost segregation, financial planning, state and local tax savings for businesses, to name just a few. There will be many more to come as firms recognize the benefits. What is so nice is that this type of outsourcing can work well for any size firm.  As an outsourcer, it can work particularly well for a larger firm that has developed specialty practices or a boutique firm that focuses on a select area.   Similarly, firms of all sizes can reap the benefit by utilizing this type of outsourcing.

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