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Keeping the expertise without experts

With the current unemployment rate in Prague below 3%, the labor market is facing a substantial lack of employees. Together with other aspects such as development of new technologies, changes in the workplace specialization and new working habits, it brings both advantages and disadvantages depending on your role in the hiring process. As an accounting company, we hear our clients repeating their frustration to find and retain high-performing talents in their organizations every day. As with any change in the economy and hiring conditions, is it worth considering if there could be any options to turn this challenge into new opportunity.

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Best companies need to keep the best employees with the optimal processes to pursue the same direction. Recruiting top talent that will not only get the job done, but also go above is difficult, and what makes it even more challenging is the current landscape of low unemployment and low supply of essential skills.

Hand in hand with the boom of the shared economy, employers are therefore starting to use the concept of employee sharing or external part-time help in the area of administrative, accounting or any financial roles. The main motivation is to reduce the costs or take away the burden of routine activities from employees, which helps them focus on their specific priorities. 

Our team in Profid is therefore more and more asked to cover the gaps and vacancies in the internal clients’ teams and provide external help on many positions with different levels of seniority. For many clients, an outsourcing specialist and professional with high level of expertise is an ideal solution in the uncertain and competitive environment, and it may be expected that the demand will grow over time. Among the main benefits are lower salary costs and training expenses including the flexibility in the case of any future changes.

The main idea of the outsourcing process is not only to replace a concrete team member or business function but also to identify any potential for efficiency improvement. When the client onboards an experienced partner, the concrete demand is often shaped during the engagement as more and more opportunities for improvements are identified.

On a typical engagement, during the first phase of the outsourcing, daily tasks are taken over and the regular duties are stabilized. Usually no substantial changes are forced; improvements are rather implemented step by step so that all the internal team can adapt. In the second phase, the optimization kicks in and we analyze the processes and systems of the work itself. It is very often identified that entering data into systems was duplicated, manual obsolete processes required too high maintenance and information was not sufficiently shared among team members. We present our finding at mutual meetings where we further discuss alternatives (often connected with IT solutions), present suggestions for improvements and lead the change if agreed. The focus is always on measurable outcomes – either reduction in labor costs or more transparent reports and outputs using technologically advanced solutions. The impacts on the processes and motivation of the internal team may be tremendous and the profitability of the companies usually follows.

The range of the positions demanded is very broad and Profid provides administrative help, accounting assistants, reporting and other financial functions including external CFO. This may seem surprising; however, many companies do not have a need for a full-time CFO and yet the role of a specialist in growing business is irreplaceable. David Jelen, the non-executive director of Profid says: “For the smooth operation of companies there are no straight lines between the departments, and the accounting and payroll services are closely interrelated to all the back office of the company. During many engagements performed, we have collected strong know-how on the optimal organization including technology solutions for connected administrative agendas. This gives us the advantage to provide our clients with synergies together with the accounting itself.”

Businesses engage in outsourcing for a variety of reasons, including reduction of the salary and training costs, obtaining greater budget flexibility and control. With outsourcing, you pay only for the business functions and services you need when you need them, and this may be an ideal solution for dynamic companies. According to Peter Drucker’s vision: “Do what you do best and outsource the rest.”

 
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