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Are Accounting Firms Really Sending 30% of Their Work Offshore?

In the past several weeks we have heard — and read — about huge amounts of work getting sent offshore. To India mostly, also the Philippines. Outsourcing is nothing new and rather expected given today’s talent shortages but 30%? Perhaps more?

Doing a quick search pulled up a 2011 Accountancy Age article which mentioned PwC wanted to send 20% of its core audit hours to India by 2014, this would have been a leap from the 1-2% of work being outsourced at the time that article was written 10+ years ago. We found a couple recent pieces that repeat a single statistic: prior to the pandemic, about 6.2% of accounting firms used offshore staffing, post-pandemic that number grew to 41.3% with many more firms not currently offshoring but open to the idea.

Would anyone care to share their experiences with offshoring at your firm? Because what we’re hearing isn’t great.

The guy who always comments “you kids better stop insisting on remote work or your firm is going to replace you with Indian labor” on our WFH articles is also welcome to say his piece, your moment has finally arrived buddy!

2 thoughts on “Are Accounting Firms Really Sending 30% of Their Work Offshore?

  1. Ryan and Company out of Dallas has been pushing all of the “mindless” work as they call it to their India office since around 2015. Optimizing cheap labor where the only thing that matters is more profit. Period. It would take weeks to get converted scanned documents back but heck for $8 an hour how fast can you expect results? Then charge your clients 33-36% of refund claims collected from taxing agencies while cutting loose degreed associates making 40-60 k a year that used to do that work and got a paltry percentage of the final bill. Made even sadder by the fact these associates were tasked with writing the “ most favorable” Glassdoor reviews every other month to try and win some vacation. Oh, and pump up the firm’s rep on Glassdoor, which is as transparent as mud.

  2. The Big 4 have had their “Global Delivery Services” centers for a decade or so. I deal with consulting practices at accounting firms and have definitely been seeing more middle-market firms this year either hiring associates based in India and Asia, or trying to push their consultants to outsource work to their India/Asia branches (regardless of whether anybody in those branches has experiences in their line of work) in lieu of hiring new associates or managers in the US.

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