Between detailed regulatory requirements, outdated internal accounting systems, and other complex obstacles facing today’s businesses, it can be difficult to manage every obligation while still remaining productive.
As we explained in our previous article, one of the most effective solutions involves outsourcing administrative tasks to a third party. This strategy lets the organisation stay focused on delivering value to its own customers, while receiving outside assistance with its non-core tasks.
And yet, because no two problems are identical, a one-size-fits-all service is not the ideal way out. Many issues can be adequately addressed only through carefully tailored solutions, adapted to the client’s own pain points. We find that these types of “out-of-the-box” services tend to exceed client expectations, while also remaining sensitive to their budgetary concerns.
To illustrate how we guide our clients towards success, we share with you two different case studies, each beginning with its own set of problems.
Introducing the clients
Client X - This client’s finance controller resigned from the company, leaving other team members to assume the burdens of internal tax processing and Board of Investment (BOI) filing requirements. Following this key member’s departure, the client had growing concerns on whether the company’s filing process could stay on track, and whether they could consistently report the filing status back to the overseas headquarters. With deadlines approaching for tax filing as well as their BOI obligations, the client may need to find a solution soon.
Client Y - This client faced recurring payroll issues, particularly regarding employee leave and reimbursement. Absent a structured and cohesive internal system, the administrative team had trouble processing their complex payroll tasks and handling other related documentation.
From intractable problems to client-specific solutions
Through a collaborative effort, teams from multiple Grant Thornton departments responded to these clients’ requests. We also went one step further by addressing other existing issues for each client, as part of our comprehensive solutions.
The direct solution for this client would be to provide a temporary fill-in for the finance controller position by using our strategic insourcing services. This seemingly obvious move would help the client regain their footing, putting them back where they were before the trouble started.
However, our team decided to perform a further analysis, using multiple meetings and preliminary documentation reviews. We found that the client’s financial and administrative paperwork was ineffective, to the point that penalties could arise from an unsatisfactory submission to the competent authorities. Such problems were larger than a single insourced employee could fix. Therefore, in addition to insourcing a finance controller, we explored the following services for the client:
- Tax filing review and processing - Tax paperwork can be wildly complex, requiring careful attention to proper procedure, all the way from asset calculation to timely submission to the government. Therefore, we considered conducting a full-scale tax compliance and due diligence review for the client, evaluating the current level of compliance with existing tax laws and regulations. After completing this task, and making some necessary re-organisations, we then plan to prepare and submit the tax report in a timely manner.
- BOI filing - Without extensive experience in BOI procedure and filing, this task may result in errors leading to a revocation of benefits. We plan to evaluate the BOI filing requirements and related timeline, and prepare the documents for BOI submission. We will then liaise with BOI officers to ensure that the paperwork was fit for processing.
- Headquarters reporting - We recognised the client’s struggle to communicate clearly with their overseas headquarters due to their ineffective paperwork. We therefore propose to re-order all file data to help the client communicate with their headquarters smoothly and without issue.
With the frequent payroll issues Client Y was facing, it was only natural that they requested our payroll outsourcing & administration services.
Although our specialists could handle the client’s specific payroll tasks, their underlying problem was the lack of an efficient system that could fast-track the payroll process and reduce document processing time.
Therefore, in addition to handling the client’s current payroll tasks, our specialists constructed a comprehensive payroll management system. This new system facilitated the entire process, including but not limited to the client’s payroll calculation, electronic payment of salaries to employees, payroll analysis and audit, and the maintenance of employee files. The system significantly reduces the client’s document processing time, providing greater administrative efficiency moving forward.
Above and beyond
These case studies highlight a key point: When taking the entire situation into consideration, sometimes standardised services are not enough to meet the unique needs of each client. In each of the above cases, tailored solutions were needed to solve not just the client’s immediate issues, but also their underlying needs.
Some clients may not realise how deep-rooted or complex their issues really are. At its best, administrative support in the form of outsourcing (or insourcing) will involve searching for any unrecognised issues, while also addressing known problems.
This is where experience comes into play. Our team listens and learns to gain a better understanding of each client’s current position. From there, we combine administrative knowhow with technical expertise, to find the right solution for the client. After agreeing on the right approach, we provide exceptional service that addresses all of their needs – for a very reasonable cost.
To that end, we continuously strive for new ways to better serve our clients. For instance, to upscale workflow efficiency and quality, administrative tasks can be done through robotic process automation (RPA) [ 593 kb ], which is one of the many high-end methods Grant Thornton uses. RPA uses machine learning to detect patterns and automate administrative tasks, such as payroll processing, and highlight inconsistencies as they are detected.
These case studies represent just a small part of our outsourcing team’s problem-solving capability. Whatever issues your organisation may face, we can help through targeted assistance. If your business needs practical help with an immediate or underlying issue, contact Grant Thornton today.