IPA Data Dive: The Increasing Role of Offshoring in Meeting Workforce Demands

One of the fastest-growing trends across the accounting profession is the increase of offshoring and outsourcing. Firms are having to turn away revenue and tamper their growth goals because they do not have enough staff to complete work, which is leading them to look toward new staffing solutions. One way many firms are handling the staffing issue is to offshore or outsource work to other countries. A tactic that was fairly uncommon 5 years ago, is now used by nearly 50% of firms (a number we suspect will cross the 50% threshold in 2024).

“Our ability to grow isn’t held back by the ability to find people now,” Sean Taylor, MP at Smith + Howard of Atlanta, said in an interview to INSIDE Public Accounting.

Below shows a graph of firms who are currently outsourcing or offshoring FTE to another country and those who are using outsourced companies to complete tax returns. While outsourcing is more common in the largest firms, more than half of the smallest firms – those below $5 million in revenue – are utilizing outsourcing resources.


For those firms that are currently outsourcing, nearly all of them plan to either increase the amount of work they are doing or do the same amount of work next year. Only 9% of all participating firms plan to do less outsourcing next year.

For the 50% of participating firms who aren’t currently outsourcing work, some have made the strategic decision that they will not utilize outsourcing in the coming year, while 30% of them planned to do outsource work in the coming year.

In the 2024 IPA Practice Management survey we’ve expanded the questions that we are asking and the sophistication around offshoring and outsourcing. Be sure to complete the survey this year to have your information included in a data set of over 600 firms, helping to shape the future of the profession. Contact IPA for your invitation to participate.


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