A strong back office team is the key to ensuring customer satisfaction, team efficiency and a successful foundation for any business. After all, it is the back-office team that primarily takes care of functions like accounts payable, accounts receivable, transaction support, payroll, online reputation and more. The question is, can companies start scaling quickly while maintaining a strong back office team? Read on to learn more about building back office teams.
While the front-office staff takes care of the clients, often the back-office team are the unsung heroes who keep the company running (and growing) behind the scenes. But just because they may not be front and center, doesn't mean that back-office tasks are not equally (if not more) important. The ability to pay bills, get paid by clients, balance the books and pay your people are not only clearly essential, but they can take a lot of time.
Many businesses in growth mode find that a well-oiled back-office team can make or break the scaling up of the organization. And the need to seek back-office help can come up quickly and without a lot of warning, making the building of a high-quality back-office team a high priority. Let's explore why a strong back office team can make such an impact.
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The Challenges to Building a Strong Back Office Team While Scaling Quickly
Without an exceptionally talented back office team, you’ll encounter a number of problems that will slowly slip from back office to front and eventually impact your customer relationships. Businesses who fail in back office – whether because of a lack of staff, inefficient process or outdated technology can have far-reaching consequences:
Teams are unable to contact and retain your preferred customers.
Recurring problems occur due to internal miscommunication and undocumented processes.
An increase of 15% – 30% extra operational cost due to poor service from the back-office team.
A loss in revenue – 80% of your customers leave you and go to a competitor when they start receiving poor services.
For many businesses looking to scale, the challenges of keeping up with bookkeeping, accounting, hiring and managing technology soon become overwhelming. While a business is in growth mode, leaders tend to see a lack of talent, a lack of time, poor financial visibility and limited documented processes to come back to. To make matters worse, when smaller teams are wearing multiple hats, essential back-office tasks can be relegated to the back burner, causing inefficiencies upon inefficiencies.
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Balancing that with the need to scale fast complicates the issue, presenting its own set of hurdles. Adding employees at a fast pace can increase your chances of getting it wrong and causing rework down the line. So how do you build a back-office team both quickly and efficiently?
How to Build a Strong Back Office Team Fast
One of the common ways to build your back-office capabilities while scaling quickly is to tap into the talent that is already performing on the team or transition those within the company. For large organizations, there are often several high-quality team members who are up for the challenge, but in mid-size to small organizations, this option may not be available. With a lean team already, this usually equates to adding more tasks to team members who are fully loaded with work day-to-day. This can cause breaks down the line, causing valued employees to quit and look elsewhere.
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Another possibility is to go out on the talent market and build your team the traditional way with talent sourcing, hiring and training. Building your own team can also present it's own set of challenges. Depending on the area of back-office roles you are looking to fill, you may be faced with everything from a shrinking talent pool (accounting industry specifically), high-cost talent acquisition through staffing firms or a lack of time to effectively scale up your operations.
The smartest option? Connect with a business process outsourcing company (BPO) skilled in back-office services that will efficiently manage your back-office tasks without the need to hire more talent. Although this opportunity has been the secret to the success of larger, enterprise firms for decades, outsourcing back-office functions like accounting can now be implemented offshore with a team as small as one to take back-office tasks off the plates of busy U.S.-based companies.
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In-House Vs. Outsourced Back-Office Teams Operations
When building your own team, there are many factors to consider that are not present in an outsourcing relationship. One of the most-cited difficulties is the decreasing talent market, especially when seeking high-quality accounting roles. This is so pervasive in fact that according to our survey of CFOs, Controllers, and other financial leaders:
88% Wish they had more time for strategic work
Only 19% say they can easily find the talent they need
95% Would consider using outsourced talent
There's More Where That Came From: Download the Full F&A Talent Market Report
Another issue often told by top accounting leadership is the high attrition rates in back-office roles. Without a clear path to advancement, back-office employees typically move on to higher-responsibility positions outside of your organization, leaving leadership to restart the process of finding and hiring talent in a short amount of time, compounding the already too-little hours in each day. This issue is completely irrelevant in an outsourcing situation, and in fact, we often see offshore team members sticking around longer and with more enthusiasm here in the States.
The reason? Working for a BPO (especially a U.S.-based company that serves U.S.-based clients) is considered highly prestigious in countries like India and the Philippines, causing workers to grow within a BPO's hierarchy and continue to serve the client at higher levels over time. And if one of the dedicated staff does decide to move on, the responsibility of replacing that hire with another exceptional talent is left to the BPO, not to the client.
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Keeping into consideration the challenges with an in-house back-office team, some are turning to a BPO to provide these low-impact tasks. The benefits of using outsourcing for back-office are (just like the consequences of poor back office) far-reaching. Although cost savings are often seen as the main benefit of outsourcing, and it can't be overlooked, there are many more reasons to take admin tasks to a third-party:
Reinvest in Your Business: The true value of outsourcing lies in the potential of reinvesting your time and budget into strategic priorities.
Gain Quality, Back-Office Talent: Hire administrative experts who are skilled at handling a variety of back-office support needs.
Concentrate on Core Competencies: By placing these crucial but secondary processes in the hands of trusted professionals, you and your team will have more time to concentrate on the most important aspects of your company.
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For many businesses, approaching an experienced outsourcing back-office company makes sense and eliminates many of the challenges of training a back-office team when scaling quickly. And that's precisely where we come in.
Personiv outsourcing back-office teams come with unparalleled experience of more than three decades. You can get in touch with us here for all kinds of back-office related projects like accounting support and data entry to transaction support and administration. Our back-office services are appreciated by our clients for our flexibility, speed, quality, and efficiency. And, most importantly our tailor-made solutions for every client.