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Hiring Staff In-house VS Offshoring

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Hiring Staff In-house VS Offshoring

In the world of accounting, CPA firm hiring strategies have undergone significant transformations. The traditional approach of in-house staffing is being re-evaluated as firms grapple with the challenges of a monotonous landscape. Recent studies indicate that by 2025, nearly 40% of CPA firms in the US are expected to adopt offshore staffing models, highlighting the shift in CPA firm staffing models.

The reasons for this shift are manifold. With the increasing complexity of financial regulations and the growing demands of clients, there’s an undeniable need for staffing flexibility. In-house talent management can sometimes struggle to meet these fluctuating demands, especially during peak periods like the tax season. On the other hand, offshoring services offer a solution that addresses these challenges head-on. By leveraging offshore staffing solutions, CPA firms can achieve the much-needed scalability in operations without the overheads associated with traditional hiring and more.

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Understanding the Two Models

In-house Hiring: At its core, in-house staffing refers to the traditional model where CPA firms recruit, train, and retain employees within their own organization. This approach offers direct oversight of the workforce, fostering a cohesive company culture and ensuring that the staff aligns with the firm’s values and objectives.

Offshoring: Contrasting the in-house model is offshoring, which involves delegating certain tasks or roles to teams or specialists based in countries like India. Offshoring in CPA firms has gained significant traction over the years, driven by the myriad benefits it offers. At a fundamental level, offshoring provides CPA firms with access to a broader talent pool, often at a fraction of the cost compared to local hiring. 

The growing trend is evident, with a 25% increase in offshore CPA specialist engagements by US-based firms in the last five years. The choice between in-house vs. offshore accounting staff is pivotal for CPA firms aiming to optimize their operations in today’s competitive landscape. 

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Cost Implications

In-house Hiring: According to a survey by the AICPA, 75% of CPA firms reported difficulty in hiring qualified staff. This can lead to resource constraints, especially during peak tax seasons. 

Secondly, when it comes to in-house staffing, the financial implications extend beyond just the base salaries. CPA firms must consider the comprehensive package that includes benefits, bonuses, and other perks. 

On average, said benefits can add an additional 30% to 40% on top of the base salary. Furthermore, there’s the investment in continuous training and development to ensure the team stays updated with the latest industry standards and practices. Add to this the overhead costs associated with maintaining office space, utilities, and other resources, and it becomes evident that the financial commitment for in-house talent management can be substantial.

Offshoring: By leveraging offshore staffing solutions, firms can achieve significant CPA firm cost savings. For starters, offshore firms like KMK stay updated with the latest industry standards straight away eliminating training costs. Secondly, according to recent research, offshoring to firms like KMK can lead to a reduction of overall operational costs by up to 50% or more, depending on the specific tasks outsourced. This is primarily because CPA firms only pay for services as and when required.

Access to Global Talent and Expertise

In-house Hiring: One of the inherent challenges with in-house staffing is the limitation of the local talent pool. While the U.S. boasts a robust education system and a plethora of skilled professionals, there are instances where finding specialized expertise for niche areas of accounting can be challenging. 

According to a recent survey, approximately 68% of CPA firms in the U.S. have faced difficulties in recruiting candidates with specific expertise or skills at some point. This not only extends the hiring process but can also lead to compromises in the quality of hires, especially when the demand for such expertise is high.

The Advantage of Offshoring: Contrary to the limitations of in-house hiring, offshoring in CPA firms offers a gateway to a vast and diverse global talent pool. India, in particular, stands out as a prime destination for offshoring accounting tasks. The country’s emphasis on education, particularly in fields like finance and accounting, has produced a vast talent pool that is both skilled and diverse. With over 6,000 recognized commerce colleges, India produces approximately 100,000 accounting graduates annually. Many of these professionals hold international certifications, such as the U.S. CPA. 

Streamline your CPA operations. Book a consultation for offshore CPA hires.

Scalability and Flexibility

In today’s dynamic business environment, scalability and flexibility are paramount for CPA firms. The ability to adapt to changing client demands and market conditions can make the difference between success and stagnation. Here, we delve into the challenges of scaling operations with an in-house team and the inherent flexibility of offshoring.

Challenges of Scaling with an In-House Team:

  • Limited Physical Space: As CPA firms grow, they often outgrow their office spaces. Expanding or relocating can be a significant challenge. In fact, according to a survey by CBRE, 40% of companies reported that they were running out of space in their current locations.
  • Training and Onboarding: With every new hire, there’s a need for training and onboarding. A study found that the average cost to onboard a new employee is $4,125, with an average time of 42 days to fill a position.
  • Inconsistent Workloads: The accounting industry often faces seasonal peaks, especially during tax season. Hiring full-time in-house staff for these peaks means underutilization during off-peak times.
  • Employee Turnover: The turnover rate in the accounting industry is around 13.4%. Replacing employees, especially experienced ones, can be a significant challenge and can disrupt ongoing projects.
  • Long-Term Commitments: Hiring in-house often means long-term employment contracts. These commitments can be a challenge, especially if the firm faces a downturn or a reduction in client engagements.

The flexibility of Offshoring:

  • Growth Without Infrastructure Constraints: Offshore staffing enables firms to grow without being limited by physical office space. They don’t need to invest in additional infrastructure or office space to accommodate more employees.
  • Easy Expansion: Firms can easily expand their team size based on their requirements. This means they can take on more clients and projects without the constraints of limited manpower.
  • No Long-Term Commitments: With offshore staffing, firms aren’t bound by long-term commitments. They can adjust their team size based on their current needs, making it easier to scale up or down.

Offshoring emerges as a flexible solution, allowing firms to adapt to changing demands while also achieving significant cost savings.

Technological Advancements and Integration

In the world of accounting, staying updated with the latest technological tools is not just a luxury but a necessity. As CPA firms strive to deliver top-notch services, the role of technology becomes paramount.

Investment in In-House Technological Upgrades:

  • Continuous Training: For in-house teams, adopting a new software or tool often means extensive training sessions. This not only requires a financial investment but also takes away valuable time that could be spent on client projects.
  • Software Licensing Costs: Popular accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage come with licensing fees. As the firm grows, these costs can multiply, especially if multiple licenses or premium versions are required.
  • Integration Challenges: Integrating new software with existing systems can be a complex task. It requires expertise and often leads to downtime, affecting productivity.

Offshore Partners and Technological Prowess:

  • Staying Updated: Offshore partners, like KMK, prioritize staying at the cutting edge of accounting technology. Their teams are well-versed with leading software such as QuickBooks, Xero, Sage, FreshBooks, and NetSuite, ensuring they can seamlessly integrate with the tools CPA firms already use.
  • Expertise in Integration: With their deep understanding of various software, offshore partners can efficiently integrate new tools into existing systems, minimizing disruptions and ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Cost-Efficiency: By partnering with offshore firms, CPA firms can leverage the latest technology without the associated overhead costs. Offshore partners bear the brunt of software licensing fees and training costs, offering a cost-effective solution for CPA firms.

Ready to hire offshore CPAs? Book a consultation for expert guidance.

Focus on Core Competencies

In the competitive landscape of the accounting industry, CPA firms are constantly striving to deliver unparalleled value to their clients. This often means focusing on core competencies, building strong client relationships, and strategizing for growth. However, managing the intricacies of a large in-house team can sometimes divert attention from these primary objectives.

Challenges with In-House Teams:

  • Resource Allocation: Managing an in-house team requires significant resources, from HR functions to team training and development. This often means that senior management spends a considerable amount of time on operational tasks rather than strategic initiatives.
  • Distractions from Core Activities: With the responsibility of overseeing day-to-day team management, firm leaders might find less time to engage with clients, understand their needs, and offer tailored solutions.
  • Operational Overheads: A larger team means increased operational costs, from infrastructure to software licenses. These overheads can sometimes limit the firm’s ability to invest in innovation and client-centric services.

Benefits of Offshoring Routine Tasks:

  • Focus on Value-Driven Services: By offshoring routine tasks, CPA firms can free up valuable time and resources. This allows them to concentrate on offering specialized services, advisory roles, and building deeper client relationships.
  • Strategic Growth: With the operational aspects handled by offshore partners, CPA firms can strategize for growth, explore new markets, and expand their service offerings.
  • Enhanced Client Engagement: Without the burden of routine tasks, CPA firms can engage more closely with their clients, understand their challenges, and offer solutions that are aligned with the client’s objectives.

In essence, offshoring routine tasks empowers CPA firms to redirect their focus toward what truly matters – delivering exceptional value to clients and driving the firm’s growth. It offers a pathway for firms to concentrate on their core competencies, ensuring they remain competitive and client-centric in their approach.


For US-based CPA firms striving to maintain a competitive edge and deliver unparalleled value to clients, offshoring stands out as a strategic decision with a multitude of advantages. Beyond the immediate cost-saving benefits, offshoring offers flexibility, scalability, and access to a vast global talent pool. This allows CPA firms to adeptly handle fluctuating workloads, especially during peak seasons.

By offshoring routine tasks, firms can concentrate on their core competencies, fostering deeper client relationships and plotting a course for sustained growth. The technological expertise of offshore partners further ensures that CPA firms stay updated with industry advancements without the burdens of continuous training and software licensing.

Reflecting on these myriad benefits, it’s clear that offshoring is not just an operational choice but a forward-thinking strategy. We encourage CPA firms to assess their operational landscape, recognize the long-term advantages, and envision a future where offshoring plays an integral role in their trajectory of success.

Take the next step! Book a consultation to start hiring offshore CPAs.

About KMK

At KMK, we are not just an offshore accounting and tax service company; we are your trusted partners in the intricate world of finance. Established with a vision to offer unparalleled service, our team is a blend of over 475+ seasoned professionals who combine global expertise with profound knowledge of local financial intricacies.

Our dedication to excellence is showcased in the meticulous work we deliver to US-based CPA firms. By harnessing cutting-edge technology, we ensure our clients are always at the forefront of the ever-evolving financial domain. With a commitment to continuous learning and innovation, KMK is steadfast in its mission to provide efficient and cost-effective solutions. When you partner with us, you’re choosing a team that values your success as much as its own. Experience the KMK difference today.