Are Accountant Jobs Being Sent Overseas? Understanding Offshore Hiring

published on 14 April 2023

Struggling to find the right accounting candidate? You may be looking in the wrong place.


Almost every accounting firm is starting to go remote, but some of them are going even further and levering talent from different countries. So, what drives offshore hiring today? Offshore jobs are often used by firms to lower costs. For instance, an accountant in South America typically earns around $36,000 per year, whereas a U.S. accountant earns an average of $63,000. These significant wage differentials make it appealing for companies to build their teams with lower-cost offshore workers as a cost-saving measure.

But this is just one of the reasons. In this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know about offshore hiring and why is it so convenient for growing businesses.

The Infinite Pool Of Candidates

As the job market becomes more competitive and hiring costs in North America continue to rise, employers are exploring alternative options such as offshore hiring to fill open positions.

One of the most significant advantages of offshore hiring is its ability to access a diverse pool of talent from all over the world, regardless of their location. This allows companies to find skilled and qualified employees in areas with more competitive salaries. Furthermore, remote workers can benefit from lower housing costs and local taxes, allowing accounting firms to secure top talent at a more effective cost.

The rise of remote work has created new opportunities for potential employees, who can now access more job opportunities and earn salaries that are higher than what they would typically receive in their local job markets. As more and more companies embrace remote work, it has become increasingly common for employees to work for firms located in different parts of the world, enabling them to expand their skill sets and gain valuable work experience in new and exciting environments.

Managing offshore operations has significantly improved over the years. This ensures that even overseas employees participate as equals and offer fresh perspectives and unique problem-solving methods that can generate more profit for the business. By leveraging remote work, companies can effectively manage their offshore operations and take advantage of the benefits of hiring skilled workers from culturally similar regions like South America.

What experts have to say about the benefits of hiring offshore

"Offshore outsourcing is no longer just about saving money. It's about making smart choices to optimize and grow a business."

Anand Sharma, CEO of TBM Technologies

This quote is from an interview with Anand Sharma, CEO of TBM Technologies for Forbes. The article explores how offshore outsourcing has evolved to become a strategic business decision that can optimize and grow a business. According to Sharma, as the competition in the global marketplace intensifies, businesses need to consider offshore outsourcing as a way to stay competitive and drive growth. However, the author also cautions that offshore outsourcing requires careful planning, management, and a focus on quality to ensure success.

"Outsourcing offshore has its risks, but with proper planning, management, and a commitment to quality, it can be an effective way to grow your business while keeping costs under control."

Ron Kaufman

The article "Should You Outsource Offshore? Consider These 6 Risks" on Entrepreneur discusses the potential risks associated with offshore services. Ron Kaufman outlines six aspects businesses should consider hiring offshore successfully, including

  • Communication barriers
  • Cultural differences
  • Time zone differences
  • Data security
  • Legal and regulatory issues
  • Quality control challenges

The author provides practical advice on how to mitigate all these risks, such as choosing a reputable staffing partner. We’ll go through them further in this article.

“All these things we can take that proverbial hat off the owner’s head and get someone else to do it at a price point that makes sense and still give us great customer services, and technical skills. Why wouldn’t you do it?”

Scott Finkelstein, BKOT Head Coach & Owner

Scott Finkelstein goes further and talks offshore hiring and outsourcing staffing. That is, leaving the process of recruiting, pre-selections and induction to a team of professionals so your accounting firm can focus on the business ahead.

Why you should consider hiring offshore talent from South America

Hiring in South America offers several key benefits for North American companies. One of the biggest ones is cost savings. According to a study by Deloitte, companies can save up to 70% on labor costs by offshoring positions to South America. This is due to the lower cost of living and more affordable labor rates.

Not convinced? Let’s break down the most common concerns when it comes to hiring offshore:

¿Are there language barriers?

Note that many countries in South America have a high level of English proficiency in their talent pool. As such, language proficiency may not be as much of a challenge as one might think.

¿How to manage legal and tax compliance?

Navigating legal and tax compliance it’s not as complex as you think. Most multinational corporations with headquarters in South America operate under global accounting standards such as US GAAP or IFRS. This means accountants have enough experience and expertise to align with North American Companies. Also, with e-signatures and contractor platforms, hiring workers from other countries has never been easier.

¿What about culture and time zone?

This is probably the less concerning. The region's business and working practices are not usually a problem as they are culturally similar to Noth America. Depending on the region, time zones are very close. For instance, Brazil and Argentina only have a 2-hour difference from New York.

Find yourself your international accountant

Offshore hiring of accountants can be a smart business decision for accounting firms looking to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and access a wider pool of talent. South America has become an attractive destination for US-based firms, with Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia ranking among the top countries for offshore hiring.

Argentina boasts a highly educated and technology-focused workforce, Brazil has a large and dynamic economy with a thriving startup scene and established financial sector, and Colombia is known for its expertise in business process outsourcing and multilingual talent. Emerging destinations for offshore hiring include Venezuela and Peru. By strategically choosing an offshore partner in South America, accounting firms can gain a competitive edge and enhance their services.

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