Frequently Asked Questions

When considering offshoring, it’s important to ask those burning questions. Here are the ones we are asked most often.

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Until 2019, TOA Global was known as The Outsourced Accountant.

We provide highly skilled, professional accountants and bookkeepers based in the Philippines to accounting practices that want to increase their capacity, win back their time, and focus on growing their businesses.

Our offshore accounting staff are based in the Philippines. They work in safe, comfortable, fully equipped high-tech offices with secure systems plus dedicated local IT and HR support.

Read more about why we operate from the Philippines: Offshore Accounting Work to the Philippines: A Winning Strategy for Business Growth

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We can arrange for you to interview graduates of the TOA Global Accelerator Program. They are accountancy graduates who have a minimum of two years of accounting or bookkeeping work experience in the Philippines.   
 
Because they have completed the program, they’ve benefited from a comprehensive introduction to Australian accounting practices and standards. You can add Australian-trained generalist accountants, bookkeepers and self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) accountants to your team.  
 
These highly skilled staff are available immediately, saving you costs and 200+ hours in training time.  
 
Each candidate is carefully selected for their academic achievements and is trained by Australian accounting professionals, so your practice can benefit from their greater speed to competency. They have already met all pre-employment requirements so you can onboard and integrate them into your firm right away.

They are not Australian-certified at the start, but every offshore accountant or bookkeeper in TOA Global has a degree from a respected university in the Philippines. Plus, depending on their role, they are qualified in Xero Advisor, Xero Payroll, or QuickBooks.

Team Members can also update their skills by taking the courses specified in their Professional Development Plan (PDP)—which are chosen based not only on their interests but also on your firm’s needs.

To attract and retain the best accounting talent for your firm, we are guided by an industry salary benchmark report that is updated every year. Along with our job levels and career pathways, this helps ensure that Team Members receive competitive compensation and benefits. You are certainly welcome to grant increases above what we recommend.

Transparency helps. Help your clients understand that increased capacity in your practice (which offshoring will provide) will improve the quality of service they’ll receive.

It’s good practice to state in your letter of engagement that you use outsourced services. 
 
As of September 2023, both the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board (APESB) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) require that those in public practice provide “adequate disclosure of what activities you will outsource, where the outsourced services will be performed, and how you will monitor the quality of services provided.” 
 
When they first started with us, some of our clients asked: Will our offshore team talk to our clients? And the answer is that it’s entirely up to you. Some of our clients do ask their offshore team to communicate directly with their clients and have seen positive results.

Change management is a challenge all organisations face, whether they offshore or not. It’s perfectly normal if your onshore team members feel nervous about working with an offshore team for the first time.

What our clients have found, however, is that adding an offshore team actually enabled some of their onshore team to step into leadership roles. At the very least, they received competent and efficient support, which protected them from burnout and gave them more time to focus on more strategic work and upskilling.

During your onboarding as a client, you will receive an offshore technology assessment to confirm your Team Member’s IT requirements.  
 
The TOA Global IT Team will set up your team’s hardware and software. Upon request, we can also provide you with a remote session link, so your onshore IT Team can have remote access to your offshore team’s workstations.  
 
We recommend that your IT Team exclude TOA Global’s IP from your firewall’s geo-blocks and third-party services such as VoIP providers.  
 
We take cybersecurity very seriously. Among your offshore team’s mandatory courses is security and compliance training, as part of a holistic approach to security that covers people, processes, and technology. 

As a TOA Global Client, you will gain access to our Atlas people management platform, which will show you the daily attendance, your team’s requests, and other important information.

Your Team Members will also work closely with a People Service Manager, who will make sure they have all the support they need to focus on their tasks and projects. 

Like any new employee, their work results in the beginning will not show what they’re fully capable of, but their workload will increase with time and experience in your firm.

You can use the messaging app of your choice. (We use MS Teams at TOA Global.) The recommendation we receive most often from our clients is to treat your offshore team exactly as you would the rest of your team.  
 
One of our clients starts each workday with a 10-minute video call, during which they make sure that everyone (onshore or offshore) has the directions, answers, and tools they need for that day’s work. This time together is also great for building connections, understanding who you are and how your firm works.” 

Your decision to offshore will make more sense if your offshore team feels the security and receives the benefits of a full-time career (not just a job). We can help you identify enough tasks for a full-time offshore Team Member.

For one, it’s a more efficient use of your training time. Your first two or three Team Members can support one another as they learn how best to get things done and add value to your practice.

Yes, your entire offshore team can sit together. For both new and current clients, we can also recruit based on where the talent is available. If you’re open to it, your offshore team can be in different locations in the Philippines. We currently have offices in Cebu, Clark, Manila, and Tarlac.

Probation refers to the first six months of employment. During this time, you and your offshore Team Member will have opportunities to observe how you both work and whether your Team Member is a great fit for your practice.

Under Philippine labour laws, an employee who is allowed to work after the probationary period automatically becomes a regular employee.

If a regular employee’s performance fails to meet your firm’s clearly stated standards and expectations, you can begin a 6-week Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) so that they can—with clear expectations and coaching—get back on track. Your Client Relationship Manager and our Labour Relations Team will support you and your Team Member throughout this process.

Yes, if you and your Team Member agree on it and they are paid accordingly. Your Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) will advise you on the other details of the overtime policy. These are the key points:

  • The maximum overtime per shift is 2 hours. 
  • Team Members will be paid an additional 25% of their hourly rate for overtime on regular working days and an additional 30% of the hourly rate for overtime done on public holidays. 
  • Overtime needs to be pre-approved. Your Team Member will file an Overtime Request on our employee experience platform, which will be subject to your approval.

Yes, Team Members can have access to the ATO portal. You can also request tablets to allow your offshore team to use the myGovID app for the ATO portal.

There are 12 to 14 public holidays each year. 

If your Team Member chooses the Flexible Holiday Swap Scheme (FHSS), they will work during the Philippine public holidays and take time off instead on another day, ideally a public holiday in your region. For example, they will work on 2 November (All Souls’ Day in the Philippines) but take time off instead on 28 December, during the Christmas break. 

We have clients who have found it advantageous that their TOA Global Team Members observe Philippine public holidays. This way, their team can keep on working (and hold the fort) when the team in Australia, New Zealand, or other countries observe their public holidays.

If your practice closes for 2 or so weeks during the December holidays, your Team Members can use their Service Incentive Leaves (SIL) on the days that have not been declared public holidays in the Philippines.

21 days, including their birthday leave.

The more your offshore team understands Australian accounting practices and standards, the better they’ll work with your firm. Learning and development opportunities, such as access to Australian-recognised certifications, encourage staff to stay. At TOA Global, we want everyone to have clear career pathways.

As such, we encourage team members to spend up to one hour at work learning, plus one hour in their own time. As they develop their skills, they can take on higher-value work in your practice and enjoy the boost in confidence that comes with that.

We will introduce newly hired team members to our systems and processes on their first two days at work. We highly recommend supplementing this with a thorough introduction to how your practice works: your business mission, vision, culture, values, and milestones; specific details about their role; and getting to know their team members.  
 
As a client, you can also take our free Offshore Best Practices course, which explains the seven keys to success in offshoring.