01 Aug In conversation with Lime Green
This case study is based on a question-answer session between the respective Directors of Obox Accounting and, one of its prestigious clients, Lime Green Accountancy. Introduction of the Companies:
Lime Green is based in the heart of London and was founded by two musicians – so we’re not your traditional number crunchers! We not only have a deep understanding of the creative industries, but we share your passion and zest for the work you do too.
Obox Accounting was formed in June 2009 with the intention to provide a combination of competitiveness and quality to accounting firms, which is second to none. In its brief history, Obox Accounting has managed to gain trust of our clients though its’ strategic Human Resource Management skills and vision of treating the clients work as our own. Our clients trust the quality of our accountants more than they do that of their own. The sharply growing number of resources deployed per client is a testament to this achievement.
Lime Green Accountancy and Obox Accounting Limited have been working together since July 2014. In this short span, both have built a strong relationship based on the foundations that are important for any sort of relationship: trust and mutual benefits.
How would you define the quality of the resources from Obox Accounting that are working with you and what are the 3 best things about Obox Accounting?
Felix Mathews, Director Lime Green Accountancy (FM): The Obox team members have broad skillsets with excellent technical knowledge, great communication and a real willingness to help and assist in all areas of our practice.
Does Obox offer any training or support (e.g. in how to use different accounting software) for employees in order to get them ready for the labor market place?
Mahin K., Director Obox Accounting: We make sure that the resources working on the client’s work are familiar with and have experience of working on the software that is being deployed. Having an internal training system allows for swift and rigorous training for accountants of Obox before they are deployed. Even after that Obox understand that every accountant has a different way of working so we further provide 1-2 weeks of free training for our accountants to get used to the client’s way of working. Our promise quality service and no training cost for our clients.
Felix, how was Lime Green’s previous experience of outsourcing and how is OBOX accounting any different?
(FM): With the previous service providers, we never had direct contact with the person doing our work. There was always that discomfort due to the mechanical nature of communication.
With Obox accounting, we believe their resources are very much part of the team. We feel that they are every bit as committed to Lime Green as our internal employees. We can train them to learn our systems and add to their skills and knowledge as and when we want; just as it would be with an internal employee.
Mahin, what is this unique manner of operation that Obox claims to have deployed?
(MK): Firstly, we do work in the traditional manner too, if and when the client prefers i.e. The Accountancy sends or shares tasks, for instance, Accounts production of a client to us. We then complete the task and send it back in the allotted time frame. What we recommend though, works in a way that will allow the relationship to grow.
Obox can work by providing employee resource, we don’t download data on our computers and all work is done and kept within client server with this its just like hiring a contractor or own employee working from home, who is as much part of your company as any one else. Creating this one to one relationship with dedicated resources means there’s no limit to what we can do for the Accountancy practices.
For those Accounting Practices that have been thinking of taking up outsourcing but are reluctant to step into this grey zone, we asked the respective Directors to shed some light onto it. main challenges of outsourcing overseas and how did Lime Green and Obox Accounting overcome those challenges working together?
(FM): COMMUNICATION is key. The lack of direct and/or indirect communication creates a gap in what is wanted and what is being delivered. Like I said, with Obox we feel like we are working with internal employees sitting outside our office. Furthermore, we’ve got a great system of data sharing through a hosted app. This keeps things efficient and also gives us peace of mind.
HR HANDLING of the outsourcing company. Over the period that we have worked together, we continue to work with the same resources that were initially assigned to us. Of course, trust levels continue to grow due to this fact. This is a testament to the proficient HR handling of Obox Accounting.
LOCAL CONTACT is also an important factor. No matter how advanced technology gets, sending work across the other side of the world comes with a cloud of uncertainty. Having a direct contact with the Director of Obox, based in the UK has completely eliminated this concern. Even though we have not encountered any issues of lag or lack of response, we know that if we were to, Mahin can be met with face to face to sort it out right away.
(MK): Most outsourcing firms provide free trial periods to prospective clients for them to get an idea of their work style and quality. I feel it’s important that outsourcing companies have local presence & point of contacts and not just a dormant UK LTD. This ensures that UK law binds the outsourcing company. Furthermore, a one on one relationship will always bring in dependability. The world might be becoming a global town but its always comforting to have someone to talk to face to face whenever faced with complications. For me personally the way service is delivered is also key i.e. is it task to task of resource based.
To answer the second part, Personal Tax returns specially During Dec and Jan – Book keeping – Management Accounts – Statutory accounts and corporation tax returns.
Finally, we asked the respective Directors of their firms to share something on the relationship they have with each other.
(FM): Obox have a great support team and are always available. Mahin is always on hand and we meet regularly every 6 months to see how we are progressing. He is happy to share ideas on how best to utilize out sourcing services and how we can expand.
(MK): Lime Green is not your typical Accounting practice. They seem to have adopted the creativity and use of modern technology that their unique clientele works with. Felix is always open to new ideas to help this relationship grow and perhaps most importantly, he understands how to get the most out of outsourcing the resource development.
The last one for Felix, what are three best things you like about working with OBOX?
- The constant, close level of communication we have with the team at all times.
- The proactive support and advice from management in London.
- Umair Taj! (Umair is the Virtual Team Leader for Lime Green Accountancy).