Indians to help in US accounting work

Wednesday, 25 February 2004, 08:00 Hrs   |    20 Comments
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WASHINGTON: The trend to outsource accounting work to India has gained further momentum, with the launch of a new US-based company to assist with the transactions.

Accountants in India (AII) is the brainchild of accounting profession veterans Wayne Harding and K.C. Truby. The outsourcing matchmaker was launched to help lower costs for US accounting firms by hiring full-time accounting professionals in India.

"Through AII, CPA (certified public accountants) firms can hire a qualified, college graduate accountant, successfully trained in QuickBooks Pro and other business management applications, for about $8 an hour," said Harding, according to a statement.

According to the New York Times, 100,000 US tax returns, both federal and state, will be prepared by Indian citizens in Mumbai and Bangalore this year.

The number of returns is four times larger than last year, and many more times greater than the several thousand of just two years ago.

But pending legislation would curtail the trend.

A bill introduced by Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut would ban the use of federal funds to buy goods and services produced by foreign workers.

It would also bar the government from buying goods or services from domestic companies using foreign subcontractors. Federal privatisation efforts and state programmes using federal funding would also be limited.

However, outsourcing has its strong proponents.

India's knowledge pool is deep, education is inexpensive and the English-speaking employees work on wages that would not be acceptable to Americans - an attractive combination for US companies looking to lower costs.

Employees in India are often used for back-office tasks, such as bookkeeping services, data entry and simple tax returns.

Security is a top concern, so AII doesn't ship any documents. Work is done on a paperless, secured ASP environment.

"Basically, all of the input we have for our CPA firm is done by the Indian accountants and then one of our US-based CPAs reviews their work," said Nigel Clayton, partner of Colorado-based Clayton & Associates.



Source: IANS
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