One of the main features of the accounting outsourcing market in Russia is its relative youth. Abroad, accounting outsourcing (the possibility of transferring all or part of your accounting and bookkeeping activities to a private specialist or a third-party firm) as a system has been in place for more than a decade. Foreign companies have appreciated the full extent of the benefits that the outsourcing model can offer since a long time ago. Today, accounting outsourcing practices in the U.S. and most European countries are widely popular. Many large and most small companies have given up keeping their own full-time accountants in favor of outsourcing.
According to the survey on accounting outsourcing in Russia, there is a feeling of relative distrust toward transferring accounting processes to service companies. Although business respondents noted several advantages of accounting outsourcing such as the depreciation of reputational, commercial, tax, labor, and financial risks as well as the timely tracking of constantly changing legislative and law enforcement practices by the outsourcing companies and their support in business adaptation to such changes.
As can be seen, cost reduction is not mentioned among the benefits of accounting outsourcing in Russia, but rather the opposite – many surveyed companies are afraid of increasing costs when moving to outsource. At the same time, it is impossible to assess the economic effect of the transition to outsourcing solely by comparing the cost of the services of an outsourcing company and an in-house accountant. The transfer of accounting to outsourcing means not only a direct cost reduction for the company (for instance, salary costs and related taxes), but also implies an economic effect when a company should no longer buy licenses for specialized accounting software, access to databases, or does
not need to look for new employees when the current ones are dismissed. In addition, specialists in outsourcing companies work with companies in different fields, which allows them to find the right solution in certain complex situations in which a company with an in-house accountant must resort to the services of consultants because the accountant could not handle it on their own.
All these potential effects should be accounted for when assessing the current costs against the costs of the accounting outsourcing. So, how much can outsourcing accounting services cost in Russia? If you simply turn to an online search, the range of results will be very significant: some companies are willing to work at a rate of RUB 10,000 (USD 150) per month, others – from RUB 50,000 to RUB 300,000 (USD 800 to USD 5,000) per month, and others give the cost per person hour – from RUB 1,000-1,500 (USD 15 to USD 25) per hour and above.
Such variation in prices is explained by the presence of many small players in the outsourcing market of accounting services that work with a small number of customers and set the price for their services with a sufficient degree of monopoly, or try to attract new customers, indicating the minimum rate
One might think, after having a look at these numbers, that it is enough to pay the outsourcer
RUB 10,000 a month to guarantee that everything will work like a charm. However, it is safe to say that this is, unfortunately, not true, especially for Russian companies with foreign shareholders. The accounting outsourcing market is no different than any other, and an outsourcer who is willing to work without the commercial component of their services should hardly be trusted. A simple calculation of potential costs incurred by any outsourcer for the maintenance of their staff and office will show that either the quoted price is unrealistic, or the quality and scope of the services should be questioned.
Principal differences between Russian accounting standards and foreign international standards, make it more complicated for foreign clients to describe their needs and to estimate the offers and scopes suggested. As a result, the client often finds themselves in the position of buying a “pig in a poke” when choosing the outsourcing company, because they can only evaluate the quality of the services after they paid for the service, it was provided by the outsourcer, and a certain period elapsed after during which an internal or external control will be carried out to confirm the quality of the service provided.
At the same time, despite a certain youth in the accounting outsourcing market in Russia, the main players have already been identified, whom large and medium-sized Western and Russian firms consider the main providers of outsourcing services. The biggest Russian rating agency RAEX annually publishes its ranking of the largest companies in accounting outsourcing, where KBK Accounting was included for the year 2021 2.
KBK Accounting has been providing outsourced accounting services in Russia for almost 10 years. With each client, we look for an individual approach, including the question of price, because even seemingly similar companies may have fundamentally different requirements and features of internal accounting, and the costs of accounting outsourcing depend on many factors. If you are looking for accounting outsourcing services, consult our team and understand what we have got for you.
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