You may think your firm needs extensive processes in place before you hire an accountant in the Philippines. Not necessarily. Here are the three basic things you'll need for your first hire.

Making your first external hire may sound intimidating. Most people think they need to get the business well-organised first.

That’s partly true, and I’ll get to that, but your setup doesn’t have to be as extensive or complicated as you think. Here’s a quick list of tools you’ll need.

1. Figure Out Your Filipino Accountant Payment Service

If you’re hiring your staff as contractors then you will need a way to pay them. We use and recommend Transferwise. (Their new name is Wise, which I really dislike.)

Make sure to get legal advice on whether your staff meets the definition of a contractor or should in fact be employees.

An Employer of Record (EOR) service is another option to take care of the HR and payroll side of things. An EOR will have an entity in the Philippines and create an employment contract with your team member.

The EOR will charge a monthly fee to take care of HR, payroll and compliance. This fee is on top of the salary of your employee.

For more information about the difference between a BPO and an EOR check out this article.

2. Set Up Communication Channels

You’ll need to talk with them.  🗣️

We use:

  • Slack for messaging
  • Zoom/Google Meet for calls
  • Email accounts: each person needs his or her own email address (for external communication only)

Oh, and we strongly recommend doing video calls for most team calls. Seeing someone’s face will tell you a lot.  Are they happy, confused, stressed?

Find out more about communicating with your remote workforce in this episode from The Lifestyle Accountant show on async communication for accountants.

3. Use A Workflow Management Tool

We use ClickUp, but many of you probably use Karbon, Jetpack Workflow or others to manage the workflow of your accounting or bookkeeping firm. Whatever works for you is fine.

The main thing is that you have a centralized way to track tasks and due dates for each client.

That’s really it, the main things anyway. But what about systems, processes and documentation?

4. Do I Need To Document Every Process Before Hiring Someone?

The story most business owners/online gurus will tell you is you need all your tasks and processes documented before hiring someone.

And that’s true… if you’re hiring C-D players.

The problem with that is, most of those gurus think business is a list of tasks that have a list of steps to complete.  And all you have to do is make the lists, documents, or videos, and anyone off the street will be able to complete the task.

Now, I’m NOT saying systems and processes aren’t important.  But what I’m saying is they don’t need to be ultra-detailed in the way you hear most business commentators describing.

As your team grows, it will become more important that work is standardized across the company.  You don’t want each bookkeeper doing things their own way, for example.  

So, at some point in your growth you will want to put more rigorous systems and processes in place.  But in my opinion, that heavy of a structure isn’t necessary, and may actually get in the way, when you just have a few people.

In the beginning, you can spend more time training your team one-on-one.  Then, over time, more processes in place.

I hope this helps!  Let me know if you have any questions.

Written By
Isaac Smith
Isaac has been building businesses since 2014. He sold an eCommerce business in 2019, co-founded Summit eCommerce Advisors - a bookkeeping and advisory firm, TeamUp - a recruiting business, and hosts the Next Level eCommerce podcast. He lives in the Portland, Oregon area, where he loves snowboarding with his daughter and trying to convince his wife to do outdoorsy things.
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