Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The phenomenon of outsourcing has engulfed the accounting industry and offers a wide range of services from bookkeeping, accounts payable, debt collection, invoicing, to tax return preparation. As companies become more comfortable with the services provided by outsourcing facilitators, the level of outsourcing in the accounting industry will increase to allow U.S. firms to focus on higher margin services and meet client demands in more technical areas of tax, estate, and retirement planning. This research uses a survey to collect primary data focusing on three areas, namely outsourcing drivers, concerns stakeholders have about outsourcing, and the perspectives about the offshorability of specific functions. The study concludes that firms that are engaging in outsourcing activities realize benefits in and ease their perceptions about doing so. Firms who outsource have been able to cut costs and increase staff. These same firms also are less concerned about most of the issues (privacy, client relationships, etc.) which may be as a result of their positive experience with outsourcing activities. Furthermore, these firms also have a higher confidence about the outsourecability of most of the functions in the accounting industry. The study further presents policy implications to all stakeholders in the accounting industry: students, professors, accounting professionals and firms, regulatory bodies, and politicians.

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