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How to decide which jobs to outsource?


There are three sets of criteria for separating “outsource” from “in-house.” Plus, the top five tasks outsourced to third-party.

  1. Client-facing vs. everything else:

    The most commonly outsourced (and possibly he most sensible to outsource) jobs are technical tasks and operational tasks, including back office functions like HR and bookkeeping, IT software and support, ERISA compliance and marketing services.

  2. The top five reasons for outsourcing:
    • Tap into first-class or global capabilities
    • Free up internal resources for other purposes
    • Keep focus on core business by delegating peripheral tasks
    • Reduce exposure to high-risk or complex functions
    • Lower operational or labor costs
  3. Ask these four key questions:
    • Will outsourcing improve revenue by providing a new service that can add to the bottom line? Examples include offering compliance reviews and providing 3(38) fiduciary coverage.
    • Will outsourcing improve efficiencies? You can do the billing, for example, but sending it out might be cheaper, faster and easier.
    • Is it something that you, or your team, don’t like doing but it absolutely needs to get done anyway? Cold calling is the obvious example.
    • Is it highly specialized work and you don’t have the core competencies to do it? A lot of the IT setup and service falls into this category.

Top five tasks outsource to a third-party

  1. Back office – HR, bookkeeping, administrative work, etc.
  2. IT software or support
  3. ERISA/Compliance
  4. Marketing – campaign execution, developing collateral, prospecting, etc.
  5. Participant education and investment analysis

Of those using interns, 74% use them seasonally and 53% use them part-time. Interns are typically used to complete back-office functions like administrative work, investment analysis report building and support for marketing activity.


13% of practices hire independent contractors who work onsite under contract but are not employees, and so do not get benefits.

The top tasks delegated to independent contractors include:

  1. Back office (HR, bookkeeping, administrative work, etc.)
  2. Marketing (campaign execution, developing collateral, prospecting, etc.)
  3. ERISA/compliance and IT software or support
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