A multinational company wanted to set up shop in India. They were looking for someone to do the payroll for their Indian employees and fulfil the local statutory compliances. All other accounting work was to happen in the parent country. We were recommended to their Global Director Finance. After a series of mail exchanges, but without any personal meeting (this was in the pre-Skype era), we were given the assignment.
Work increased steadily as employees were added on. Besides doing the payroll and statutory compliances, we were sounded out for advice on diverse matters such as leave rules, salary structures, foreign exchange rules, income tax etc. This was a bit surprising considering the fact that they also had access to a Big 4 firm in India, who were their global auditors.
It was perhaps a measure of the trust and confidence gained in the quality of our work and advice that during a period of six years there was only one occasion when we had to speak to the Director Finance on phone: when we had not received some statutory forms sent for signing by the due date. All other correspondence was through emails.
Three years back the company was taken over by another multinational company. We were informed that they were considering setting up an accounting base in India itself. This made us apprehensive that we might lose the client. In due course the CFO of the new company visited India and we were called for a meeting. It was a pleasant surprise when we were asked to give a proposal to take over the entire accounting for the Indian entity in addition to our existing work.
We bagged the full assignment. The company currently does not have a Finance function in India and our role extends from accounting to being, in effect, an outsourced CFO. The role even includes managing a local bank account for the company.