Knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) is a type of outsourcing where companies turn to other organizations or a parent company uses its own corporate divisions located elsewhere to perform job functions. These positions could be located domestically or internationally. The individuals who are qualified for KPO jobs have expertise in a certain field, such as finance, law, or business. Many of the jobs require skills that are only prevalent in individuals who have completed college educations and quite possibly postgraduate degrees. Companies that turn to KPO often expect these jobs to be completed by professionals with the credentials to make decisions that have the potential to influence the direction of an organization.
Location is a key component for various KPO jobs. Corporations may assign tasks to local entities, but the tendency to turn to other countries is common for organizations looking to attain additional cost savings. Business organizations in countries such as the U.S. might look to India for outsourcing critical tasks, for instance. Not every job function is something that can be outsourced, but the role of individuals in KPO jobs can be highly specialized in areas outside of product manufacturing, which is a popular type of outsourcing.
Accounting functions ranging from bookkeeping to formal chartered accountant positions are KPO jobs that might be filled. Responsibilities might require an awareness and command of standard software programs used throughout the accounting industry. Chartered accountants and other KPO staff might support a client with tax preparation, payroll duties, or reporting financial data to a regulatory body. Financial professionals in KPO jobs might also support billing procedures and help in the preparation for an audit.
Legal KPO jobs might be found on the research or administrative level. Law firms seeking to reduce expenses might turn to a KPO specialist to perform paralegal services, including transcribing court sessions or drafting memos on behalf of attorneys. The individuals in these roles must be familiar with the regulation in the client's country and subsequently must be highly educated and trained in the field of law. It is possible that a KPO provider would assign lawyers and paralegals to clients in a particular region.
A KPO provider will typically designate the countries to which accounting or other services are available. This designation is important so that the language skills needed by employees who fulfill these KPO jobs are clear. Employees must normally be available during the business hours of any international clients.