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Business Process Outsourcing


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the practice of contracting non-primary business activities and functions to a third-party service provider. It encompasses services such as payroll, customer service, accounting, and more. By doing this, companies can focus more on their core business functions, potentially increasing efficiency and reducing costs.


The phonetics for “Business Process Outsourcing” would be ‘Biz-nis Pro-ses Out-sor-sing’.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cost Efficiency: Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a strategic move that can greatly reduce operational costs. This is achieved by delegating non-core business processes such as customer care, HR, and finance & accounting, to third-party service providers who can perform these roles more cost-effectively.
  2. Focus on Core Business: With BPO, a company can concentrate more on its core functions. As the non-core operations are being handled by the outsourcing partner, businesses obtain more time and resources to focus on strengthening their core services or products.
  3. Access to Expert Talent: BPO gives businesses access to expert talent and advanced technology without the need for heavy investments. This not only improves performance efficiency but also enables businesses to adapt quickly to new processes or market changes.


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is significant in the world of business and finance for a number of reasons. Primarily, it allows companies to delegate non-core, yet necessary, tasks such as human resources, customer service, accounting, and other operational processes to third party service providers. This outsourcing offers several benefits: it saves costs and resources, allows businesses to focus more on their core strategies and operations, enhances productivity and efficiency, and makes use of the service providers’ expertise in particular areas. Furthermore, it allows for flexibility, scalability, and the potential ability to tap into global markets. Therefore, BPO has become an important strategy for businesses aiming for cost efficiency while maintaining or even enhancing operational performance and competitive advantage.


Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is a strategic initiative organizations adopt to concentrate on their core business competencies while delegating non-core yet critical segment of their operations to a third-party service provider. Its primary purpose is to optimize efficiency and economize operational costs. Companies indulging in BPO can reduce expenditure, streamline productivity, restructure time allocation, enhance service quality, improve business speed and efficiency, and free the organization to concentrate on its primary product or service.BPO is used to gain access to specialized skills and services, broadening the horizons of a business’s abilities without the need to make significant capital investments. Also, it affords the company the freedom to utilize resources for more important, strategic, and value-adding tasks, thereby improving productivity and competitive positioning. Various business processes typically outsourced include services related to finance and administration, human resources, call center or customer services, accounting, sales and marketing, and so on. In essence, BPO serves as a valuable tactic for companies aiming to maintain high service standards while reducing costs and enhancing core focus and efficiency.


1. Customer Support Services: A well-known example of Business Process Outsourcing is the outsourcing of call centers. Companies such as Amazon or Apple may choose to outsource their customer service divisions to specialized third-party service providers to save costs and allow themselves to focus on their core business areas. 2. Accounting and Financial Services: Businesses also tend to outsource their accounting and financial tasks to experts in the field. For instance, a small business may not have the financial resources to employ a full-time accountant, hence, they may outsource this service to ensure accurate financial reporting. Companies like Deloitte or PwC often provide these services.3. Human Resource Management: From recruitment and training to payroll processing and benefits administration, companies like IBM and Accenture often offer comprehensive HR outsourcing services. This allows businesses to reduce overhead costs, streamline operations, and ensure compliance with the constant flow of new labor laws and regulations.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the practice of contracting a specific work process or processes to an external service provider. The services can include payroll, human resources (HR), accounting, customer/call center relations, or other functions that the company needs to function effectively.

What are the advantages of Business Process Outsourcing?

The benefits of BPO include cost reduction, increased efficiency, access to industry experts, and the ability for companies to focus on their core business areas.

Is Business Process Outsourcing different from IT outsourcing?

Yes, they are different. While both involve contracting out certain business operations to third parties, IT outsourcing typically refers to tech-related tasks such as data center operations, data storage, and website or application development. Meanwhile, BPO can involve a broader range of functions that may or may not include IT services.

What are the main types of Business Process Outsourcing?

BPO is typically categorized into back office outsourcing and front office outsourcing. Back office outsourcing includes internal business functions such as HR or finance, while front office outsourcing includes customer-related services such as marketing or tech support.

What is the difference between onshore, nearshore, and offshore BPO?

Onshore BPO means outsourcing to a service provider within the same country. Nearshore BPO refers to outsourcing to a service provider in a neighboring country or one in the same time zone (or close). Offshore BPO refers to outsourcing to a provider located in a different country, often on a different continent.

What risks are involved in Business Process Outsourcing?

Some risks involved in BPO include the loss of managerial control over the outsourced operation, potential quality issues with the service provider, data privacy risks, and possible negative impacts on company culture and employee morale.

Is BPO the same as subcontracting?

While both BPO and subcontracting involve assigning work to third-party service providers, they’re not the exact same. Subcontracting typically involves hiring another company to assist on a specific project or a short-term purpose, while BPO is a longer-term and more strategic arrangement concerning the execution of ongoing operational functions.

Can Business Process Outsourcing impact the financial performance of a company?

Yes, BPO can have a significant impact on a company’s financial performance. Depending on the success of the outsourcing strategy, it can lead to reduced costs, increased productivity, and higher profitability.

Related Finance Terms

  • Offshore Outsourcing
  • Contractual Outsourcing
  • Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO)
  • Back Office Functions
  • Business Process as a Service (BPaaS)

Sources for More Information

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