The 8-Step Method for Launching Client Accounting Services

Start small, learn, and then expand.

By Hitendra Patil
Client Accounting Services

Whether you are thinking of offering client accounting services, have already started offering it or you want to grow your CAS practice or make it more profitable, some proven steps will make your CAS practice shape up in the most optimized way. If you have already started offering CAS, these are the steps that you will revisit from time to time.

MORE: Six Reasons CAS Is King | Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services? | What CAS Is … and Is Not | How to Develop the CAS Mindset | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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There are several steps to get started in CAS and make your CAS practice better. The following details are just a bird’s-eye view of the important aspects of how to create your CAS practice. READ MORE →

Six Reasons CAS Is King

Why client accounting services is moving to the forefront of the full-service accounting firm’s offerings.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Before we get to why firms can’t miss out on CAS, we need to know why business owners buy accounting software, even when their core business is not accounting.

MORE: Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services? | What CAS Is … and Is Not | How to Develop the CAS Mindset | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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In the years before the internet, accounting software was only desktop software. Businesses used it to run their business processes – to issue checks, record income and for some other processes. Business owners predominantly did transactions processing, leaving the financial accounting – and compliance – to professional accountants.
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Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services?

CPA Trendlines research shows why some firms fall behind in CAS.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Over the past about three years, I have been keenly observing, following and analyzing the evolution of CAS as one of the topmost new revenue and growth segments for firms of almost all sizes. I have been reading every piece of content, whitepapers, documents, research reports, survey results, etc., related to CAS, and discovering and debating insights from them.

MORE: What CAS Is … and Is Not | How to Develop the CAS Mindset | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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My day-to-day work involves interacting with customers. For the past 16 years, I have been working exclusively with accountants. Every day, I speak with accountants about what services they offer under CAS, what is working and not working, what are the challenges in creating their CAS practices, how is CAS differentiated, and so on.
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What CAS Is … and Is Not

Unbalanced brass scalesFive areas of impact.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Client accounting services (CAS) is the new revenue segment you cannot afford to miss.

MORE: How to Develop the CAS Mindset | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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If you are an accounting firm owner/partner, you do not want to miss the emerging, growing, and profitable opportunities in client accounting services.
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How to Develop the CAS Mindset

Man facing mirror that has bursting out of it a hand holding a red question markFind the “why behind the why” and the “benefit of the benefit.”

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

“WHY did I start my accounting firm/practice?”

If you are the owner of your firm, print this in a bold, big font and post it somewhere in such a way that you can see it, even if it is just in your peripheral vision, every moment when you are working at your desk.

MORE: The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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If you are a partner of the firm or an employee, print the following question to post it where you can see it all the time:

“WHY did I get into the accounting profession?”

You won’t need to refer to this question later once you start working more from places other than your desk at your office. We’ll see why.
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The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services

Businesswoman making a presentationDo you want to follow your clients or lead them?

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

It was the 10th of May 2012.

MORE: Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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Over dinner on that quiet mid-spring evening at a classic traditional Italian restaurant, I met the owner of one of my largest clients, only after about five years of providing services to his firm. His firm had chosen a particular niche industry to serve and ONLY that. He was doing well – over $3.5 million in annual revenue, growing consistently and employing 39 staff members. In any given week, two new clients were being onboarded via a very detailed process, moving clients’ accounting databases and processes into his firm.

He would NOT take on any new client unless the client handed over ALL of the accounting work responsibilities to the firm. All or none. It was contrary to the way many of my other clients would operate when trying to sign on new clients.

I asked him: How can you afford to “lose” new clients, especially when they want to work with your firm? His answer intrigued me.

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Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide

There are challenges, but also great opportunities.

Client Accounting Services:
Challenges and Opportunities
Join the Conversation. Launch the Questionaire.

With this post, CPA Trendlines is launching a new series of articles and an expansion of our coverage into client accounting services, the fast-growing, but still much-misunderstood growth opportunity. With a special mix of technology savvy and visionary insight, Hitendra Patil, the best-selling author of Accountaneur for CPA Trendlines, is uniquely positioned to tackle the tough questions, and to unearth the best solutions.  We look forward to hearing from you – your experiences, opinions, questions, comments, ideas and suggestions. – Rick Telberg, editor and publisher

By Hitendra Patil

Client Accounting Services is becoming an increasingly important new revenue and growth segment for accounting firms of all sizes. Yet, professionals are still grasping for the best practices, adjusting service bundles, searching for the right technologies, and optimizing prices.

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGIES: Top 4 Personality Traits of Successful Accountants | Client Accounting Services Poised to Surge in Post-Corona World | 20 Ways to Grow Your Firm in 2020 | 3,771 Accountants Help Uncover CAS Success Secrets | A.I. vs. Auditors | Automation Makes It Easier for Accountants to Offer Cybersecurity | The What, Why and How of Artificial Intelligence for Accountants | Six Never-Before Opportunities for the Accounting Profession
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CAS is, first, a mindset. It exists in every professional accountant. Some know it exists in them. Some don’t. Some know that the CAS mindset exists in them but do not make the most of it. Instead, they try to become everything to everyone. They become more of “need-fillers” than “accounting entrepreneurs (Accountaneurs®).” They find it challenging to become the “most trusted advisors” of their clients. Those who don’t know that the CAS mindset exists in them feel it will be overwhelmingly difficult to “learn” the CAS mindset. They may try to acquire the mindset but give up too soon.
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Top 4 Personality Traits of Successful Accountants

Two partners celebrating business success outsideDo you agree?

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

For years, I have been interacting with accounting firm owners and partners day in, day out from firms of all sizes, all over the country, and catering to a wide variety of industries and professions.

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY: Client Accounting Services Poised to Surge in Post-Corona World | 20 Ways to Grow Your Firm in 2020 | 3,771 Accountants Help Uncover CAS Success Secrets | A.I. vs. Auditors | How to Be Ready for Real Artificial Intelligence | How Accountants Can Ride the Artificial Intelligence Wave | Blockchain: What You Need to Know Now
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Some have been in practice for several years. Some are just starting. But all of them are seeking success at the top of their agenda.
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Client Accounting Services Poised to Surge in Post-Corona World

Seven Covid-driven deliverables clients need today.

Six-Minute Survey:
What’s your opinion of Client Accounting Services?
Yes. We’re doing it.
No. BUT we’re CONSIDERING it.
No. And we’re NOT considering it.
No. We’ve tried it and dropped it.
Huh? What’s “Client Accounting Services?”

By Hitendra Patil

Coronavirus caught the entire world totally unprepared for its aftermath. The impact on economies is unfathomable. Accounting firms are not immune to this unprecedented situation.

More on CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES:  20 Ways to Grow Your Firm in 2020 | ‘Found Money’ Delights Clients  |  Is Client Accounting Services Overhyped? | 3,771 Accountants Help Uncover CAS Success Secrets

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But, “same as last year” or “as always” will not work for accountants in the immediate and distant future. If you haven’t yet done so, it is time to start thinking about how are you going to overcome the crisis, and even thrive in the near future and beyond. Especially important is to think about how client accounting services (CAS) will emerge as a much-required and more valuable than ever service accountants can provide.

What are accountants doing now?

So, other than helping clients obtain small business loans and apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) benefits, what are accountants doing now? Based on daily conversations with accountants over the last six to eight weeks, here are some core focus areas of accountants: READ MORE →