12 Signs It’s Time to Outsource

Four businessmen standing on world mapALSO: Seven COVID-driven client needs.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

When you are the key person to make things happen at your firm, you want to invest as much time in “business development” (not just marketing and sales) as humanly possible. Your firm’s growth will make you feel that producing and delivering your services is an essential core business function for you, but some of it is not.

MORE: How to Create Your Firm’s CAS Team | Technology and Your CAS Clients | Top Five CAS Killers and How to Overcome Them | 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021
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Freeing up yourself to spend more time focusing on the things that add value to your practice and help set it apart from the competition is the most essential differentiating growth strategy you will ever deploy. The same principle applies to your experienced, talented staff.
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How to Create Your Firm’s CAS Team

Plus how to boost their skillsets.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

“We do not have the staffing for client accounting services.”

Non-CAS firms cite this as the topmost reason for not being able to offer CAS. Nothing could be further from the truth.

MORE: Technology and Your CAS Clients | Will 2021 Be Your Cash-Flow Year? | Identifying the Right Clients for CAS | CAS Is, First, a Communication Challenge | Which of Your Existing Clients Are CAS-fit? | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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Experience of firms that offer CAS, including that of small firms with fewer than five staff members, proves beyond doubt that you do not need more staff to start offering CAS. Even solo practitioners provide CAS. The only thing you need to begin your CAS journey is to be ruthless, relentless and fearless to leverage newer and cloud technologies. Automation, integration and even artificial intelligence make it easier, faster and cheaper to perform some repetitive, time-consuming work of accounting firms.
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Technology and Your CAS Clients

Smiling businesswoman working at deskTwo different approaches.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Client accounting services essentially requires an ability for your firm to be able to best serve the needs of all your clients. In other words, your firm’s technology stack, services, processes and pricing packages need to cater to businesses of different sizes, turnovers, as well as various levels of tech-savviness of the business owners and their employees. In yet other words, your firm should have the ability to do part of the accounting work or all the work your clients offload to your firm.

MORE: Will 2021 Be Your Cash-Flow Year? | The Technology Stack You Need for CAS | Communicating CAS to Clients and Prospects | How to Communicate the Value of CAS | Don’t Wear a Mask
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When Clients Do Part of the Work

In such cases, you want the technology stack to be as standardized as possible to avoid costly, error-prone and time-consuming need to deal with a variety of software. At the same time, when clients do part of the work, you must seek to implement collaborative technology on the cloud to eliminate duplication of data entry and mailing/emailing information back and forth between your firm and clients.
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Will 2021 Be Your Cash-Flow Year?

Your CAS offering must include a cash-flow management component.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

If 2020 put businesses in financial ICU, 2021 will be a year of rehabilitation. Before one gets there, the road to recovery is often long and arduous.

MORE: The Technology Stack You Need for CAS | Top Five CAS Killers and How to Overcome Them | 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021 | How to Become an Outsourced/Virtual CFO | The Services That CAS Clients Want | Six Reasons CAS Is King
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Business owners who are masters of their craft are not necessarily the experts of accounting and financial management. That is your expertise, professional accountants.
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The Technology Stack You Need for CAS

5 key points in making your choices.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Your firm’s current processes/procedures adapted to your current technology stack, or vice versa. Trying to fit client accounting services into your existing technology stack may become a challenge for you – not just from a procedural point of view but also from a profitability point of view. If your current technology stack is still more of desktop software, it could be nearly impossible for you to offer CAS as profitably as potentially possible with non-desktop solutions.

MORE: Top Five CAS Killers and How to Overcome Them | Identifying the Right Clients for CAS | CAS Is, First, a Communication Challenge | Which of Your Existing Clients Are CAS-fit? | The Services That CAS Clients Need | Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services?
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CAS does not need a technological transformation

Before you start thinking, “oh gosh, this is going to be a hugely expensive technological overhaul of my firm,” STOP. CAS does need you to adapt to an optimal technology mix, but it does not mean you just throw away your current technology and bring in entirely new technology. CAS does NOT need a technological transformation of your firm. Depending upon your existing technology stack, it may only require some reorganization, integration and adjustment.
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Top Five CAS Killers and How to Overcome Them

Industrial metal number 5How many of these are you telling yourself?

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Why fall in the same trap that other firms have fallen into during their client accounting services journey? If you know what those traps are, you will save significant money and time in establishing your CAS practice.

MORE: Identifying the Right Clients for CAS | Communicating CAS to Clients and Prospects | 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021 | Which of Your Existing Clients Are CAS-fit? | The 8-Step Method for Launching Client Accounting Services | How to Develop the CAS Mindset | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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Fortunately, the CPATrendlines CAS survey identified which are the top five CAS killers, for firms of different sizes, that the accounting profession has experienced.
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Identifying the Right Clients for CAS

An organization chart in a ball shapeShow your highest-priced package first.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Will your existing clients or prospects buy higher-priced and more services from you? If you ask them to, will they feel put off?

MORE: Communicating CAS to Clients and Prospects | 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021 | The Services That CAS Clients Want | Six Reasons CAS Is King | How to Develop the CAS Mindset
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If you do not ask, will you leave real money on the table? If you do not tell them about more services your firm is capable of providing, will they switch to another accounting firm simply because they were not aware of your other services?
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Communicating CAS to Clients and Prospects

Senior businessman and another businessman talkingShow them what they’ll be missing if they say no.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

When you pitch CAS to your existing clients and new prospects, your communication and messaging changes quite a lot. It is no more packages, hourly rates and standard deliverables mentioned on your website and in your emails, engagement letters and sales brochures/materials.

MORE: 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021 | CAS Is, First, a Communication Challenge | Which of Your Existing Clients Are CAS-fit? | The Services That CAS Clients Need | Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services? | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services
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Communicating CAS to Your Existing Clients

CAS is NOT a sales pitch to your existing clients. It is a value pitch, an upgrade pitch.
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21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021

Calendar pages turning2020 is over. Now what?

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Did you feel the distinct feeling of one year ending and the next year starting? Not from the calendar change point of view, but that psychological feeling that you generally get when a year is over? If not, don’t worry; you may not be alone.

MORE: How to Communicate the Value of CAS | How to Become an Outsourced/Virtual CFO | The Services That CAS Clients Want | Six Reasons CAS Is King | How to Develop the CAS Mindset
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It is natural to feel that the 2020 experience will continue, at least for some time in 2021. It is not unusual if you feel uncertain for now. It is okay to think that you cannot estimate when things will start turning around for the better.
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