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 →

‘Found Money’ Delights Clients

Businessman ogling money over another's shoulderHow to operationalize new services that find or save clients’ money.

By Bill Penczak

Even during normal times, “found money” solutions are great door openers for new clients and a great value-add for your current clients.

MORE: Don’t Buy a Rolodex, Buy a Process | The Three R’s for Beating the Corona Crisis | 6 Reasons Why Your Marketing Sucks
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These solutions are different from traditional audit and tax work in that they are opportunities for companies to retrieve monies they’ve paid in the past, or are ways for companies to lower the cost of a function, process, or service for which they are already paying.

Such solutions include:

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Is Client Accounting Services Overhyped?

Source: CPA Trendlines Research

New CPA Trendlines study shows broad interest in CAS, but also widespread failures to achieve hoped-for goals.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Client Accounting Services (CAS), the full-menu offering of taking over many of a client’s routine internal bookkeeping chores, is fast emerging as an essential growth strategy for accounting firms across the nation, according to a new CPA Trendlines Research study, perhaps the broadest such study undertaken in the field so far.

Join the Survey. Get the Results: The questionnaire remains open and all participants receive a special topline executive summary of the results at no charge, just for joining the survey. Take the survey here.

But most firms admit they’re falling short of their financial and operational goals for CAS, illustrating the daunting challenges for accountants seeking to shift from traditional compliance services to the high-margin, fast-growth role of a so-called trusted advisor.

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How ‘Tech Stacks’ Can Help You Standardize

Screwdriver and wrenchYou’ll be more efficient and better connected.

By Jody Grunden

I believe it’s important for accounting firms to standardize their technology “stack.” Having a standardized tech stack of applications helps to automate every corner of your workflow.

MORE: Automation and the Future of Accounting | The Rise of the Virtual CFO | Ready To Be a Virtual CFO? | The Only Three Metrics You Need to Measure Staffers
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The applications you use should be seen as an extension of your business. Your onboarding process will be more effective if your team doesn’t have to learn a new set of tools every time a new client comes on board.
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Large Clients We Landed from QuickBooks Consulting

Two women in office shake handsSometimes small bait catches big fish.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

I’ve written about QuickBooks and how we became the largest QB consultants in New Jersey along with receiving a few clients with very substantial fees. I’ve gotten some calls asking about them and what we did, so here is a description of three of them.

MORE: Why We Train on Excel, Word and Adobe | I Used to Hate QuickBooks | Things Change | How to Be ’the Other Guy’s Accountant’ | Why We ‘Kill’ to Get Partnership Returns Out Quickly | My First Thought Is to Never Turn Down Business | Becoming an Expert in IRS Collections
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The first client was someone who called asking to spend only one hour with us. At the time our minimum was five hours. We figured we would do him a favor and we told him the hourly rate if he would come to our office. He was a very nice, well-dressed man and spent the hour. He called us about a month later and asked if he could “buy another hour.”
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26 Bonus Benefits Clients Need to Know

Businesspeople having a meeting over coffee sitting together at a table discussing a document, young man and two middle-aged women presentAre you letting your clients know all the value-added ways you can make their business lives better?

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

Here are some value-added benefits to consider when performing obligatory services such as an audit or tax return, or any work for a client.

MORE: Stop Pricing by the Hour | Things Change | How to Be ’the Other Guy’s Accountant’ | Why We ‘Kill’ to Get Partnership Returns Out Quickly | My First Thought Is to Never Turn Down Business | The Background to Saving a Business
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This is not – cannot be – a complete list, but you can use this to help think about the benefits and value you bring to the client on every project or assignment you do for them. Have a look, and let me know in comments what you think. What would you add to the list? What would you eliminate? READ MORE →

3,771 Accountants Help Uncover CAS Success Secrets

Small firms find a new revenue stream.

By Hitendra Patil

Fresh insights are emerging from CPA Trendlines’ new survey, “Client Accounting Services: Trends, Issues & Opportunities.”

Join the 8-minute survey. Get the answers. You will receive, for free, the topline executive summary of the survey findings, just for participating in this survey.

It is possibly one of the largest CAS surveys ever, with 3,771 (and counting) accountants responding to the survey.

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The #1 Problem: Staffing, Staffing, Staffing

CLIENT

Smallest firms plagued most by growing tax complexity. 

via AICPA

Staff recruitment remains the top issue for most CPA firms, while growing tax complexity and risk management regarding privacy and data security are rising challenges, new research by the AICPA shows.

Today’s Best Talent, Career, and Growth Strategies
Join the survey: Get the answers.

“Finding qualified staff” is the No. 1 issue for every firm-size segment except sole practitioners, according to the 2019 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, matching the topline results from the last survey two years ago.

READ MORE →