CPA Practice Advisor - 5

FEATURE
HOW TO GET STARTED WITH

CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES
By Pete Potsos

TRADITIONAL COMPLIANCE SERVICES like taxes and audits
have long been the bread and butter of many accounting
practices. However, clients are increasingly requesting new
services beyond that scope such as bookkeeping, payroll,
and advisory-level collaboration. Firms eager to create new
revenue streams and stronger ties with clients respond by
expanding services and adopting technology that makes it
effective and efficient to deliver those services and evolve
even further into the role of trusted advisors.
A large part of securing that role
is offering client accounting services
to your clients. CAS, also referred to
as outsourced accounting, includes
financial statement preparation,
general ledger management, cash flow
management, payroll preparation and
reporting, AP, AR, transaction processing, virtual CFO and business advisory
services, and controllership. It differs
from after-the-fact bookkeeping not
only in scope, but also because CAS
relies on real-time data. As more
data compiles, accountants have a
platform of information with which
to proactively advise their clients. A
CAS-fueled conversation focuses on
what will happen, not what has happened. The business owner benefits on
multiple levels. According to the 2018
Client Accounting Services Survey:
"Companies that outsource all
accounting report both hard and
soft ROI, including higher profits and
revenues, being better armed to make
business decisions, and enjoying an
easier accounting experience."

HALLMARKS OF PRESTRATEGIC CAS
Here are three indicators that your
firm can benefit from strategic CAS.

First, are you losing clients to
competitors? Because they're driven
by their bottom line, clients commoditize routine services and seek out
the lowest bidder for those services. If
you're being passed over, it means that
clients are still viewing you simply as a
routine service provider. You have yet
to establish or convey the true value
of your services and your ability to
provide strategic insight that can't be
replaced.
Second, are you questioning the
future of your business?
As the saying goes, the
only constant is change.
Client expectations are
evolving, as is technology. If you're concerned
that your firm isn't
future-proofed, there's an
opportunity to increase
valuation by evolving the firm,
expanding services and adopting a
technology-friendly culture. In today's
active mergers and acquisitions environment, savvy buyers are bypassing
paper-based and hard-to-scale firms
in favor of efficient, technology-savvy
firms.
Third, are you struggling to land
new business? You may be falling

behind the competition already
offering strategic CAS. Proving your
value helps you keep clients, and communicating that value and those solid
relationships to prospective clients
makes it much easier to secure their
business.
But how do you get started with
CAS? While many accounting firms
are interested in offering
it, not all have planned
how to turn that interest
into action. This article,
the initial installment
of a three-part series on
implementing, developing, and scaling CAS,
will explain the first step
in getting up and running.

This is part 1
in a 3 part
series on CAS

ENTRY POINTS FOR CAS
Offering CAS gives your firm a multitude of benefits, including expanding
services for existing clients, attracting
new clients, and growing revenue.
While those benefits are attractive,
how do you get there? Do you start
offering all possible services at once,

NOVEMBER 2019 ■

or do you start rolling out additional
services bit by bit?
According to a recent survey,
small businesses identified a number
of services they would most like to
outsource to their accountants. The
top tasks identified for outsourcing
were AP, AR, general ledger management, and financial statement
preparation. For the purposes of an
accounting firm that's new to CAS,
these services would be a good starting point and a way to open the door
to a full-fledged CAS offering.
It's important to note, though,
that successfully offering these
initial services is difficult without
the right technology. For example,
generating profit while performing
manual/paper-based AP and AR is
a significant challenge in terms of
resources and time. They take away
valuable bandwidth that could be
spent on better serving clients and
offering them more value, which is
the end goal of CAS.
Continued on page 7.

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CPA Practice Advisor

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CPA Practice Advisor

From the Editor: The Land of the Free
How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
Crafting a Strategic CAS Plan
From the Trenches: Do Your Best Tax
2019 Product Review: Sales & Use Tax Systems
Marketing Your Firm: Marketing to the Home Care Nursing Industry
Marketing Your Firm: Your Bedside Manner: 3 Steps to Improve Client Trust
2019 Product Review: Hosting Service Providers
A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: The Pros & Cons of Temp vs. Seasonal Workers
A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: 6 Retirement Tips for Generation X
The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Newest Features in QuickBooks Online Advanced Speed Workflow
Guest Column: 7 Productivity Hacks for the Strategic CFO
The Staffing & HR Advisor: You May Be Overlooking Top Performers When Hiring
The Millennial Advisor: The Problem with Price
The Leadership Advisor: The Change We Can Control
AICPA News
Bridging the Gap: 3 Small Steps Toward Transformation
Special Feature: The Unseen Talent Pool
CPA Practice Advisor - 1
CPA Practice Advisor - 2
CPA Practice Advisor - 3
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Editor: The Land of the Free
CPA Practice Advisor - How to Get Started with Client Accounting Services
CPA Practice Advisor - Crafting a Strategic CAS Plan
CPA Practice Advisor - 7
CPA Practice Advisor - From the Trenches: Do Your Best Tax
CPA Practice Advisor - 9
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review: Sales & Use Tax Systems
CPA Practice Advisor - 11
CPA Practice Advisor - 12
CPA Practice Advisor - 13
CPA Practice Advisor - Marketing Your Firm: Marketing to the Home Care Nursing Industry
CPA Practice Advisor - Marketing Your Firm: Your Bedside Manner: 3 Steps to Improve Client Trust
CPA Practice Advisor - 2019 Product Review: Hosting Service Providers
CPA Practice Advisor - 17
CPA Practice Advisor - A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: The Pros & Cons of Temp vs. Seasonal Workers
CPA Practice Advisor - A Year in the Life of a Payroll Accountant: 6 Retirement Tips for Generation X
CPA Practice Advisor - The ProAdvisor Spotlight: Newest Features in QuickBooks Online Advanced Speed Workflow
CPA Practice Advisor - Guest Column: 7 Productivity Hacks for the Strategic CFO
CPA Practice Advisor - The Staffing & HR Advisor: You May Be Overlooking Top Performers When Hiring
CPA Practice Advisor - The Millennial Advisor: The Problem with Price
CPA Practice Advisor - The Leadership Advisor: The Change We Can Control
CPA Practice Advisor - AICPA News
CPA Practice Advisor - Bridging the Gap: 3 Small Steps Toward Transformation
CPA Practice Advisor - Special Feature: The Unseen Talent Pool
CPA Practice Advisor - 28
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