CPA Practice Advisor - 7

FEATURE
increase, you'll be less likely to see
pushback from your clients, because
they understand what your advice is
worth.
Strategic CAS also enables you
to create a longer-lasting business
model for your firm going forward.
The outsourcing of accounting functions continues to grow in popularity,
and sooner rather than later it will be
a norm, not just a luxury. Firms that
are already offering strategic CAS -
and doing it well - will be in a better
position when it comes to long-term
sustainability and will have an upper
hand on competition that has yet to
start offering CAS.
CAS also has the potential to
transform your bottom line by introducing a reliable, recurring revenue.
Once you've cemented your position
as a trusted advisor for your clients,
it's easier to transition your rate structure to value-based pricing or a fixed
monthly fee arrangement (shown to
be an effective billing method). These
types of rate structures translate to
recurring revenue, which is the best
possible cash flow model for your firm.
Also, you will be giving yourself

the ability to bring in the same amount
of profits with fewer clients, less staff,
and less entry-level work.

EVOLVING TO STRATEGIC
CAS
Once you've identified the potential
benefits of strategic CAS and evaluated where you stand in relation to
what your goals are for this practice,
what is the next step in advancing it?
The answer lies in improving your
processes and establishing standards for both internal and external
stakeholders.
If you're at the second stage in
the CAS process, you've already
incorporated automation into your
practice. You should continue to
standardize all your processes, not
just your accounting functions. This
includes your employee guides, training resources, templates, technology,
and more. It also includes standardizing your processes much like an
assembly line. Firms should break
down everything from onboarding to
day-to-day activities and beyond into
documented processes. That way, they
aren't recreating the wheel for every

client. From an internal perspective,
it enhances efficiency and saves time.
You can do more with less, and there's
little to no confusion about how things
should get done. Clients benefit with
quicker onboarding and seeing immediate results.
Next, you need to establish a
reliable, integrated tech stack (as
mentioned in the first article of this
series by Pete Potsos). This will be
your standard tool for the delivery
of services. Your tech stack should
be made up of the systems that are
integral to your practice, the ones you
should be insisting your clients use.
While the individual components
of your tech stack certainly matter,
it's also crucial that they integrate.
Integration is the only way to truly get
a comprehensive view of your firm's
performance and the full scope of your
clients' business. You might also want
to consider building your tech stack
for a focused niche, though this might
require specialized solutions for types
of businesses.
Simply automating isn't enough.
You need to be using your technology
to look forward, not just backward.

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH CLIENT ACCOUNTING SERVICES
Continued from page 5

AUTOMATION
The answer, then, lies in automation.
Automation allows you to spend more
time on what matters most - your
clients. While we discuss it within the
context of CAS here, it's important to
note that whether you plan to offer
CAS or not, accounting automation
has benefits for every firm.
Digitizing and automating routine
tasks let you focus on bringing value
to your clients, rather than spending
those same hours processing paperwork. Evolving into a client-centric
practice lays the groundwork for a
full-fledged CAS offering.
Automation also creates gains
in both accuracy and efficiency. By
reducing the potential for human

error from the equation, automated
processes help eliminate many of the
common mistakes that accounting
firms see. Staff become more efficient
and are able to focus on other highervalue tasks.
Pairing standardized processes
with automation makes your firm even
more efficient. Evaluate the processes
and people currently involved in the
delivery of your services and ask
yourself: Are you continually reinventing the wheel? Does each new client
require a unique process and the need
to learn new technologies? If so, it's
time to change that. Examine your
workflows - both internal and external
- and explore what can make those
processes function better. Can you

eliminate or automate steps or streamline the number of people involved?
Another candidate for standardizing is
your client onboarding process.
It's equally important to evaluate
your current technology. Technology can automate on premises. The
cloud, however, empowers you with
real-time data, collaboration, easier
integrations than legacy systems,
anytime, anywhere access, and
mobility. Successful CAS practices
are adopters of the cloud and the
innovative technologies it powers. In
order to successfully offer CAS, you'll
want a tech stack that combines your
accounting, AP, AR, expenses, payroll,
and other processes in one efficient
place. Integrations between these

NOVEMBER 2019 ■

Offering strategic CAS means that
you are embedded in your clients'
businesses, communicating and
collaborating frequently, and, most
importantly, that you have a solid
strategy in place from the beginning - one that gives your firm the
flexibility it needs to evolve to meet
future needs, as outlined in Setting the
Stage for CAS Success.
Once you've positioned yourself
for strategic CAS, the final step is
scaling. The third article in this series,
authored by Adam Hale, CPA, of Summit CPA Group, will explore the best
ways to scale your CAS offerings.
To learn more about CAS,
download the Client Accounting
Advisory Services eBook from CPA.
com - "Accelerate into Advisory," available at: www.cpa.com/whitepapers/
accelerate-advisory ■
Vishal Thakkar is Director of Marketing
at CPA.com.

Read Part Three:
How to Maximize Profits
and Revenue for Your Firm
by Scaling CAS
(www.cpapracticeadvisor.
com/21111996)

technologies turbocharge automation by syncing information across
systems and providing a real-time
view of finances.
Once you've moved from interest to automation, the next step is
strategy. The second article in this
series, from Vishal Thakkar, director
of alliance marketing at CPA.com, will
explore the evolution to strategic CAS.
To learn more about CAS, download the Client Accounting Services
eBook from CPA.com - "Accelerate into
advisory." ■
Pete Potsos, CPA, is a Strategic Account
Manager with Bill.com.

www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

7


http://www.cpa.com/whitepapers/accelerate-advisory http://www.cpa.com/whitepapers/accelerate-advisory http://www.CPA.com http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/21111996 http://www.CPA.com http://www.CPA.com http://www.Bill.com http://www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com

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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