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21 January 2020 / Accounting Tips

Client Accounting Services 101

21 January 2020 > Accounting Tips

If you’ve been offering your clients a variety of bookkeeping and accounting services, you might be wondering how that’s different from client accounting services (CAS). Like basic accounting, client accounting services involves handling most or all accounting needs for your clients. This can include:

  • Payroll and compliance

  • Advice as tax season approaches

  • Periodic tax payments like sales tax, estimated taxes, etc.

  • Bill payments

  • AP processing

  • Advisory services

  • Basic bookkeeping

  • Outsourcing CFO and controller services

  • Financial statement preparation

All of the above tasks are standard services most accountants provide. According to Accounting Today, CAS takes things a little further by customizing accounting services for each client in a way that best serves their needs. This involves customizing processes to meet client needs and maximize your margins at the same time. 

For example, you might have some clients who insist on writing manual checks to pay employees and pay their bills with a credit card. This creates a significant amount of data entry for a service that doesn’t pay you that much. To make this service profitable for your cpa firm, you can leverage the power of automated accounting software.

CAS aims to serve clients and make your business profitable

The main purpose of CAS is to equip clients with customized services and tools required to meet their unique needs. To make your accounting firm profitable, you’ll need to outsource certain tasks, set clients up with user-friendly software like Quickbooks online, or create a custom accounting system. 

Each client has unique needs, and your firm gets to craft a unique solution for each client individually. Not all clients will require the same level of services in the beginning, but that may change as their business grows.

CAS will help your staff become trusted financial advisors. Over time, CAS will generate plenty of referrals from happy and successful long-term clients who can’t stop saying wonderful things about your firm.

CAS makes small businesses more profitable

Never underestimate the power of accounting services. While accounting services might seem like tasks that just need to get done and out of the way, they can have a profound impact on a business’ financial success.

In 2018, a Client Accounting Services (CAS) Survey conducted by bill.com analyzed responses from over 1,700 companies to determine the impact accounting services has on their business. The survey results found that 80% of CAS clients reported having more time to work on their business and 68% reported having an easier time with accounting. 

Perhaps the best data from the survey revealed that 30% of companies who outsourced their accounting with CAS services received financial management advice that increased profits. 

Businesses want to increase their profits and minimize errors. CAS, along with your expert advice will accomplish that. However, you can’t do it all yourself. 

There are only so many hours in the day that you can dedicate to working and having your employees work. Unless you raise your fees, that’s where your income will cap off. 

You can’t grow your business or become more profitable when you’re limited by the number of hours in the day. Raising your prices every year just to increase your income by a small amount isn’t a good strategy. That’s where CAS comes in with a solid potential to increase your cash flow through outsourcing. 

By outsourcing most of your firm’s workload, you’ll also be able to focus more of your time and energy on recruiting new staff members to help manage client relationships.

Outsourcing is a large part of CAS

To provide your clients with a fully customized accounting services package, you’ll need to outsource a portion of the work. However, outsourcing isn’t what you might think. Many people think outsourcing means handing the work off to teams in India or the Philippines and struggling to connect despite 12+ hour time zone differences. 

While you can outsource to offshore teams if you want, you don’t have to. If you don’t want to hire an offshore team, you can hire an onshore team. Onshore teams are located in the United States, which means the biggest time difference between you and your team will be 3 hours.

Which is better: onshoring or offshoring?

When providing client accounting services, you have the option of outsourcing the work to an onshore or offshore team. For most business owners, an onshore team located in the United States is the best option.

Although both offshore and onshore services provide the same access to trained professionals, offshoring comes with a couple inconveniences.

Offshore inconveniences

Offshore client accounting services come with several drawbacks. First, the time difference makes it hard to hold meetings during normal hours. For instance, if your offshore team is in India, you’ll need to hold meetings early in the morning or late at night. Indian Standard Time (IST) is 13.5 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time. That means when it’s 7:00 p.m. in California, it’s 8:30 a.m. in India. Somebody will always need to sacrifice their evening to jump on a call. 

Another difficulty arises when offshore teams speak English, but English isn’t their native language. It can take extra time to clarify ideas and understand problems.

Onshoring CAS benefits

An onshore CAS provider might be in a different time zone than your business, but since they’re in the U.S. the time difference won’t be drastic. At most, the time difference will be three hours.  

Onshore CAS providers usually give superior service, and you’ll pay a little more. However, you always get what you pay for. The value of paying more is clear when you don’t have to postpone dinner with your family to join a conference call. 

CAS services make clients self-sufficient

Thanks to cloud-based software applications, small businesses have remote access to professional bookkeeping, accounting, and controller services software. Setting up these applications can help your clients attain self-sufficiency.

Many clients want to do their own accounting but aren’t sure what software to use. If you have clients who insist on doing some of their own accounting, setting them up with cloud-based software will make their lives easier and will make them more independent. 

Are you ready to explore the ways CAS services can help your firm?

If you’re thinking about offering CAS services, we can help. At Taxfyle, we provide onshoring services for small businesses who want to grow their firm while increasing profitability. Our team consists of licensed CPAs and IRS enrolled agents so you can rest assured your clients’ needs are in good hands.

We provide upfront quotes so you can know what to expect, and can handle as much work as you need performed. When you onshore with Taxfyle, your jobs go directly to professionals who specialize in the type of work you need.

You won’t need to schedule a meeting to check on the status of your jobs. We’ve got a fully encrypted portal that allows you to manage each of your jobs and work in real time with the professionals handling each task.

At Taxfyle, we take security seriously. Your clients’ data will be protected in an SOC 2 compliant database fully managed by the Taxfyle platform. 

Contact us today to find out how you can grow your accounting practice with Taxfyle.

Ralph Carnicer

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