By Analytix Editorial Team
Client Accounting and Advisory Services (CAAS) is the fastest-growing revenue source for growing CPA firms, big and small. For many CPA firms, it took the COVID-19 pandemic to underscore the importance of CAAS in exploring Client Advisory Services. According to a CPA survey of 650 accountants and business clients, CPA firms that offer strategic advisory services may be able to increase monthly client revenues by as much as 50%.
The objective and scope of modern CAAS goes beyond traditional activities and tasks that are usually handled by the firm for the client. CAAS involves customizing your accounting advisory solutions and tailoring them to the unique business needs of your client, thereby adding value to their business. CAAS is expected to surge in the post COVID-19 world. It offers growing CPA firms an opportunity to build a profitable practice.
Clients need a trusted advisor to navigate the new normal
The need for advisory services among small businesses became evident when there was a surge in client demand for PPP and SBA loan guidance. In the current environment, the accountant’s role as an advisor is inevitable, because they know the language of business. People who approach CPA firms often have questions and concerns that go beyond the scope of tax compliance. While investing in client relationships, accountants often provide too much information for free. Answering questions without both knowledge of a unique situation and context of a specific issue could actually be detrimental. Giving free advice takes time. It is more productive to provide clients advisory services rather than offering advice, which they may not even implement. Especially in today’s complex tax environment and dynamic post COVID-19 landscape, there is an opportunity for firms to move beyond the traditional accounting role and instead provide a CAAS practice.
According to Accounting Today’s Small Business Accounting Insight Survey 2019, 78% want their accountant to be a trusted advisor and 69% preferred an accountant who communicated with them. These are very pressing times for small businesses and there is an innate need for such service and support from a trusted accounting partner. Therefore, doing just compliance is not sufficient to truly add value to your client and to help them navigate through relief programs and the complex tax and accounting landscape. Clients need the accountant’s advisory service to navigate the new normal.
Offering CAAS allows you to make clients aware of higher-level advisory services that a CPA firm can offer. While you’d certainly not want to lose your clients by asking them to pay for advisory services, offering them a value-added service is a great way to offer advisory services. Clients benefit from consistent access to expert advice, which opens doors for accelerating growth.
Advanced Integrated Cloud Technology
Technology is a key driver behind the growth of client accounting services. With the pandemic forcing small businesses to expedite digital transformation, the time is right for CPA firms to truly leverage cloud technologies and provide the benefits of CAAS. Doing so will add to your client’s bottom line. The ability to integrate various accounting platforms with cloud-based tools makes it easy to evaluate data in many different ways. This facilitates easy and effective reporting of information as compared to the traditional income statements. The ability to deliver real-time data, with a dashboard for monitoring KPIs, will significantly enhance your client’s business. Through CAAS, CPA firms can do more than just offer up-to-the-minute data. They can provide a range of advisory services such as CFO-level services to deliver enhanced advisory services and add value.
Merging CAAS with Value-Added Advisory Services
While your client may not expect to get answers from their tax experts, they will probably be interested in advisory services which help answer questions on time. The value of CAAS lies in delivering timely and meaningful operational data. This adds value by helping to make more informed business decisions. The service offering varies widely and includes virtual or outsourced CFO services and financial statement preparation services.
Combining client accounting services with high-end advisory services and outsourced CFO services offers your CPA firm a unique opportunity to secure your position as a next-generation firm. By leveraging advanced technology and professional expertise, you can help your clients make better business decisions. This in turn improves their business success as well as strengthens your client relationship.
Take the First Step
Partnering with an outsourced CAAS provider is the fastest and easiest way to provide these services to your clients. As a single-source solution provider, Analytix provides end-to-end solutions for CPAs that promote sustainable growth and help firms remain competitive and grow.