Starting a business is about prioritization. Everything that is not about immediately driving results and success tends to be sidelined. There’s nothing and no one to blame; it’s about resources, pure and simple.
Human resources, unfortunately, is one of those things that’s the first to be neglected.
Oftentimes, HR doesn’t rank on the list of priorities for a small business. Maybe the owner thinks they’re too new or too small, or possibly they believe they can handle it on their own.
However, neither is a good reason to avoid implementing HR. Even for small accounting firms, it will save time and money in the long run and provide valuable, people-centric data. Furthermore, when you think about it, the short-term costs are more than worth it.
It’s not just you; actually, the entire accounting industry is in need of an HR knowledge reset. Right now, most think this area is about talent acquisition, conflict resolution and benefits – basically, hiring, firing and retirement. However, there is a whole lot more to HR, and, luckily for accountants, these services can be a powerful value-add for your clients.
The amount of insight available through strong Human Capital Management (HCM) tools can provide value beyond the numbers accountants deal with daily, no matter how large your firm is. Put another way, if you have a dashboard for financial data on your clients but don’t have one for HCM, you’re not getting the most from your data.
Financial data should be married to HR. By centralizing the data, it’s accessible and ready to enhance every other part of your business. This doesn’t mean ripping out your existing solutions, either. App marketplaces and API integrations exist outside of those offered from the major accounting software players, and there are a number of best-of-breed integrations available that plug directly into software you’re already using.
These robust technology platforms now offer accountants everything from access to real-time reporting to payroll processing platform access to tax resources and even benchmark data into a single user-friendly dashboard. They have combined tax notices, payroll processing, client information, payroll trends, reporting functions and practice management tools on one platform to make it easier for accountants to serve clients at the touch of a button.
All of this data, and the insights that come from it, will enable you to expand your role as a strategic advisor. You’ll be able to compare client data to benchmarks against similar companies on things like compensation and overtime and use predictive analytics to help spot trends in pay data. You’ll also be able to recommend corrections.
In an effort to help accountants improve their clients’ businesses, these tools are designed to further streamline critical processes and create easier access to key practice resources while dramatically increasing an accounting professional’s most valuable asset: time.
Accountancy and HCM both have vast amounts of data, and having the right tools can help this data tell a unique story for each and every client through data analytics, compensation benchmarking and turnover probability. Beyond the policy handbooks and onboarding processes, HR is a powerful piece of the business that illustrates the difference each person is making to your business. Marry that with accounting data, and you’re truly seeing the difference to the bottom line.
Advisory services are at the core of what you do. Introducing HR to your offering−specifically, the capability to analyze how benefits, time tracking, payroll, expense management and performance−broadens your ability to counsel your clients from the revenue stream to the talent stream.
Having the right tools to tell deeper data stories is immensely valuable. With an HCM stack, you can make new recommendations to your clients that drive their business while making your consultancy more critical than ever.
About Erron Stark
Erron Stark brings more than 10 years of experience in high-performing direct sales management to his role as DVP of Channel Strategy at ADP, where he oversees the strategy and execution of ADP’s highly successful accountant, bank and client channel programs. His focus is on developing strategies to help inspire and educate, while delivering results.