These days it has become difficult for accountants to discuss the topic of advisory work without first mentioning client accounting services (CAS).
Granted, for many CPAs client accounting is nothing new. But having a plan to make money at it, especially given the combination of evolving business needs and technology offering real-time data, is something else all together. In fact, the idea of formally offering CAS, planning for it, pricing it out and marketing it is cause for much consternation among accounting professionals, to the point of them not doing much with CAS at all. Sage and Boomer Consulting would like to change that perception.
For those unaware, Sage is offering a new CAS program to help accounting professionals navigate the waters of offering these services with confidence, featuring learning developed in conjunction with Boomer Consulting. It’s a free program based on eight pillars ranging from business development and pricing through to client engagement and developing talent.
We will be offering a six-part content series, complete with video discussions, on some of the many questions surrounding planning, packaging and pricing client accounting services. Our discussion with Gary Boomer and Sage’s Senior Accountant Advocate Thomas Casey about all of these points should help get you on the right path.
In the first part, we addressed how firms can first establish their “story” and their plan for offering CAS. Here is an excerpt from that conversation:
AW: How do you know your firm is ready to offer CAS?
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Boomer: If you don’t know if you’re ready you’re probably in real trouble. I believe this is the first time in the history of accounting, at least since I’ve been in the profession, that we’ve really had the opportunity to define our game and define our story, as well as the services we want to offer and define the clients we want to have.
Your firm should know you need to do this [offer CAS] based on what the clients are telling you they want and need, and if you’re not hearing it you’re not listening. Our profession is at a great time and if you have the right mindset you’ll benefit from this and if you don’t you’ll probably die a death of 1,000 cuts.
Casey: The [current] data supports that [CAS] is the fastest growing [service area] in accounting and it’s absolutely the most profitable because it speaks directly to what a client needs to change their game.
AW: In the same right, how do you know which clients are ready?
Casey: I would say that whether they know they are ready or not they all need it. Accountants have done a lot around compliance work and showing things in the rear view mirror. The ability to start to see key performance indicators or key predictive indicators to help them grow their businesses, this is exactly why client accounting services is so important and all of them need to be made aware of it
See more of the discussion below and stay tuned for the second part of what Boomer and Casey had to say about Your Story and Your Plan for CAS.