These days it has become difficult for accountants to discuss the topic of advisory work without first mentioning client accounting services (CAS).
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 altogether.
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, with 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.
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. During the third part, we focused on the issue of talent acquisition and retention at a firm, particularly how it relates to having them for CAS purposes.
Here is an excerpt from that conversation:
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AW: How have demands for talent changed within a firm?
Boomer: It’s gone from a rugged, individualist approach to a collaborative, team approach as we add more services. You have to have respect and appreciation for others’ unique abilities so you can team up with them and offer a team approach to these services.
Casey: In speaking to accountants over the last several years a lot of them are ‘siloed’ in their own individual work. It’s truly a collaborative effort internally to be able to provide the maximum value and get those much larger engagements with clients on a regular basis.
AW: How do you guard against staff becoming unsettled (and ultimately leaving) as a result of change within your firm?
Boomer: If you don’t do this and don’t paint a vision of opportunity, both your staff and your clients are going to leave for other opportunities. It behooves any organization today to have personal development plans for their people. Help them in this “upskilling” process because if they have the right mindset they can change. Associating with the right people who have different, unique abilities than theirs will make your organization much more attractive to both staff and the clients.
Casey: When it comes to talent [retention], some people will buy into [CAS] and be excited by it and those are the ones that will thrive. There will be some that just don’t want to take that journey with you and that’s OK too.
See more of the discussion below and stay tuned for Part 4, which will look at necessary skills for CAS.