CAS can increase your revenue by improving the value you offer your clients. If you run an accounting firm and want to expand your accounting, bookkeeping and tax preparation services, CAS is worth looking at.
Client accounting services (CAS) offers an opportunity for accountants to integrate personalized services into their clients’ operations. As a result, CAS benefits accountants and their clients, and can be an effective solution for generating revenue year-round, as opposed to seasonally.
Let’s take a closer look at what CAS is below, along with how you can provide these services to your clients to grow and bolster your accounting firm.
What is CAS accounting and how can firms benefit from it?
CAS (client accounting services) are specialized accounting and financial services.
Based on a recent Accounting Today survey, exactly 50% of the firms that were surveyed offer CAS – with these services representing a third of their revenue.
With CAS, your accounting firm can become more integral to your client’s everyday operations, making them less likely to “jump ship” to competitor firms.
Client accounting services are also considered more specialized than accounting and bookkeeping services, allowing you to bill more per hour.
Here’s a quick look at CAS services offered by accounting firms:
- Financial advisory
- Tax compliance
- Wealth management
- Financial reporting
- CFO outsourcing or controller consulting services
- Succession planning
- Cash flow management
So, with CAS, there are many ways that you can expand your services and increase the value your firm offers existing clients and prospects.
CAS accounting vs. traditional accounting
While traditional accounting generally involves the core accounting services, such as bookkeeping, tax preparation and payroll, CAS is focused on long-term advisory services that can be tailored to the client’s specific needs.
Stacked up, here are the main differences between CAS accounting and traditional accounting:
|CAS accounting||Traditional accounting|
|Involves traditional accounting services, plus specialized services that can include long-term financial advisory, wealth management and CFO outsourcing||Involves fewer specialized services (than CAS), including, but not limited to, tax preparation, auditing and payroll services|
|Tends to be offered to larger businesses by accounting firms with multiple team members||Tends to be offered to smaller businesses, families or individuals by a single accountant|
|Offers more opportunities for recurring revenue||Offers fewer opportunities for recurring revenue|
|Provides more opportunities to offer long-term advice and expertise to clients||Most traditional accounting services tend to be temporary or seasonal|
|Offers more personalized accounting services, which can allow firms to integrate into their clients’ operations||Typically not as personalized as CAS due to the seasonal nature of most traditional accounting services|
5 ways CAS can grow your accounting business
1. Increase reputability
By offering CAS, prospective clients will perceive you more as a client accounting advisory service rather than a “basic” accounting firm.
This can help increase the reputability and credibility of your firm, helping you attract bigger clients with more complex needs. These needs may be more regular than seasonal, which can also generate a more predictable revenue stream for your firm.
In general, being an all-around firm that understands CAS accounting can even lead to a smoother busy season for accountants.
2. Position your firm as an accounting advisory
With CAS, you can have more leverage for finding your way onto a client’s roster of advisors.
As an example: A prospective client already has an accounting firm. However, the accounting firm does not offer tax compliance services. As a firm offering CAS, you can step in to serve this client’s needs.
For convenience, the prospective client may also choose to switch their accounting and bookkeeping processes over to your firm, giving your firm more business.
3. Improve revenue year-round
One of the biggest issues for accounting firms is that business can be seasonal. By offering CAS, however, you can put your firm in a better position to maintain its operations, and revenue, throughout the year.
This is due to how many client accounting services, such as controller consulting services and CFO outsourcing, are needed on a regular basis, unlike most traditional accounting services.
4. Generate more revenue per client
CAS can help your firm generate more revenue per client – simply because you will have more services to offer them.
For instance: in addition to managing the accounting and bookkeeping needs of your client’s business, you can offer them your CAS services, such as tax compliance and cash flow management.
As a result, your firm will also become more valuable as an integral part of their operations.
5. Grow with your clients
Finally, CAS can be an effective solution to constantly grow with your clients.
A good example here is losing a client because their business has outgrown yours. In this case, the client would have no choice but to seek a new accounting firm that offers more to suit their growing needs.
By offering CAS, you can ensure that your clients will stay with you and not outgrow your firm.
How to expand your firm’s services with CAS
To expand your firm’s services with CAS, here are some tips to ensure your CAS service is on par with, or an improvement on, your core accounting and bookkeeping services.
Assess client losses
First, take a look at the churn that you may have experienced in the last 12 months. Did you lose clients to firms that offer CAS?
If the answer is yes, consider the CAS services these firms offered, which your previous clients needed. These services can be a great place to start as you add CAS to your firm.
Perform market research
It won’t make much sense offering client accounting services that clients won’t need – especially your existing clients.
So, it’s a good idea to ask your existing clients which CAS services they would use. If you find that 50% of your clients are looking to outsource their CFO, for example, then it’s a CAS service your firm should prioritize over others.
Keep an eye on the competition
Finally, it’s worth researching which CAS services your competitors are offering their clients.
If you discover that many accounting firms in your area are offering succession planning, then there’s a good chance it’s a CAS service that’s in demand and worth offering at your firm.
How get started with CAS accounting
Want to start CAS accounting to grow your firm and get more accounting clients?
Get started on the right foot by taking these six top tips into account:
1. Pitch CAS to your existing clients
After asking which client accounting services your clients need, pitch these new services to your existing clients. Don’t forget: gaining more business from an existing client costs less time and money than focusing on prospective clients.
2. Market your client accounting services
Alongside existing clients, it’s important that your prospective clients know about your firm’s CAS services. To do this, you can take advantage of several effective marketing strategies, such as website updates, social media marketing and email marketing.
3. Leverage cloud-based software
Much like your accounting and bookkeeping services, it’s a great idea to leverage practice management software to help you streamline and automate new workflows as your firm starts to integrate CAS and take on more clients.
Watch how Joseph & Hetrick, LLC creates a “WOW” experience for its clients—even the most demanding clients—using TaxDome.
4. Create a business plan
There’s a good chance you created a business plan when you started your accounting business. Take the same approach before offering CAS: consider the CAS services you need to provide and how much business you can realistically handle.
5. Determine the right pricing model
It’s important that you price your client accounting services at a competitive rate that also leaves room for profit. Before setting your prices, think about your clients’ budgets, your competitors’ prices and the additional expertise you bring to the table.
6. Plan for growth
If you offer the right CAS services to the right clients for competitive prices, there’s a good chance your firm can expect significant growth.
With that in mind, make sure to have a solid plan in place to meet the growing needs of your clients. This can include hiring more staff or improving accounting workflow automation to keep your firm operations running smoothly.
Start growing your accounting firm with CAS
CAS can be the solution your accounting firm is looking for to grow its client base and increase revenue – revenue that can be recurring and not just seasonal.
Use the above tips to implement CAS with a well-thought-out plan, but don’t forget that more clients means more responsibilities, making it all the more important to effectively manage your firm’s workflows.
Want to start offering CAS? Join the TaxDome live demo to learn about TaxDome features that can help simplify your workflow, grow your firm and increase revenue.
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