CPA firms today have evolved faster with digitization and legislation being the catalysts. With increasing emphasis on data security and privacy laws, cybersecurity is among the top 5 concerns for CPA firms.
Navigating the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed nearly 2 years ago requires restructuring everything from meals and entertainment expenses to depreciation. According to the 2019 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, finding qualified staff and keeping up with legislative changes are among the CPA firms’ primary business concerns.
These challenges make it imperative to stay relevant and maintain a competitive edge particularly with a rising number of CPA firms inundating the market.
How can technology help?
CPA firms today are under high pressure to deliver a comprehensive array of services, maintaining quality consistently and cost-effectively. With evolving customer demands this necessitates having to work at reasonable rates and have flexible work schedules.
This has led to CPA firms taking on higher workloads with fewer resources. Yet, handling day-to-day responsibilities and tasks such as bookkeeping, compliance, audit, and risk management are still the norm. These tasks are manual, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Technology makes it easy to connect front-end to the back-office allowing business operations to run smoothly with fewer errors. This leaves more time for advisory and consultancy tasks which have been proven to be beneficial for increasing revenue and client retention.
How will outsourcing help?
Studies show that by implementing robotic process automation, an accounting team of 40 could save up to 25,000 hours of avoidable rework per year, freeing up time for higher-value work such as analysis and forecasting while increasing engagement and reducing staff turnover.
Humans will be important in accounting even with automation, but it is necessary to expand the repertoire of your services and knowledge base to maintain relevance. While the optimal technology can make work a breeze, it can also burn quite a hole in your pocket. However, staying old-school while technology is constantly evolving means you risk losing relevance and market share.
Understanding your firm’s current requirements and future business plans will make finding the right technological fit much easier. Firm resources are usually tied up delivering traditional, lower margin, assurance, tax, and accounting services. Coinciding with the prior issue is the fact that firms are not spending enough face-time with clients. Automation helps save time so that the focus can be on non-repetitive, strategic tasks such as financial planning and analysis, or financial risk management.
With real-time data, actionable insights help identify key drivers affecting the success of the business and help in working toward them. Outsourcing also allows a holistic view of all processes, providing an opportunity to preemptively address issues before they arise. This reduces the time and cost of redressal and resolution.
Additionally, work can be done on remote access servers so that your original files do not leave your office. With data backup on multiple secure servers and disaster recovery systems, the confidentiality and security of your data won’t be compromised.
The final word
Clients often underestimate the true value a CPA firm brings to their business. Providing higher-value services that save clients money and command higher premiums allow CPA firms to stay relevant. Clients will gladly pay for these consulting and advisory services while CPA Innovations allow you to cut costs of the services they’ve come to expect as standard from you.
Consulting services can be one-off projects or ongoing services delivered on a retainer basis. Your firm is probably already offering consulting services to your assurance, tax, and accounting services clients, however not at the optimal level. These types of fee structures just aren’t achievable by providing standard tax and accounting services which is why a partnership with us is key to your future. Allow us to free up valuable resources to optimize the consulting services you offer your clients.
Looking for help in transforming your accounting firm? Please reach out to us today for your free consultation.