Outsourced ‘Client Accounting Services’ Yield Real-Time Actionable Insights

Businessman working with a Cloud Computing diagram on the new co

Cloud-based Solutions Offer Customizable Metrics

By Michelle Ryan

As family businesses are being transferred to Gen X and Millennial owners at an unprecedented rate in the U.S., differences in leadership style and operational approaches are emerging. Perhaps none is more pronounced than the willingness of younger business owners to turn to outside experts for the operational skills they believe are needed to move their businesses forward.

Mom and Dad may have bootstrapped the business from the ground up and learned everything by the seat of their pants, but when the next generation takes over they’re assuming the reins of a sizeable operation with solid revenues, employees, vendor contracts, large customers and bank loan obligations.

“Seat of the pants” no longer works, especially when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping. Today’s emerging business leaders are digital natives who understand the need for real-time actionable insights that will help them respond quickly to changing business conditions.

Outsourced Accounting and Finance Services

Fortunately, a confluence of trends has contributed to the growing practice known as “Client Accounting Services” or CAS, which pulls together traditional accounting services with expertise in the rapidly growing cloud-based accounting tools and integration that smaller businesses rely on.

Widespread adoption of cloud-based accounting tools has fueled growth in digital accounting options such as QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks, Xero, Zoom and other small business solutions.

At the same time, integration of accounting and bookkeeping functions with these platforms has resulted in more demand for cloud-based features such as bank account linkage, automatic payments and merchant services, as well as integrated apps like Square, Bill.com, Expensify, Tsheets and PayPal.

Business owners understand that these digital solutions can help their businesses by yielding real-time insights about sales, profit margins, cost of goods, workforce utilization and more. They needn’t wait till the end of the month for those metrics.

But they don’t have the capacity to keep up with the expanding capabilities and complex integrated applications. Working with outside professionals who are experts in the technology enables them to find customized solutions.

The Outsourced CAS Solution

That’s where Outsourced Client Accounting Services come in. A CAS team can put together the right combination of accounting software and integrated applications to produce real-time insights that enable you to see where your business is going on a daily or weekly basis. Armed with business metrics that are customized to your operation, you can nip small problems in the bud before they become big problems.

With the flexible capacity and resource levels of outsourced CAS services, you are free from concern about over-hiring or under-hiring in your finance and accounting department. Your business may need 20 hours a week of bookkeeping and five hours a week of CFO-level services. But you can’t hire that way. An outsourced CAS team can tailor the service level – and fees – to your company’s needs.

Is Outsourced Accounting Right For Your Business?

Generally, CAS services are valuable for companies that rely on standard accounting platforms such as QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online, and which may have multiple entities.

For example, an optometry practice may have separate entities for its professional services and for selling its optic merchandise. Multiple entities add complexity to the bookkeeping and accounting that a business must do.

Additionally, you may want to consider outsourced CAS services if:
  1. You downsized or furloughed employees as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic but still need assistance.
  2. You are planning to seek additional bank financing.
  3. You feel like you’re working hard but not getting ahead – something is wrong but you need help identifying where the weakness lies.
  4. Your company is growing and you want to improve on current performance.

If you think CAS services may be right for your business, please contact us for a consultation.