Bill Payment: The Cornerstone for CAS—Part 1
There’s money to be made!
Especially for accounting firms who expand into Client Accounting Services (also known as client advisory services or CAS). Make no mistake about it, digital business bill payment and outsourced bookkeeping is the next frontier for accounting firm growth.
In 2016 the Journal of Accountancy released their National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey which notably found that:
“The percentage of net client fees provided by CAS, which includes outsourced finance and accounting services and other back-office support for clients, more than doubled for firms in the largest revenue segment … and showed top-line revenue growth among firms of all sizes. Among firms with revenue of at least $10 million that offer virtual CFO and other client accounting services, CAS accounted for 9% of net client fees, up from 3.9% in the 2014 MAP survey. The CAS category also produced double-digit percentage gains in the next two largest MAP segments—firms with annual revenue of $5 million to $10 million and those with annual revenue of $1.5 million to $5 million.”
Regardless of whether your firm makes $10 million plus or far less, adding at least a 9% increase in revenue is a sizeable chunk of change. But, recognizing potential is half the battle. The key question here is—how are you going to implement and deliver on these returns? With this in mind, I offer a two-part blueprint for building your Client Accounting Services—starting with bill payments.
Part 1: Jumpstart your CAS by making bill payment more efficient and profitable.
According to Gary Boomer, an accounting visionary and strategist at Boomer Consulting Inc., bill payment is a gateway to adding more components of CAS. By beginning with bill payments, you build a base of opportunities to introduce new services such as payroll, budgeting, CFO consulting, and strategic planning. Not only are you adding revenue, but as you expand your services and move up Boomer’s “pyramid of services,” you’re transforming your firm from a transaction-based organization to a trusted and valued advisor.
With a digital bill payment process solution like Bill.com, efficiency increases exponentially. Bills are entered digitally and moved through the review process based on your clients’ guidelines. Bill.com completely eliminates the need for checks by offering digital payments such as ACH and EFT. The painful paper process that eats up valuable time, and makes CAS unattainable, is taken out of the equation. When you add in mobility, workflow automation, and digital document management, you’ve built a tight bill payment machine which reduces your entire process by 50 percent. Think of the time and effort you can save, and the added potential to offer reasonable rates for bill payment while still making a profit.
And this is just the beginning. Bill payment is the stepping stone for a larger, longer-term strategy to offer a suite of service offerings to both clients and prospects.
Next week we’ll tackle Part 2! I'll provide a relevant, life-like example and walk you through how to implement Bill.com.
Want to learn more?
I will be co-hosting a three-hour workshop with CPA.com detailing how to build a CAS ecosystem that will help your firm realize the potential in optimizing Bill.com to improve your efficiency and CAS revenue stream. This in-person class is a must for clients who want to take their CAS to the next level. Reach out to your Bill.com account rep to learn how you can secure a free pass to this session!
The 2017 Digital CPA Conference is all about transforming your firm from transactional-based accounting services to a trusted business advisor. This conference will help ensure that your firm is future ready by covering the trends in firm business models and the latest emerging cloud technology.