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Accounting & Audit

80% of Businesses that Outsource Accounting LIkely to Refer Their Accountant

A new survey finds that businesses using an accounting firm’s client advisory services (CAS) report higher profits and greater financial insights. These clients are more satisfied with their accounting firms, with nearly 80 percent likely to provide ...

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A new survey finds that businesses using an accounting firm’s client advisory services (CAS) report higher profits and greater financial insights. These clients are more satisfied with their accounting firms, with nearly 80 percent likely to provide firm referrals. The study, conducted by Bill.com, the leading business payments company, and CPA.com, an AICPA company empowering CPAs for the digital age, reveals that companies can perform better when they outsource their accounting.

The 2018 Client Accounting Services (CAS) Survey, conducted by Bill.com with support from CPA.com, analyzed the responses of more than 1,700 companies to determine their opinion of CAS and how accounting services affect their businesses. Also called business process outsourcing or client accounting advisory services, CAS represents outsourced accounting, finance and back-office support, including AP, AR, payroll, virtual CFO services and the technologies that support them.

Findings include:

  • Eighty percent of CAS clients say they have more time to focus on their business.
  • Seventy-nine percent of companies that outsource accounting say they would refer their accountants. Sixty-eight percent report that accounting is easier and more efficient, thanks to CAS.
  • Half of the CAS clients say they worry less about mistakes.
  • Roughly 30 percent of companies outsourcing accounting have received advice from their accounting firms that has helped them increase profit. The same percentage also feels more prepared to make business decisions.

“Outsourcing helps accounting firms grow their positions as trusted financial advisors, while clients gain the tools they need to be successful – better financial insight, more time and expert guidance toward their goals. With these types of results, it’s not surprising that CAS clients will more often refer their accountants,” commented René Lacerte, CEO and founder of Bill.com.

Entry points for CAS

The survey pinpoints the accounting services businesses are most interested in outsourcing. One in five respondents say they are interested in outsourcing AP, AR and general ledger management.

“Accountants interested in building CAS realize that automating bill management is a key component. This is where most firms start when they begin building an outsourcing practice,” said Michael Cerami, vice president of marketing and business development for CPA.com.

How technology enhances CAS results

Tech-savvy companies discover more success overall when it comes to accounting. Thirty-three percent that welcome technology recommendations from accountants say they have increased revenue and/or profit compared to 15 percent of those that do not. Likewise, 28 percent say they have greater financial insight versus 8 percent for those that aren’t open to new technologies.

When technology combines with CAS, companies multiply their benefits. For businesses that use CAS, pay a set monthly fee for services and welcome technology recommendations, 44 percent say they have greater financial insight.

A full report of the study results is available here.

An infographic covering the survey results is available here.