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Entries in client accounting (2)

Tuesday
Nov212017

Three steps to regain control of client accounting

It stands to reason that small business owners would rather spend their time focused on their businesses, and not accounting work. In fact, according to a survey by SCORE, 40 percent of small business owners said dealing with bookkeeping and taxes are the single worst parts of owning a company. Compounding the problem is that the more clients are involved in bookkeeping (without any accounting knowledge), the more mistakes accountants are left cleaning up.

These problems are the easily foreseeable results of using popular DIY accounting software like QuickBooks – solutions that were created primarily for the needs of small businesses, not for professional use. And when accountants are stuck in this sort of reactive position in client accounting, that's a lose-lose for both them and their clients.

But historically, most accountants felt they didn't have a choice. Virtually all of the accounting systems on the market today are DIY systems. Even most cloud-based accounting systems are created primarily for small businesses, and are based on the DIY model. Here's the amazing part: Despite knowing that most small businesses don’t like performing accounting tasks, most accounting system software providers continue to push DIY accounting systems to small businesses.

Want to end this cycle and regain control over your accounting engagements? Here's how to get started.

 

Make the most of the cloud

The only way to make accounting highly profitable for you, and make your services more relevant to your clients, is to put you – the accountant - back in the driver’s seat. That’s what we call an Accountant-Centric approach.

A professional system based on this Accountant-Centric approach provides everything you need for your professional work — write-up, trial balance, preparation of fully customizable financial statements, and analytics, along with a general ledger system that includes banking, accounts receivable, accounts payable, job costing and inventory. It's a fully unified cloud-based system for both professionals and clients. The Accountant-Centric approach is the brainchild of AccountantsWorld, and our cloud-based professional accounting system Accounting Power is based on this Accountant-Centric approach.

With an advanced solution like Accounting Power, accountants can customize their services for each individual client, based on their needs and preferences.

For clients who’d like to offload all their accounting work to you, your firm can now deliver complete accounting services, including bill payments, bookkeeping, monitoring cash flow, and preparing financial statements. The Workflow Manager included in Accounting Power helps your staff perform at peak efficiency, and lets you oversee the entire accounting practice from a single dashboard. And no one has to print a single check - all bills are paid with a mouse click using innovative digital checks. The only thing your clients have to do is either scan or take a snapshot of invoices to be paid using their smartphones.

For clients who prefer some involvement, accountants can set up the system to give their clients access to specific functions they can perform comfortably without making errors. For example, clients who crave some involvement may only want to use Accounting Power to write checks and enter deposits. Accountants can tailor the program to let them perform those functions quickly. Clients who want another level of involvement may want the ability to handle account receivables and account payables. Accountants can personalize the solution to meet the needs of both the hands-off and engaged client.

Whatever level of involvement you and your clients agree upon, your time is now freed up to focus on providing value, such as identifying growth opportunities or flagging discrepancies or threats to the client’s business.

Deliver more value to clients beyond bookkeeping and taxes

Accountants can continue to demonstrate their value to their clients by offering a more diverse and strategic set of services. The AICPA and other industry experts agree that the next major growth opportunity for accounting firms - large or small - is in offering Client Accounting Services (CAS). With Accountant-Centric collaborative solutions, accountants can analyze the whole picture of a client’s finances to offer real-time strategic advice, and provide significantly deeper value beyond preparing simple financials and doing taxes.

The more high-value services that an accountant can offer their client, the stronger their client relationships will be, which can boost retention and create a strong referral network for the accounting firm amongst existing clients.

DIY accounting systems may have been the norm for the past several years, but cloud-based professional accounting systems like Accounting Power have shifted the balance of power back to accountants and created an opportunity for small businesses to get back to doing what they love most - running their businesses, and not dealing with the headaches of bookkeeping, taxes and payroll. Cloud solutions benefit both accountants and their clients, and empower accountants to offer more strategic value to their clients’ businesses.

Schedule a free live demo of Accounting Power and see how your firm can regain control of client accounting.


Wednesday
Jun292016

Accountants, Cure Your Client's Pain - And Yours Too

Recently, I attended a meeting of small business owners and casually asked how many of them enjoyed doing accounting. Out of a group of about 30 business owners, three hands went up.

I’d guess that if you were to poll your own clients, the results wouldn’t be much different. You know from experience that the vast majority of small businesses find accounting work to be a hassle.

For many small business owners, managing accounting functions is simply a distraction from what they love to do - growing their businesses. Accounting is mostly seen as a regulatory burden, and few small businesses use accounting tools proactively to manage their business finances.

Finally, it’s often hard for small businesses to get competent accounting or bookkeeping staff or help. And you know well what the consequences are for you and your clients. For one, you spend a significant amount of your time fixing the bookkeeping errors clients make. Numerous surveys of accounting practices have rated this as one of the major challenges accountants face.

How Did This Happen?

All of the above are the easily foreseeable results of using popular DIY accounting software like QuickBooks – solutions that were created for small businesses, but not for professional use.

The question then arises - why recommend these DIY accounting programs to your clients? The response from most accountants is straightforward – “what choice do I have?”

Virtually all of the accounting systems on the market today are DIY systems. Even most cloud-based accounting systems are created primarily for small businesses, and are based on the DIY model. Here's the amazing part: Despite knowing that most small businesses don’t like performing accounting tasks, most accounting system software providers continue to push DIY accounting systems to small businesses.

So What’s the Solution?

It’s simple – eliminate the need for your small business clients to perform accounting functions in their offices, and have your firm handle all accounting functions for them!

You can become the solution by offering complete accounting services to your clients, including paying bills, recording transactions, performing trial balance work, creating financials, and managing your clients’ cash flow and business finances.

Not surprisingly, accountants usually find that the DIY systems that were created for small businesses aren’t the right solutions to offer complete accounting services to their clients. To deliver such services effectively, you need a cloud-based professional accounting system that lets your staff do what your clients’ staff currently does… only faster, better and more accurately, without leaving your office.

What to Look for in a Professional Accounting System

Not all of your clients will choose to engage you to perform all of their accounting functions, and you’ll have clients who want to continue to do some accounting work. But your professional system should let you work collaboratively with those clients, giving you the ability to customize the system for each client to let them do the tasks they feel comfortable performing.

A professional system should help your firm perform write-up work efficiently for the clients who don’t want to stop writing manual checks. Automatic bank feeds can cut data entry time significantly, reducing your write-up time by 50-70%.

To accommodate the clients who continue to use another system, choose a solution that has powerful trial balance capabilities and lets you prepare fully customizable financial statements easily. For maximum efficiency, look for a system that lets you easily import client data into your accounting system to perform trial balance work and prepare financials.

And, to help you to offer virtual CFO services to your clients, look for a system that provides a comprehensive dashboard, alerts, and snapshot capabilities.

 

 

 DIY accounting solutions were a necessity of the desktop, but neither you nor your clients have to live with their limitations any longer. The cloud has opened the door to bring complete accounting services back to accountants. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to grow your practice and serve your clients better.

Webinar: Beyond Quickbooks