For busy entrepreneurs and business leaders, Client Accounting Services, or CAS for short, can offer huge benefits. As a business leader, you’re well aware of the importance of reliable accounting and financial reporting to the success of your business. However, it’s fair to say many businesses lack the resources and expertise to successfully staff and manage their own internal accounting department.
In these scenarios, the solution lies in outsourcing their accounting needs to an external accounting firm that provides client accounting services. This is a service that many accounting firms have provided for years. Thanks to recent developments in technology, such as the advent of cloud-based accounting platforms and dramatically improved remote communication tools, it’s easier to outsource your accounting now than at any time in the past. As a result, client accounting services are rapidly growing in popularity.
If you haven’t outsourced any accounting tasks until now, it’s natural to be unsure about whether it’s a good match for your business. You might lack clarity on the types of accounting tasks you can outsource to an external partner or not realize the benefits you stand to experience from taking this approach.
In this overview, we’ll outline exactly what client accounting services are and share the accounting tasks that can be outsourced. We’ll also explore the benefits businesses can unlock from outsourcing their accounting needs to an experienced client accounting services provider like Strothman+Co.
Client Accounting Services: A Definition
What are Client Accounting Services? Here’s a simple definition:
When a business outsources their CAS, it simply means that they outsource some, or all, of their accounting processes to an external accounting firm.
Businesses have the freedom to choose which tasks they want to outsource. These are typically tasks that would be performed by an internal accounting department, including preparing financial reports and running payroll. Depending on the service provider, businesses can outsource some or all of their accounting processes.
Client accounting services are often referred to as outsourced accounting services. These services are typically ongoing engagements. Businesses tend to work with the same CAS provider for a long time, and will often add additional services, such as tax planning or strategic advisory services.
Which Accounting Tasks Can Be Outsourced?
Depending on the CAS firm you choose to partner with, it’s possible to outsource all manner of accounting tasks. These can vary from setting up your accounting infrastructure to helping shape the future financial strategy of your business.
Generally, CAS can be categorized into three distinct service tiers:
- Bookkeeping services
- Accounting and Controller services
- Chief Financial Officer (CFO) services
Let’s take a closer look at the sorts of tasks that can be outsourced under these three categories.
Bookkeeping is the foundation of all good accounting. It’s a relatively low-level position but one that’s vital to the success of your business. It’s the bookkeeper’s role to organize your financial data and ensure your records are accurate.
That entails tasks including:
- Reconciling bank accounts
- Maintaining ledgers and recording transactions
- Tracking accounts receivable and accounts payable
The majority of these tasks are relatively monotonous and time-consuming, and as such, they can be a real drain for entrepreneurs and business owners. By outsourcing these services to a CAS firm, leaders can reclaim their time and rest easy knowing their financial records will be accurate.
Accounting and Controller Services
In addition to simple bookkeeping tasks, there are also more advanced accounting tasks that entrepreneurs can outsource to a CAS provider. This saves business owners from hiring a dedicated CPA on a full-time salary. Instead, they can access the services of external CPAs who work for CAS firms on an as-needed basis.
Popular accounting tasks that can be outsourced to a client accounting service include:
- Set up and ongoing management of digital accounting tools
- Financial reporting, including the creation of important reports such as Profit & Loss Statements and Balance Sheets
- Communicating with external financial partners such as banks and lenders
Many of these tasks would form part of the responsibilities of a Controller. For that reason, some CAS providers brand these services as “outsourced controller services”. While there may be some differences between different firms, accounting services and controller services are broadly similar.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Services
Many CAS firms only provide bookkeeping and accounting services, but others provide a more advanced service: an outsourced Chief Financial Officer, or CFO. This service tends to be more of a strategic advisory engagement, offering businesses access to proven financial leadership that helps them to reach their financial goals on an accelerated timeline.
An outsourced CFO can provide a variety of services. Many outsourced CFO services take a flexible approach and provide advisory services tailored to the unique needs of your business.
Services typically include:
- Defining financial strategy
- Financial forecasting and budgeting
- Building internal financial controls and business processes
- Overseeing debt or equity financing processes
Partnering with an outsourced CFO allows businesses of any size to leverage the expertise and skills of distinguished financial leaders. These services are often provided as a consulting engagement and may only last for a short period, although many businesses work with an outsourced CFO on an ongoing basis.
What Are the Benefits of Using Client Accounting Services?
Outsourcing your accounting needs to a CAS provider offers businesses many benefits. In simple terms, working with a client accounting services firm gives businesses access to high-quality accounting services at a fraction of the cost they would pay to have equivalent standards in-house.
There are a wide range of additional benefits that accompany this. Outsourcing accounting frees up more time for business owners to work on growing their businesses. There’s no need to spend time recruiting, onboarding, and managing an accounting team––everything is outsourced to a team that has all the tools and processes they need to hit the ground running.
Partnering with the right CAS firm ensures a rigorous, detailed approach to accounting that leverages best practices from across the financial industry. Business owners will benefit from increased clarity into their financial position and access to proven financial leadership that helps them move their business forward.
Strothman+Co: Your Client Accounting Services Expert
At Strothman+Co, we’re proud to provide client accounting services to many different kinds of businesses––from established real estate and construction firms to innovative startups in emerging markets.
It’s our philosophy to base our client accounting services on the needs of our clients. To that end, we offer a wide range of services encompassing everything from basic bookkeeping to advanced CFO-level guidance. We bring an entrepreneurial spirit to everything we do and understand what it takes to help take your business to the next level.
Are you ready to explore outsourcing some or all of your accounting needs to Strothman+Co? Contact us today.