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4 Best Practices for CAS Firms
Learn how you can accelerate CAS and bring your firm to a whole new level of client services
As many of us know, the last two years have brought dramatic shifts in routine and lifestyle. The “new norm” is now an expectation as we push ahead to establish our own versions of normalcy, forcing us to courageously adapt to new solutions and technologies in the process.
In following this trend, the accounting profession is experiencing rapid changes in the types of services they provide, with an increase in firms providing Client Accounting Services (CAS) as part of their core service offerings. In a recent survey conducted by Accounting Today, of 800 accounting firms, 42% of firms of all sizes confirmed they are already offering CAS, and another 15% of firms with plans to implement CAS within the next year.
Clients receiving CAS overwhelmingly agree that it saves time while increasing their revenue and profit margins. With a desire for more client-focused services, many have an expectation for their accounting firm to offer CAS since there is a clear benefit for partnering with their firm on a deeper business practice level.
In looking at the future of CAS firms, 9/10 accounting firms surveyed by Accounting Today see CAS as being important to the future of the firm, with the majority agreeing CAS provides opportunities for superior revenue growth. Clearly, CAS is on the horizon for many CPA firms. But with this, firms will need to make a critical decision on how they plan to bill for these valuable client focused services.
Let's take a closer look at the four leading best practices for CAS billing.
1. Implement subscription billing.
With a subscription billing model, CAS firms have a steady stream of revenue, enabling them to have a better grasp of their recurring income. When it comes to planning and evaluation of the firm’s monthly bottom line, subscription based billing is a valuable resource to implement as part of their CAS services.
With Aiwyn’s Intelligence-Based-Billing™, we make it easy for CAS firms to integrate subscription billing by providing firms and their clients with the necessary tools to set up recurring payments.
2. Apply a fixed fee - at minimal or no variable charges.
By having fixed fees with no or minimum variable charges, a firm can proactively estimate income and save time and energy every month. Furthermore, clients prefer to have fixed fees for service as it helps with their own monthly budgeting of expenses. With everything planned out, a firm will stay “in the know” of what will be billed that month, spend no time doing calculations, sending invoices, or collecting payments because it is all automated.
Pro Tip: Reassess fees on a quarterly or annual basis to ensure pricing is adequate for the work involved.
3. Pay in advance - on the 1st of each month.
Traditionally, CPAs bill at the end of each month. However for a CAS firm, it is better to bill at the beginning of the month in conjunction with a subscription, as it allows for better management of cash flows and ensures that if a client terminates unexpectedly, the firm avoids any unpaid invoices.
Our Intelligence-Based-Billing™ is the perfect solution for incorporating beginning of the month subscription based billing, alleviating the burden of retooling outdated bill payment systems.
4. Add an auto-draft subscription fee from your client's bank account.
Just like with a utility bill, with auto-draft of the subscription fee, funds from clients are automatically drafted from their bank account. Included with this feature is an automatic payment receipt sent to the client so they stay in the know. Additionally, a firm can enable auto payment reminders to inform the client their auto-draft is forthcoming.
While many firms are indeed moving towards offering CAS, they can only do so effectively with the right technology in place. But first, these firms will need to adopt technology that supports online payment and subscription billing, all in an easy to use platform clients and staff can access from anywhere. Those firms slow to adopt technology are at risk of missing out on a significant opportunity for growth, especially in relation to the accounting services clients want now more than ever.
With Aiwyn’s Intelligence-Based Billing™, firms are ideally positioned for supporting CAS and their related subscription billing options. Learn how this solution can directly help your firm.