Virtual Accounting and CFO Services – What You Should Know
by John H. Higgins, CPA, CITP, strategic technology advisor, CPA Crossings, LLC –
June 5, 2017
The opportunity to provide new and innovative services does not come very often to the CPA profession. So when a new offering emerges, it is important to take note and learn all about it so that you can make a strategic decision as to whether or not to get your firm involved. The newest growth opportunity for accounting professionals is to provide outsourced accounting and/or CFO services. This article will provide you with a primer on what this opportunity is all about.
What makes virtual accounting and CFO services new and innovative is the way in which cloud-based software solutions are leveraged to deliver services to your clients that are relevant, timely and in high demand. Core to the success of every business is the ability to optimize the allocation of financial and personnel resources. Leveraging virtual accounting and CFO services via the cloud offers many businesses the best option. Essentially, you are providing your clients the opportunity to outsource to your firm a function that they typically do not like to be bothered with and lack the skills to perform effectively.
So what exactly are we talking about? The concept is to establish an accounting service delivery model using cloud based software solutions that allow for maximum efficiency through a high degree of workflow automation for payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash management and financial reporting.
The value proposition for your clients:
- More relevant and timely information to make informed business decisions
- Higher quality of financial information at a lower cost
- Anytime, anywhere, any device access to the information they need to run their business
- Alleviate their responsibility for the technology issues related to securing their accounting and financial information and protecting it from disasters
The value proposition for your firm:
- Attract new clients from near and far
- Provide additional revenue with a high margin
- Increase the valuation of your practice for succession via “sticky” client service
- Recruit and retain young professionals with a state of the art accounting service delivery model
This service opportunity should be considered by every existing CPA firm. It is an especially great option for those who may be looking to start up a new practice. The cost of entry is very low and can be delivered successfully in a sole practitioner model. The scope of services you choose to offer can range from full scale transaction processing and financial reporting to a simpler model serving as a virtual CFO who provides clients with a KPI (key performance indicator) dashboard and serves as their financial coach. Either way, it is a new service opportunity that is ripe for the picking!