The AICPA has released the 2022 CAS benchmark survey results, and we’ve taken the time to pull out the top takeaways that might affect your business decisions in the coming year!
Client Advisory Services (CAS) are becoming more and more popular, and many accounting and bookkeeping firms have begun to see the true value in their expert advice — to both their clients and their own bottom line. As CAS becomes more and more popular, the AICPA survey aims to collect information about what makes the best CAS practices so efficient and profitable. To read the full report, you can visit AICPA’s website here.
For the “tldr” version, here are 4 things that stuck out to us.
Signs Point to Growth
According to the survey, since 2018, CAS practices have seen growth in the double digits. From 2021 to 2022, that growth was 16%. That’s definitely not too shabby. The top CAS firms are also projecting 15% on average for 2023. Additionally, 72% of practitioners have reported that their client pipeline is healthy and indicates growth.
Standardization is Key
The next key takeaway from the AICPA survey is the increased standardization of CAS practices. Over 70% of firms now use workflow tools, which allows for improved consistency in processes. With such standardization in place, staff can interact with clients and conduct work without having to undergo specialized training for each tool and process.
Don’t Be Afraid to Innovate
Many of the top-performing CAS practices attribute their growth and success to a willingness to innovate. Practices are trying new business models, including outsourcing bookkeeping. Another example of this innovation is the rise of remote work. According to the AICPA, nearly half of the surveyed practitioners report working at least 80% from home. Around 20% work entirely from home already.
There is Room for Growth
Among the challenges facing CAS sales, practices cited their clients’ lack of understanding of advisory services and their values as the number one obstacle. It can be difficult to explain your prices and the value of your services when neither you nor your client has ever put a price on advice before. So, pay attention in the coming year to new and upcoming strategies for explaining and selling services.
The numbers are in, and the continued growth and success of CAS practices are proving their staying power and further future opportunities. If you’re in the consideration stage at your practice for developing advisory service, check out our earlier post to help get you started. As an accountant, you already know the ins and outs of your client’s finances. That means you might be uniquely suited to become an advisor. For firms that have already made the switch, this survey offers some good insight into what’s working and what isn’t when selling your services.