Our firm’s Client Accounting & Advisory Services (CAAS) Group is focused on providing timely, accurate information to business owners and senior managers who need to make informed decisions about their organizations. But what does that mean for you and your business?
Maybe you are just starting out and have no idea what you need. Or maybe you have been in business for so long you feel you know everything needed to run your business. Either way, we invite you to read on to gain a better understanding of your options as you ask yourself, “Do I need it?”.
CAAS Services generally fall into four key categories:

Compliance – These services focus on preparing forms or reports required by government or other agencies and include:
• Tax preparation
• Tax planning
• Workers’ compensation audits
• Tax audits
• After-the-fact financial statement preparation
• Financial reporting.

DO I NEED IT? – This is the most common type of service provided because everyone needs to remain in compliance with someone! (IRS, state authority, bank, grant program, etc.) – YES, you need it.

Transactional – These services include day-to-day accounting activities such as:
• Setting up bills and paying vendors (accounts payable)
• Creating invoices and processing customer receipts (accounts receivable,
• Account reconciliations and cash management

DO I NEED IT? – Maybe. These services can be perfect for business owners who don’t have the time or necessary employees to perform these tasks on a consistent basis OR want the comfort of having a CPA Firm reviewing these items on a regular basis. Not-for-Profit Organizations in particular benefit from outsourcing these services when no one on staff is well versed in accounting functions.

Education – These services include:
• Training on various accounting software platforms
• Redesigning of accounting files
• Integration of applications
• Training of staff on current or more efficient accounting processes

DO I NEED IT? – YES! In the last five years, accounting technology and efficiency applications have improved at tremendous rate. Every business should routinely evaluate their accounting software and get help ensuring their financial processes are streamlined and efficient. This can help raise productivity and reduce costs across operations. Whether it is training on current software or investigating new options utilizing automation and artificial intelligence (AI), most businesses can benefit from a technology check-up.

Advisory – This is the most varied form of services and can include anything from fractional or outsource CFO roles that provide strategic financial planning and modeling, benchmarking, or dashboard creation on a recurring basis to one-time projects to improve data analytics, reporting or best practices.

DO I NEED IT? – The answer to this question is clear! Do you want to remain competitive in your industry? Are you facing an important life-cycle event like expanding into new markets or deciding to sell? Do you want to have someone with years of experience on your team without hiring them full time? Are you confused about current trends or market indicators? Do you agonize over making critical decisions? If you answered yes to any of these questions (or others) then consider using a trusted advisor to create a meaningful ongoing advisory relationship.
CAAS is a continually evolving and maturing sector of public accounting. The services from firm to firm are as varied as the clients who use them. Finding the right balance between yesterday (compliance), today (transactional and education) and tomorrow (advisory) is something no business owner should ignore.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the SobelCo CAAS Department for more information.

About the Author

Ellen Marvin is a Director in the Client Accounting + Advisory Services (CAAS) Practice at SobelCo. She has been at the Firm for 21 years and has spent over 30 years as an accountant in New Jersey. She has a tax specialty in "CAAS" functions, making Ellen the ideal person to help create and launch this practice area. Ellen developed her technical expertise while working with clients, helping them with accounting and compliance issues, selecting accounting software, implementing efficiency and te...