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CAS, CAAS, Outsourcing, Trusted Advisor, what does it all mean?

CAS (or CAAS) stands for “Client Accounting Services” or “Client Accounting and Advisory Services.”  Still clear as mud, right?  These new buzz phrases refer to a variety of services that a CPA firm provides clients ranging from outsourced accounting and business processes to advisory and virtual controller/CFO services.

According to CPA.com’s 2021 Benchmark Survey CAAS is currently the fastest growing sector of CPA firms.

Often when people think of a CPA firm, tax and assurance (audit, review, and compilation) services are the first things that come to mind.  But those services, although essential in today’s world, don’t always offer an accountant the opportunity to develop deeper relationships with a client, and therefore a better understanding of the business/organization, in the same way that providing CAAS can.

Advisory services

CPA firms that offer these services move past being bookkeepers and become trusted advisors for their clients and truly a part of the management team.  The need for deeper-level advisory services really became evident over the past few years as businesses and non-profit organizations navigated the multitude of challenges that have arisen.  Between the nuances of the Cares Act, PPP loans, Employee Retention Credits, SBA loans, drastic changes in business models, and ever-increasing staffing issues, having an advisor who knows your business, your goals, and the specific challenges you face proves invaluable.  Organizations have questions and needs that go beyond the scope of tax advice or regulatory compliance.  They need a partner who has invested in them and built a strong relationship with them to help them make sound financial decisions in an increasingly complex environment.

Cloud-based software tools

Successful CAAS practices have developed strong software stacks that offer streamlining of tasks, clear segregation of duties, and overall efficiencies that a business may not otherwise have access to due to financial or personnel constraints.  Firms that offer these services can also deliver real-time data utilizing cloud-based tools to help management gain insight into their finances in ways that they have not had access to in the past.  One example of this is the Sage Intacct dashboard.  The dashboard offers a quick overview of financial and operational performance in real-time utilizing performance cards, graphs, charts, and customized reports.  This is supplemented with regular meetings with a virtual Controller or CFO who can help “tell the story” behind the numbers and act as a trusted advisor instead of a historian.  The outsourced controller/CFO often prepares the annual budget, attends strategic planning meetings, and presents at board meetings.

Wegner CPAs has been providing Client Accounting and Advisory Services to clients for over 10 years and embraces a personalized approach to your accounting needs as we start our relationship.  Learn more about Wegner CPAs CAAS services here.

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