How Accountants Build an Advantage with Time & Attendance Services
January 17, 2020
But it’s no picnic in the real world, either. From 186 pages of last-minute tax regulations to the threats posed by cyber criminals, there are plenty of dragons to slay, along with the more day-to-day challenges of keeping your business competitive.
You don’t have to be Andy Dufresne to recognize that a practice built too narrowly can leave your prospects for growth confined. An accounting practice that relies entirely on tax services and/or auditing can find itself buffeted by competition and pricing pressure, not to mention the seasonal boom and bust of tax preparation season.
Today, many CPAs have moved to escape the commoditization of their services by branching out into payroll, consulting and other offerings that lead to stronger client relationships and opportunities for growth.
CPAs without the resources for accomplishing such diversification can find themselves falling behind. In the modern business world, there is always a competitor waiting to take advantage of the slack in your business model or the chinks in your armor. But what if you could be the one taking advantage?
Digital Efficiency that Pays Dividends in Time & Capabilities
For the growing number of CPAs offering payroll services as a way of diversifying beyond tax season, the right time and attendance software is more than a convenience. It’s a way to work with your clients at an even higher level of efficiency that goes above and beyond automation to achieve a business advantage. It’s an edge.
“People often don’t realize how much time they’re spending having to edit time cards and upload information.” – Andrew Ackerman, Timerack regional sales manager.
When you share the benefits of state-of-the-art time and attendance software with your clients, you give them an edge, too. They get features that can help streamline hiring, control overtime costs, and manage compliance reporting. They get at-a-glance visibility and reporting into elements like pay differentials and scheduling. They get a system that can be customized to meet the needs of their business, whether their employees punch in at the same office or travel to a different job site every day. And maybe more than anything else, they get time they can use to grow their business.
An accountant who can offer them all of that is going to be one popular accountant.
“People often don’t realize how much time they’re spending having to edit timecards and upload information,” says Andrew Ackerman, a regional sales manager with Timerack.
Indiana CPA & Payroll Provider Offers Peace of Mind and Time Savings
Leah Griffin, payroll manager at a southern Indiana Payroll Vault franchise, has seen the results firsthand. The franchise is owned and operated by a CPA who has offered payroll services for more than two decades. Being able to offer Timerack time and attendance software to their larger clients has helped the franchise provide a wider array of solutions and saved their clients a lot of time and headache, Griffin says.
Sometimes clients don’t realize they’ve outgrown a spreadsheet and paper timecard system. They might know they’re spending too much time … but they don’t know there’s a better way, or they don’t know who they can trust out of the bazillion time and attendance systems out there.
But extra time spent pulling time and attendance data together with a clunky manual process week after week adds up quickly.
“We can recognize a pain point for our clients if it’s taking them well into the week to send us last week’s payroll,” she said. “With Timerack they’re able to send it to us Monday morning.”
For other clients, having a state-of-the-art time and attendance system simply brings “peace of mind,” Griffin says.
From a health care business struggling to pull together data from four locations with an ancient time clock and paper cards, to a tree trimming service that needed a way to allow employees to punch in from different job sites without the risk of “buddy punching,” Timerack features have allowed Payroll Vault to come to the rescue of clients who saved time, money and resources.
In the case of the health care business, Griffin says the business was not only spending too much time on an outdated system, the process was dependent on a single employee, leaving the business in a risky position when the employee became ill. “We were able to show them the cost” of having an inefficient and outdated system, she said.
Because Timerack is also fully integrated with the Thomson Reuters Accounting CS payroll system that Payroll Vault uses, it’s a time saver for their business as well. “Timerack integration with Thomson Reuters is a huge selling point for accounting firms,” Griffin says. “It’s going to save them so much time.”
By eliminating the need for manual data entry, direct bi-directional integration between Timerack and Accounting CS also reduces the potential for errors.
“There is a lot of room for human error with manual entry,” Griffin says. “With direct integration, we don’t have to worry about that. We don’t have to sit and key hours and double and triple check the numbers.”
Time Savings Multiplied
The best time and attendance software can save your clients more than just time spent editing timecards. How about built-in HR tools that help with tasks like applicant tracking, onboarding, benefits administration, performance reviews, expense reimbursement, workers’ compensation, compliance and notifications for things like licensing expiration and scheduled training? For smaller clients without the benefit of a full HR department, features like these provide more than efficiency. They are another way to reduce risk.
Now you’re looking a lot less like accounting help and more like an all-around trusted business resource. Because when your clients learn that they can set their time and attendance software to track and control overtime costs, or to help them comply with the reporting provisions of the Affordable Care Act or the EEOC, or to manage the requirements of their government contract work, they’re going to wonder why you’re not wearing a cape. Seriously, you’d look good in a cape.
Nature of Operations: Multi-Century Empire, Farming, Gold Mines, etc.
The House of Lannister Inc. Consolidated Financial Statements
Find a system that also integrates with your payroll software so that you can upload your clients’ payroll data with a click, and your partners are going to want to hoist you up in a chair and buy you drinks after work.
With all the time you’re saving, you’ll be there in time for happy hour, while the other working stiffs are still hunched over their spreadsheets. As Ben Wyatt might say, “Calcu-later, working stiffs!”
Can you wear your cape in public? Why are you asking permission? You can’t spell cape without CPA.
How to Wear a Cape Like a Badass
It’s not as complicated as you think. But don’t take our word for it. What do the experts at WhoWhatWear.com have to say?
“It’s not as complicated as you think,” say the experts at WhoWhatWear.com
Wear it with jeans, swap it in place of your coat, make a dramatic entrance in a multicolored cape, sling it over one shoulder like you just don’t care, wear an all-black studded wool and silk-blend cape like a badass. It’s your cape, you’ve earned it.
Grow Their Business, Grow Your Business
When payroll and time and attendance are integrated, it’s also hedge against errors. One study cited by the American Payroll Association reports that organizations that use a combined solution are 44% more likely to have a payroll error rate of under 2%.
Payroll and time keeping processes are key to the health of any business and a system that leverages them for data and reporting capabilities is a system that provides solutions in bundles, delivering ROI for both you and your clients.
When you can offer your clients products and services that help them be more effective at running their business, you’ve provided more than a commodity. In your new role as hero, you can grow what was a practice into a business, competing with big box outfits who offer all those bundled services, only you’ll be doing it for less and with a more personalized level of customer service.
Your services will be more profitable and your clients will stick around long after tax season when you offer them tools that help them do more:
- Automated leave tracking and PTO calculations
- Overtime tracking and management
- Bi-directional integration with Thomas Reuters Accounting CS software
- Easily bridged to other payroll software
- Easy submission of EEO-1 and ACA compliance data
- Single platform visibility and management
- Easy activation and deactivation of seasonal employees
- Easy management of clients with multiple year-ends
- Secure retention of payroll records for compliance and protection against overtime claims
- Onboarding and benefits tracking
You’ll make money, retire at 40 and sell your business while you’re still young enough to pull off the cape. How’s that for a business plan?
Want to learn more about what Timerack can do for your accounting business? Read our Whitepaper how payroll, time and attendance, and HR services can increase your profitability and client retention.