Bookkeeping isn't every accountant’s idea of a good time; it can be tedious, hard to bill at your ideal rate, and pricey to hire in-house. Offering it as a service to your clients, however, can be a huge value-add—especially if you don’t have to do it yourself. Josh Bauerle, owner of CPA on Fire, offers bundled packages that cover all the accounting bases for his clients. He outsources some of his client services, allowing him to scale his practice and focus his time on what he does best.
Bauerle’s firm works primarily with entrepreneurs specializing in online businesses. “Early on, I started doing the tax work for a business called Entrepreneur on Fire. They have one of the top business podcasts on iTunes. They liked the work I did, so for the past four years, they’ve had me on the podcast each month to give tax tips for entrepreneurs. That’s probably responsible for at least half of our client base and spurred a lot of the other opportunities.” CPA on Fire offers a full suite of services, including tax preparation and planning. Bauerle also advises entrepreneurs, helping them choose and set up the best entity for operating their businesses.
Do what you do best—outsource the rest
Initially, Bauerle had a few frustrating false starts with bookkeeping in-house. “I wanted to offer it, because people ask about it all the time, but I couldn’t find the right person to run it. I brought someone on who I’d worked with at a CPA firm. He was great at it, but he didn’t like it. I tried bringing on someone else, but he was terrible at it.”
No stranger to automating services, Bauerle began exploring companies to partner with. “You want a company that really specializes in that area. For us to try and build that team, it was just super frustrating,” he says. “I’d had some clients that used Bench and I knew they did good work, so that led me to talking with them and here we are.” For Bauerle, Bench for Accountants gave him the capability to offer integrated bookkeeping with his other services, without having to hire additional staff.
Offering the total package
Many of his clients have just started to become profitable in their business. They have questions about general setup, reducing their year-end taxes and, of course, what they should be doing for bookkeeping. To keep up with growing demand and continue scaling his own business, Bauerle began outsourcing any services he could. “We outsourced payroll, sales tax, and bookkeeping so we could focus on the actual tax prep and tax set up. This helps us become the best at what we actually do. This also allowed us to scale our time so we could bring on more clients.”
CPA on Fire began offering a bundled package to their clients, combining bookkeeping, payroll, sales tax, and tax prep. “We basically take every single accounting and tax piece off the client’s plate. We handle all of it, whether we do it ourselves or outsource it,” he says. “It’s opened up a brand new service package for us.”
Look forward to tax season (really)
Baurele found that when clients have consistent bookkeeping year-round, they save hours of work during tax time, and they’re also in a better position to make financial adjustments when necessary.
On his end, Bauerle anticipates the work for his Bench-integrated clients will be dramatically simplified come tax season. “A lot of our clients aren’t doing anything with their books throughout the year, and then they’ll come to us and realize they have to have all these things ready and they have to be done a certain way. They’ll have to spend a huge amount of time getting that together,” he says. “Clients using Bench won’t need to do anything. We can sign in to their Bench portal ourselves and pull everything we need. We love it when our clients have professional bookkeeping.”
Outsourcing tasks like bookkeeping can help you scale your practice by taking the things off your plate that you can’t or don’t want to do. It lets you offer the services your clients want, and ultimately, saves you time. Finding the right external partners allowed Bauerle to offer his clients total accounting packages, while still enabling him to focus his time on his most valuable work.
You can read more about our Bench for Accountants program here.