When companies don’t have the talent to manage their accounting or finance needs internally, they turn to an outsourced back-office solution.
These outsourced accounting options typically include CPA firms, outsourced accounting providers, bookkeeping firms, and virtual CFOs.
To better understand and document macro trends within firms that offer client accounting services (CAS) or outsourced accounting (OA), Vic.ai surveyed 58 U.S.-based accountants that are part of CAS and OA teams.
The following is an excerpt from our report, The State of Client Accounting Services and Outsourced Accounting.
Which Best Describes Your Firm?
Before getting into the specifics on each firm, each participant began by selecting from a list of five choices, which best describes the combination of what each person does and for whom.
It was basically a tie for first place between “Outsourced Accounting at CPA Firm”- and- “Outsourced Bookkeeping/Accounting.” So nearly 77% of the participants described themselves in one of these two roles.
A small number of participants identified themselves as either “Other Role at CPA Firm” or “Internal Finance or Accounting.”
And a more significant amount (14.29%) categorized themselves as “Other.” Of the eight participants with “Other (please specify)” votes, five of those participants’ answers aligned closely to existing answer choices. And three of those participants mentioned either consulting or more specifically consulting to accounting firms.
Which Best Describes How Your Firm Refers to Client Accounting Services (CAS) / Outsourced Accounting (OA) in its Marketing and Sales Materials?
This next question was designed to understand the degree of consensus, or lack thereof, in how accounting firms describe their outsourced services in their marketing and sales materials. These categorizations typically show up in accounting firms’ website copywriting, website navigation menus, website home pages, and data sheets or brochures.
Outsourced Accounting Services and more broadly Accounting Services came out on top as the most popular way to describe services in marketing and sales materials.
Bookkeeping Services and CFO Services followed closely after that. Controller Services, Cloud Accounting, Small Business Accounting Services, and Client Accounting Services also garnered quite a few votes.
Within the other (please specify) category, no real consensus could be identified. Two participants mentioned variations of the dominant response: some kind of accounting services.
How Many Employees Work at Your Firm? (Across all Team(s)/Location(s))
Next, participants indicated the size of their firms. By an overwhelming near-majority, 1-10 employees was the most popular size category among survey participants.
Progressively fewer participants were from incrementally larger companies. In other words, across most company size categories, as the size of the firm increased, the number of participants from a firm that size decreased.
Looking at the big picture findings, about 82% of participants come from firms with 200 or fewer employees. And the remaining 18% work at firms with 201 to 5,000 employees.
In Which Region of the United States Are You Located?
Next, participants selected their location from among nine regions of the United States.
The largest numbers of survey participants came from the South Atlantic and Pacific regions.
South Atlantic is defined as every state on the east coast between Delaware and Florida. And Pacific is all the states on the west coast plus Alaska and Hawaii.
In this article, you’ve learned how each survey participant describes their firm, what each firm calls its client accounting or outsourced accounting services, how many employees work at each firm, and where each firm is located.
How does this survey data compare with your client account services or outsourced accounting firm? Tell us more in the section for comments below.
To learn the answers to all 30 questions asked in the survey, download your free copy of The State of Client Accounting Services and Outsourced Accounting.