The evolution of client advisory services (CAS), a practice for helping clients outsource their accounting needs with services spanning a spectrum of financial, accounting, and advisory-related offerings, is one of the most significant developments in the profession, creating new opportunities for revenue growth among firms of all sizes. Just as important, CAS is a valuable tool for deepening client relationships, serving as a runway for firms to step into the role of strategic advisor for their clients.
CAS’s growth in recent years has been well documented. Has this growth been sustained, or is it flagging? How have firms’ CAS strategies shifted as this practice area matures? How has staffing been impacted? These are all the types of questions the AICPA and CPA.com seek to answer in the CAS Benchmark Survey report to give firms the insights they need to successfully launch and grow their CAS practices.
We’ve recently released the 2022 CAS Benchmark Survey report, which contains plenty of valuable insights to inform firm leaders’ CAS efforts. It also shows continued strong growth for this practice area.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the highlights.
Another year of double-digit growth in CAS
CAS practices reported a median growth rate of 16% for CAS in the 2022 survey, showing impressive double-digit growth for the last three iterations of the survey. Respondents also indicated that there’s plenty of room to grow, reporting a median projected growth rate of 15%.
Client demand remains high
For survey respondents who track their sales pipelines, 81% of Top Performing firms – and 72% of All Respondents – reported confidence that their pipeline will support continued growth in CAS. “Firms that aren’t looking at the big picture – the ones that are operating in the moment, day to day, rather than planning for a longer-term legacy – are likely to miss out on important opportunities to grow,” says Nina Chmura, CPA and partner at Withum Smith+Brown. “This is the moment. Firms should actively consider whether and how CAS fits with their strategic goals for growth and act accordingly.”
Firms with dedicated CAS staff are seeing big results
Dedicated CAS staffing is widely viewed as a best practice – and in this survey, the results support this view. Sixty-seven percent of Top Performers have dedicated staff for their CAS practices, compared to 52% of all other respondents. The median net client fees per professional (NCFPP) for those top performers are nearly double the revenue per professional FTE reported across all respondents – a sign that staff fully dedicated to offering CAS are able to gain significant efficiencies over those who aren’t.
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Be sure to check out the complete 2022 AICPA and CPA.com CAS Benchmark Survey report for a closer look at these findings and connect the data to CAS best practices. We are also hosting a webinar on January 17, 2023, to discuss the survey findings in more detail – register here to reserve your spot.
CPA.com offers a wide range of practical resources for firms looking to realize the full potential of these client advisory services. The 2022 CAS Benchmark Survey is just the tip of the iceberg – from webinars and workshops to white papers, articles, case studies and more, the CAS section of our site is packed with resources for both established practices and those that are just starting their CAS journey. Visit https://www.cpa.com/client-advisory-services to find these resources, sign up for the webinar, and more.