Today’s small business owner faces a significantly greater challenge in managing human resources regulations at the federal and state levels along with increased regulation in all aspects of their business. Accounting firms that can assist their clients with managing human capital and financial concerns at the same time can truly stand out from the competition.
Clients Already Trust Their Accountants
According to a survey posted on AccountingWEB, more than 87 percent of small business owners express strong trust for their accountants. Accountants have earned that trust by offering professional, personalized service that goes beyond just helping them keep the books. Increasingly, small business owners turn to their accountants for advice on everything from human resources issues to business strategy. However, only two-thirds of people responding to the same survey said that they feel satisfied with the range of services their accountant currently offers.
Your accounting firm could reach an eager audience by stepping up to provide guidance with human resources issues. With nearly one-quarter of Accounting Web’s survey respondents stating they may look for a new accountant in the next year for this reason alone, you can be there exactly when people need your services the most.
Small Business Owners Struggle with Human Resources Compliance
Any business owner, regardless of the size of his or her company, can attest to the fact that managing human resources is becoming increasingly complex. In December 2017, CPA.com and Paychex joined forces to research what areas of human resources management small businesses needed help with the most and what percentage of accountants currently offered this help. Research uncovered that only 29 percent of accountants offered human resources help at that time. This is in stark contrast to 62 percent who offered payroll processing.
Small business owners are busy enough without the added worry of compliance and regulatory issues. They look to accountants to help keep them on track and steer clear of penalties and fines. In some cases, they outsource their human resources functions altogether. Here are the top human resources concerns that small business owners in the CPA.com and Paychex survey cited:
- Attendance and time
- Employee benefits
- Employee recruitment
- Employee retention
- Employee training and development
- Healthcare reform
- Management training and development
- Minimum wage
- Overtime laws
- Workplace Safety and Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) compliance
The demand for help with these issues is highest among small businesses with 20-49 employees. Many small business owners start out managing everything themselves when they have no or few employees. However, the ability to keep up with human resources issues on top of everything else reaches a breaking point the more employees the small business owner adds.
Is Your Accounting Firm Considering Adding These Services?
If you’re considering expanding your accounting firm to meet the demand for help with human resources issues, joining the Professional Accounting Small Business Association (PASBA) can provide you with the resources you need for a service upgrade. We invite you to check our list of member benefits and apply for membership today.