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I’ve long been a fan of diversifying beyond the traditional accounting services core.

One spot I pick out regularly is the Human Resources field since it is an easy segue from payroll services. In fact, in my early days, my first tax software provider, did exactly that, segued from tax software, to payroll software and then to HR and benefits software. I don’t know who bought them in the decades since that happened, but at the time it seemed like a natural fit.

Accountants Are Adding HR Services

Currently, in the Instant Practice Builder membership, there are several members who are concentrating in this area, either through an expansion of services, building on their already successful payroll services, or starting from scratch through involvement in SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) and drawing on their pool of resources.

Recently, one of my resources sent me an article about a company called WageWorks, Inc., a firm with a niche in the administration of “Consumer-Directed Benefits.” Currently, they are promoting the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program to companies in the San Fransisco Bay Area understand the cost-savings and environmental advantages of commuter benefits of the program.

Since companies in the 9 Bay Area counties around San Francisco will be required to implement a commuter benefits plan for their employees, WageWorks is using their knowledge of the program to develop leads among firms with more than 50 full-time employees within their market area.

The firm can use their knowledge of the four required options to meet and work with new prospects. The options that employers have are:

  • A pre-tax transit benefit
  • An employer provided subsidy
  • Employer-provided transit
  • An alternative commuter benefit

These programs are pre-tax commuter accounts which carry both personal and corporate tax advantages, and give the firm a new feature to offer in its services offerings.

While this particular program is exclusive to the Bay Area, opportunities like this can be a part of the new product or services any practitioner can add which keep their practice at the forefront of client minds as service innovators in their local market, and which is a tactic taught in the Rainmaker Marketing Protégé Course at Instant Practice Builder.

Other HR services that accounting practitioners can add to their portfolio of services, and which can help expand their target market are Consumer-Directed Benefits (CDBs), such as health and dependent care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), as well as Commuter Benefit Services, including transit and parking programs, wellness programs, and other employee benefits.

As the Affordable Care Act takes hold, in whatever form it morphs into, you can expect to see more and more of these programs in your community. And, as competition intensifies, it becomes more and more imperative that you develop service niches which will differentiate your practice and build barriers to competitive firms..

For more information on the Instant Practice Builder Rainmaker Marketing Protégé Course, go to http://instantpracticebuilder.com/


Kirk Ward

About 

Kirk is a retired accountant, who built and sold four successful practices in four different cites across the Southeastern United States. He also spent a decade and a half traveling fifty weeks a year as an Asset Based Loan Auditor/Field Examiner. He has taken it as a mission is life to help promising small and startup practitioners grow their businesses and prosper. Find out more ... (here)