Gusto Next: Embracing What’s Next in Accounting with Josh Reeves

Gusto Editors

Original webinar date: October 21, 2021
This article is part of a series where we share the top insights from Gusto Next—the premiere conference for accounting professionals. Read the entire series and watch Gusto Next 2021.

Gusto Next 2021 covered a variety of fascinating topics from accounting and hiring experts. The CEO and co-founder of Gusto, Josh Reeves, covered invaluable subjects relating to how accountants can assist their clients. He covered workforce statistics, the importance of offering your clients people management guidance, and how Gusto can help you assist small and midsize businesses with tax credits, payroll, and tax regulations.  

In addition to learning about labor trends and people advisory, you can learn about numerous other topics relating to accounting and assisting clients in the other articles in this series. You can also read an overview article covering critical highlights of Gusto Next 2021 here

Workforce trends and people advisory services

When focusing on serving your clients, it’s critical that you’re able to offer guidance for what they care about most in their businesses. In recent years, small and midsize businesses have been especially focused on their employees. Josh Reeves noted numerous interactions accountants have with their business clients are people-related:

“People have been the primary focus of so many conversations we’ve had with small to medium businesses. … Whether that’s related to people needing to access healthcare for their families, … or whether it’s related to all the different compliance and government regulations changing, we know that people [management] … is foundational [for] how society functions.”

Josh Reeves

The focus on people advisory and serving employees’ needs has been especially crucial because of workforce trends. At the time in which Gusto delivered their Gusto Next 2021 presentation, labor trends largely revolved around the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous people retired during 2020 and 2021, and many people exited their jobs. On top of that, many new businesses also formed during this period:

“We’ve had 4 million resignations a month happening. We’ve been having 3.6 million retirements during the pandemic, … and that has an impact on the workforce. … Then we have had … a ton of new business formation[s]: 3.2 million in the first six months of 2021. … It means folks are taking that plunge, being entrepreneurial, starting something new, seeing an opportunity, and wanting to go build something from scratch.”

Josh Reeves
Young blonde businesswoman talking with collegue at the office

Although the statistics indicate that numerous businesses are in desperate need of employees, millions of individuals were actually searching for jobs in 2021. Josh noted that this creates an interesting paradox because the 2021 workforce trends indicate a labor market, but the job market is complex:   

“We have 10 million job openings and … a lot of folks looking for work. … This [is a] really complex puzzle of how can there be so many job openings and so many folks looking for work at the same time? Well, it’s in different places, it’s in different industries with different skill sets.”

Josh Reeves

The ongoing job market narrative in 2021 was that there were no employees available to fill positions, but in reality, it largely depended on location, industry, and skillset. Numerous people were out of work, but those looking for work didn’t necessarily align with the available job opportunities. Some may be overqualified, while others are underqualified to fill positions.  

“That makes for a really complex dynamic in terms of how we help all of our clients navigate it because if you have a small business or a medium-size business that is growing or wants to grow, there [are] customers wanting their product, but they just can’t fill those roles. … It actually limits their ability to act upon that opportunity.”

Josh Reeves

People advisory is vitally important for the health of your business clients because if they can’t retain and recruit new employees, their ability to expand will suffer. 

The importance of people management skills

When advising your business clients, you need to be able to offer people management as a service. Before the Gusto Next presentation, Gusto conducted a survey that featured over 1000 of our clients. In the survey, we found that 47% of businesses needed the most guidance on people management. The survey also indicated that 41% of businesses would be willing to pay their accounting professionals more money for advice on their people management strategy. Josh Reeves noted that accountants are often involved in the process of growing and strengthening businesses:

“We know that accounting professionals have built incredible businesses, … but how can you tap into more ways to help your clients? … [Another result is] revenue for you. That can be a win-win.”

Josh Reeves

Assisting your business clients with people management is a great way to help their businesses while increasing your revenue. You can provide people management as a service your firm offers and increase your revenue streams as a result. 

Gusto now offers invaluable products for people management services that can improve your ability to assist clients. Josh highlighted Gusto’s acquisition of Ardius. Ardius makes it significantly easier for small to midsize businesses to get invaluable tax credits: 

“[Ardius is] really focused on tax credits. It’s something that we saw as an incredible opportunity. … Tax credits have been around for a long time, and yet we know that the companies that most benefit and or could most benefit, frankly, are not benefiting because it’s complex. It’s a lot of processes [and] systems, [and] bigger companies definitely have the resources to go tackle and get [the] advantage of these, but especially smaller and medium-size companies often aren’t even aware that they can actually go get tax credits, be compliant, and then effectively [make] free money for their business.”

Josh Reeves

In addition to Ardius, Gusto also helps businesses with integrated payroll solutions such as Symmetry Software and Gusto Embedded Payroll:  

“Symmetry [Software is] the heart and soul of payroll, and we really believe very strongly in having the best infrastructure. … We’re just thrilled now that they’re literally a part of Gusto, and so that’s an important thing that we really believe will help enable us to continue to scale and process trillions of dollars of payroll going forward. … [Gusto Embedded Payroll is] an opportunity for other software companies or companies that have that skillset who don’t want to go build payroll themselves.”

Josh Reeves
Three office workers having a discussion with a laptop

Gusto’s new acquisitions and embedded payroll simplify and streamline the process of assisting your clients with people management. You’ll empower your clients to gain valuable tax credits and scalable payroll. 

Additional people management tools for accounting professionals

Although Gusto’s acquisition of Ardius and Symmetry Software already offers invaluable benefits for accountants and their clients, Gusto also provides additional benefits for people management. One way Gusto can enable you to better assist your clients is through our state tax registration. With more businesses employing remote workers all over the United States, your clients may need to comply with several different state tax regulations. Fortunately, Gusto makes this process seamless and easy: 

“A company might hire someone in a different state, or they might just have an employee move, … and there’s all these different rules and regulations tied to where your team is located. … [We’re] excited to be able to support … all 50 states in terms of tax registrations, [which] should make it easier for your clients to hire and set up employees anywhere in the country.”

Josh Reeves

In addition to hiring out of state, your business clients may also employ contractors located outside of the country. Gusto also offers tax support for 80 countries to ensure businesses stay in compliance, and that number continues to grow: 

“We’ll be in over a hundred by the end of 2021, and we’re excited … to make it easier for your clients to hire people wherever they might be and make sure that it can all be managed by you in Gusto in a centralized way that’s compliant for their business.”

Josh Reeves 

Historically, businesses have had a difficult time staying within tax regulations for out-of-state employees and international contractors. With remote work becoming increasingly common, it’s critical that you’re able to offer clients nationwide and international tax support. When you work with Gusto, you simplify the process of staying in compliance for your clients so that they can focus on continuing expansion rather than tax minutiae. 

More Top Insights from Gusto Next:

Learn about more features for high tech accounting

Statistically, many of your clients will provide more revenue for your firm if you offer people management guidance, and with Gusto’s features for tax credits, payroll, and tax compliance, you can assist small and midsize businesses with people-based functions. With Gusto, you can improve your ability to serve clients while also increasing your firm’s revenue streams. 

If you’re ready to learn more about the future of accounting, watch the entire Gusto Next 2021 presentation here. Additionally, we offer a helpful guide to what you may have missed at Gusto Next 2021 in this article. You can also join our waitlist to be notified about next year’s Gusto Next, where we’ll offer even more tools for increasing your firm’s revenue while assisting clients.

Gusto Editors Gusto Editors, contributing authors on Gusto, provide actionable tips and expert advice on HR and payroll for successful business management.
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