Yesterday, more than 1,500 accounting professionals tuned in to Gusto Next, a virtual event where the Gusto team announced many new, exciting developments, including the world premier of People Advisory Accelerator: a step-by-step program which helps accounting leaders launch and monetize their People Advisory services to drive recurring revenue. 

But let’s back up. What is People Advisory? And how do Accelerator and People Advisory Certification help? Attendees asked these questions and more in the event chat, and we’d like to share those answers, below. 

And also, a big thanks to all who joined and participated—your energy and excitement in the chat and on social made this event tremendously rewarding for our team!

And thanks to our speakers including our keynote speaker Amber Setter, our emcee Greg Kyte, Gusto CEO Josh Reeves, and so many more—as well as our sponsors.

1. What is People Advisory? People Advisory is a new category of advisory services in which accounting professionals pair financial expertise with people operations to advise clients on building a great place to work. It enables your firm to deliver more than just payroll compliance, and to pivot how the service has been traditionally offered so it acts as a foundation for your People Advisory practice. 

2. What is People Advisory Certification? Great question. It’s an exciting, self-paced (and now, instructor-led!) training program that Gusto debuted in July 2020 that teaches you how to advise clients on people matters. That includes everything from payroll compliance and hiring to new, potentially uncharted territory, like culture. 

Certified People Advisors help their clients understand how deeply interlinked questions of finance and people are so that you can provide insightful recommendations on how your client can take care of both their team and business. (And you can earn 5.0 CPE credits to boot.)

And get this: 92% of employers think that it’s important that accountants offer this sort of advice! That’s according to new research Gusto also released yesterday.

3. How can I monetize People Advisory services? Also a great question—and Gusto provided an answer yesterday: The People Advisory Accelerator Program. This is a self-paced training program that teaches you and your firm how to package, price, staff, sell and launch People Advisory services. You’ll earn 4.0 CPE credits, and join the ranks of a growing number of accounting professionals who help their clients with more than just payroll. 

The Accelerator program also includes more than just training. You’ll get over 25 tools and templates to help you get started, including:

  • Pre-designed People Advisory service Packages 
  • A ready-made Pricing Calculator so you can identify your margin
  • Marketing tools and templates, including a pre-built People Advisory Web Page
  • Conversation starters and sales training

4. How do I sign up for Gusto Accelerator? Access it from right within your Gusto account by following these steps:

  1. Log in to your Gusto Pro Dashboard
  2. Click on the Gusto “Learn” tile
  3. Click “Get started with Accelerator” (or People Advisory Certification!) 

(If you’re not yet a Gusto partner, you can access the program on the Gusto Learn Storefront). 

5. How is People Advisory different from HR consulting? They are related, but distinct: People Advisory is about applying your financial acumen to help business owners make decisions that pertain to payroll, hiring, benefits, wellbeing, and culture. HR consulting is much broader, and tends not to incorporate the financial aspects of these questions. 

For example, should employers hire people full-time or as 1099 contractors? Can they afford a stronger benefits offering to help with recruitment? These are questions that a People Advisor is uniquely qualified to answer.

6. Will People Advisory work for my firm? Very likely—and we can say that with confidence because yesterday, at Gusto Next, Gusto’s Editor at Large Caleb Newquist interviewed a panel of CEOs of accounting and accounting software firms that practice People Advisory. They categorically recommend it. (Thanks to Nikole Mackenzie, CEO of Momentum, Kenji Kuramoto, CEO of Acuity, and Michael Ly, CEO of Reconciled.)

We also heard from accountants who’ve completed the People Advisor program, who had glowing things to say— like Josh Lance, who increased his payroll revenue by 15x

Have more questions? We’d love to hear them—get in contact with us.

Jaclyn Anku Jaclyn is the Partner Education Manager at Gusto. She started her career as a small business consultant and is passionate about teaching small business owners financial literacy and arming them with great advice. Before joining Gusto, she led business education for accountants and bookkeepers at Xero. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Oakland, CA.
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