Gusto Next is a live, interactive event, uniting industry experts from across the country. On July 30th, the Gusto team took to Zoom to discuss the future of the accounting industry and to unveil tools that revolutionize the way accountants advise clients.
This platform is truly the first of its kind, using payroll as an avenue to deepen advisory services for clients. By enrolling in the People Advisory Certification course, you will receive the tools you need to bring payroll, benefits, and people operations into your client advisory services.
After certification, you will become a full business advisor, using your talent to make the best possible choices for your clients regarding payroll, benefits, and budgets. These conversations will not only foster greater trust between you and your clients, but they’ll also prove that you care about the most important part of any business — the people.
At Gusto, we believe in the power of people and use technology as a tool to empower partners in their day-to-day operations. Technology is never a replacement for accountants, however; we can use technology as an enabler to help us achieve the best results for our clients.
During our Gusto Next event in July 2020, Will Lopez — the head of the accounting company at Gusto — presented the details about the tech stack offered to those in our People Advisory Program. With these tools at your side, you’re empowered to service your clients on an even greater level before.
The People Advisory program powered by Gusto in COVID-19
We built the People Advisory Program to further entrench your business-saving, expert advice into the center of your clients’ businesses and help them see that their people are an essential part of the equation. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge burden on employers — as they lose their own business, they also have to worry about payroll, HR, and continuing employee benefits, such as health insurance. Small businesses need someone like you to help them navigate through these unprecedented times — and beyond.
“My mom and dad … were struggling small business owners all their lives, and growing up, I saw them work really, really hard, day and night, to make payroll for themselves and their employees which greatly affected my family. Yet … [I] still [believe] to this day that entrepreneurship indiscriminately unlocks opportunities for a better life. And that is something we believe only you can help guide as a People Advisor.”– Will Lopez
Why not pivot your services during this time? Chances are that you already have during COVID-19, and you most likely pivoted during the Great Recession of 2008 to become known as a “recession-proof accountant.” Perhaps in 2012, you started rethinking tried-and-true business models due to the innovation of cloud-based accounting tech.
In order to come out of the other side of this pandemic viable and more valuable to your clients, you need to take the opportunity to advance your practice, enhance relevant skillsets, and most importantly, focus on people operations.
The most successful accounting firms right now are the ones focusing on guiding clients and their people with business recovery services. A cpa.com study showed that “strategic advisory services present the biggest revenue opportunities, giving you an ability to increase monthly client revenues up to 50%.”
Using People Advisory, powered by Gusto, we’ll give you new tech tools and access to cloud-based app companies to do just that. Let’s dive into the details.
#1 Jirav — All-in-one FP&A financial forecasting
One of the company apps that we’re adding to your tech-stack is Jirav — an all-in-one FP&A Financial Forecasting Software. Through the People Advisory Certification course, you’ll learn that the income statement and payroll costs consist of numbers and behind all those numbers are people. And when you plug Jirav into Gusto, you unleash a powerful suite of trackable key performance indicators. You’ll be able to consult all your clients and their teams weekly, monthly, quarterly — picking up your cadence as their People Advisor. You’ll also deliver real value starting with six essential people planning KPIs, which is way better than the traditional approach to financial statement work when analyzing workforce costs.
These six metrics will help you put a face to your clients’ financials that keep people first when you recommend business decisions in the midst of forecasting.
These days, people — not machines, not technology — make up as much as 80% of a company’s total expense and 100% of their competitive and innovative value.– Will Lopez
When you help your clients take care of their teams, your efforts translate into longer-lasting business performance — AKA, a more productive and happy team. Using Jirav’s app integration, you’ll deliver better results — based on real data and, most importantly, real people.
#2: Ignition — smart proposals and more
The second app in your People Advisor Tech Stack is Ignition, which is a cloud-based smart proposal and billing platform, built specifically for the accounting profession.
Ignition will give you the tools you need to manage the initial client onboarding experience and so much more. You’ll also be able to manage People Advisory revenue, billing, profitability, and the business sales pipeline. Combined with your People Advisory Certification from Gusto and Ignition’s engagement letter templates, you’ll be well equipped to offer people-focused services to all your payroll clients.
Now, you may be wondering — how do I oversee app subscription costs for my clients? Well, for the first time in cloud accounting history, managing those variable subscription costs is a reality.
I would’ve given an arm and a leg at AdvisorFi for this because Ignition’s flexible proposal editor is now available to all Gusto partners. With this new feature, you can manage … Gusto’s people platform subscription costs on a month-to-month basis as it varies when you bundle it into your monthly People Advisory service package. It couldn’t be easier to support clients on their teams and bundling all the tech and services to go with it. Because when People Advisory is powered by Gusto and accelerated by Jirav and Ignition, you will have the peace of mind knowing that your firm has all the right tools necessary to support clients.– Will Lopez
Harnessing the power of Gusto’s People Advisory Program, Jirav, and Platform Ignition, you’ll deliver premium-grade, people-focused services to every single client, no matter which industry they work hard in. And the fun doesn’t stop there.
#3: Xero — Cloud-based accounting
We all know that tracking cash flow and budgeting are extremely important for small businesses, so why not do it with Xero, a cloud-based accounting software that offers cash flow advisory playbooks.
These Xero playbooks will help you recommend the right apps to help your clients’ cash flow, depending on the industry they find themselves in. Our partnership with Xero is about giving you a better accounting experience along with the tools you need to better serve your clients.
#4: Gusto’s People Advisory Playbook and Partner Advisory Council
Lastly, we’re proud to present two tools from Gusto to support you in People Advisory, which are available to all certified Gusto partners.
First, is our new and cutting edge People Advisory Playbook — a 60-page, ebook resource that you’ll receive after completing the People Advisory Certification Program.
It’s packed with literally everything I know, and I wrote it to help you collapse the learning curves of change management because change management is real, especially when you’re trying to progress and advance and modernize your firm. And when starting to advise clients with people-focused services, you will need a step-by-step practitioner’s guide, and this playbook offers just that.– Will Lopez
The People Advisory Playbook has so much wisdom to offer and will answer your most pressing questions about the discipline. However, to give you further support and insight, Gusto has launched its very first Partner Advisory Council — a group of deeply engaged Gusto partners and People Advisory Certified professionals.
This council of talented practitioners is invested in the accounting profession and advancing new payroll innovations. We will alert you of any changes to come and help you navigate through the new world of People Advisory services and the tech it involves. Above all, we promise to always keep you as our top priority.
At Gusto, we believe … that our accounting profession is at yet another inflection point as a result of this pandemic. I mean, we’re at a split in the road, friends. Really. And one direction keeps you on track with where our profession continues to head, which is keeping the client’s needs close to the lips and heart, while letting and using technology to empower us to that end, and the other direction puts your daily work at the highest risk of being replaced by automation. That’s something I don’t want.– Will Lopez
We personally want to challenge you to think about and embrace the current responsibility and opportunity of making a meaningful business impact on all your clients with People Advisory. With Gusto professionals at your side and an innovative tech-stack at your fingertips, you have all you need to start making a difference in people operations.
Start the people advisory certification program today
COVID-19 has been extremely difficult for everyone — but especially for small businesses. Here at Gusto, we’re putting people back into the equation, and our People Advisory service is a huge part of that. Paired with these incredible tech tools and the wisdom from our Partner Advisory Council, you’ll be equipped to make the best decisions for your clients regarding payroll, benefits, and budgeting.