The Payroll Blog

News, tips, and advice for small business owners

CPAs and Accountants Consider Optimizing Business with Online Payroll

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Claudette Zolkowski

A surge in small and micro businessescombined with payroll service and other technology advancementsmeans CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers can elevate their services for current clients while creating capacity to attract and serve new ones 

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Tax season spotlights the symbiotic relationship between small business owners and their accountants and bookkeepers. But it just skims the surface of the valuable role accountants play in the success of their client’s business.  

As accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers wrap up tax season, it’s a prime time to look ahead on how they can deepen client relationships, optimize services, and expand beyond accounting, and tax planning and preparation, to become their clients’ go-to adviser.

Small and Micro Businesses Surge 

The opportunity to enhance and expand is immense.  

The vast majority (99.9%) of businesses in the United States are classified small businesses. And small businesses employ nearly 50% of all U.S. employees—or 61.7 million people.1 Micro businesses—businesses with fewer than 10 employees—are growing at a rapid pace. In fact, Americans created 2.8 million more online micro businesses in 2020 compared to 2019.2 And, about 17% of the 20 million micro businesses tracked in the U.S. launched after the pandemic.2 

The exponential growth of small and micro businesses following the pandemic sheds light on the prediction that bookkeeping and payroll services will continue to grow at a faster pace than the overall economy in 2023 and beyond.3  

Opportunity in Online Payroll  

This surge in small and micro businesses combined with technological advancements in accounting and online payroll services means CPAs, accountants and bookkeepers can leverage new tools to optimize services and enhance revenue. This allows them to elevate their offerings for current clients while creating the capacity to attract and serve new ones.  

When they evaluate adding services, many CPAs and bookkeepers have considered or are considering integrating a small business payroll system, according to a recent survey of CPAs and bookkeepers commissioned by SurePayroll.  

While 79% of CPAs and bookkeepers surveyed had previously referred clients to an online payroll service, like SurePayroll, they are recognizing the value of directly providing payroll to their small business clients.  

Of the CPAs and bookkeepers surveyed, 75% said they are likely to add a small business payroll solution to their suite of services in the future. Those surveyed said adding online business payroll would:  

  • broaden the capabilities they offer their clients 
  • help the small businesses in their communities 
  • increase their revenue 
  • improve relations with their clients 

Optimizing Payroll Services  

“We know through our strong connection to our wholesale partners and our deep marketplace experience that CPAs, accountants, and professional tax preparers want to deepen their client relationship. They recognize that value-added service offerings help achieve that aim, and provide an important competitive advantage,” said Kate Boatman, general manager, SurePayroll, and vice president, Paychex digital. 

“Automated payroll and digitizable solutions like SurePayroll help accountants better serve their clients by simplifying a complex and necessary task. And we help them seamlessly unlock an additional revenue stream that supports and future proofs their business,” said Boatman. 

Payroll has expanded beyond simply providing compensation for services. It has evolved into a dynamic tool for businesses to accommodate various work environments and compensation needs, as well as respond to employee requests for faster access to funds and pay-related information.4 When evaluating online payroll for their clients, CPAs, bookkeepers, and accountants should consider:

  • affordability 
  • capacity to handle payroll for multiple clients 
  • integration with accounting software 
  • option for branded client portal 
  • user-friendly dashboard for accountants/CPAs, employers, and employees 
  • quick payroll processing and direct deposit  
  • online paystub availability 
  • limited vs unlimited payroll runs 
  • automatic payroll feature 
  • tax calculations and year-end tax reporting 
  • revenue share options 

SurePayroll checks all the boxes for CPAs and accountants who want to offer online payroll services to their clients,” said Marcus O’Malley, CPA / Reseller product lead, SurePayroll. “When accountants and CPAs use SurePayroll, they have the flexibility to brand the SurePayroll product as their own product with their logo, as well as take advantage of revenue share features.”  

Building Future Efficiencies 

Professional accounting organizations encourage their members who serve small businesses to continually evaluate how modern technology tools and products can help them build efficiencies, grow their business, and retain clients. A compilation of suggestions from several professional organizations include:  

  • Compare current accounting software to new and updated versions to determine efficiencies for your business and clients.  
  • In the face of rising cyber-attacks, consider obtaining cyber insurance for your business and/or offering it to your clients. 
  • With recent introduction of new TikTok quick promote ad features5, analyze how you can harness the power of social media to promote your business to targeted audiences. 
  • Keep an eye on evolving software as developers work to reliably embed artificial intelligence to handle manual, repetitive work.6 


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This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. SurePayroll is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, SurePayroll. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. If you require legal or accounting advice or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your licensed attorney, accountant or other tax professional to discuss your particular facts, circumstances and business needs.