How to Offer Payment Services to your Clients

24th Aug 2021
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The Transformation of Accountancy

Pre Covid-19, digital transformation was a high priority for many accountants, but most had no formal strategy or owners for digital transformation within their business. Now – as we enter the new normal – the impact of technology within Accountancy has become critical.

Client demands are changing. The evolution of tech – accelerated by COVID-19 – is transforming all aspects of business. This means there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to servicing clients and it’s important for accountants to be agile.

Clients are expecting more from the services provided by their accountants, but luckily Open Banking and payments automation is bringing new ways of managing business cashflows.

There are many benefits for making and managing payments on behalf of your client. Adding payments means a fuller suite of financial services. And with enhanced or new services, comes revenue streams. 

There are 5 key pillars to embedding payments within your practice: 

1. Automate to Innovate

Firstly, payments automation makes it easy to innovate on services, giving you the flexibility to adapt your business model whatever the circumstances. Payment automation ensures service continuity - clients can authorise their payment of payroll in just a few clicks no matter where they are.

Payment automation can also help you lead the digital conversation with your clients. New technology opens up opportunities for both accountancy firms and their clients. Accountants that are proactive in adopting technology to drive their business with payment services can pass on their learning and experience to clients who are on the same journey, maximising their investment.

2. Embedding Payment Automation in your Practice

Payment automation helps eliminate inefficiencies that exist in your current services:

  • Removal of manual processes
    The payroll / accounts payable process is labour intensive – it requires lots of downloads, uploads and file sharing. By completely automating the process you can reduce your workload from days to minutes.
  • Reduce the impact of late payments
    Research completed by BACS in 2019 stating almost eight out of ten businesses were waiting for one month or longer beyond agreed payment terms.

3. Automate to Advise

Automated payments play a critical role as accountants move from offering traditional service to more advisory roles. Adopting more efficient payment processes not only speed up accounting but gives accountants a much more accurate view of their clients’ cashflow. Providing immediate and decision-ready data for accountants offers a richer insight into a client’s true financial picture.

4. Payments for Profitability

Many Accountants don’t proactively offer payroll services to their clients. It can be viewed as admin-heavy and time-consuming, and the risk of error can be high and expensive to fix. On top of that, competitive pricing doesn’t always stack up against the time and cost associated with doing the work.

BUT payment automation removes the complexity and risk, saving you hours of time processing payments by removing the need to manually enter information. And entire payment flows can be quickly tracked with automatic reconciliation back into your accounting software.

5. Offering a first-class customer experience

Payment automation creates a slicker and easier experience for your clients. Client manual processes and admin tasks are removed – for clients it means their time is freed up to focus on running their business.

Payments as the competitive advantage

In summary, embedding automated payment workflows within your client services presents exciting opportunities. Payments can improve your practice’s profitability and payment automation can dramatically optimise the service:

  • Significantly reduces the time and effort needed for accountants.
  • Removes any duplication of effort for you or your client.
  • No need for manual CSV exports or Bacs file uploads across different systems. 
  • Removes any risk of error and the need for manual checking and re-checking.
  • Unlocks a richer level of customer service - the automation creates real-time workflows that generate decision-ready data which Accountants can use to provide deep insight into client business performance. 

The addition of making and managing payments as a service ultimately makes your practice proposition ‘stickier’. You can offer more services and have more interaction with your clients, which means you provide more value and in the long run, become an embedded and essential resource for your clients.

By offering more, your practice can attract and retain more clients – ultimately beating the competition. Offering payments as a service provides an inexpensive and low-risk addition to your practice.  And now, thanks to BrightPay, it’s never been easier to offer payment services to your clients.

Introducing Payroll Synced Payments

We've teamed up with Modulr to offer a payments account that gives you a fast, secure and easy way to make payments from BrightPay and provide your clients with seamless payroll workflows.

The single and secure online portal allows you to make payroll payments at the same time as running client payroll, saving time, removing manual processes, and eliminating costly errors. 

Payroll payments can be initiated within BrightPay without the need for payment files, allowing for a flexible, secure and fast way for accountants/payroll bureaus and their clients to work together to make and approve payments.

Book a demo today to discover how BrightPay integrates with Modulr and transforms the way accountants and payroll bureaus do business.