Workforce analytics and scalable solutions help to evolve accounting services

Entrepreneurial business services: workforce analytics and scalable solutions
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Business challenge:

With an increased focus on driving the growth of their business advisory services and a number of their international clients beginning to set up locations in the U.S., Mazars needed help providing HR, benefits and payroll solutions capable of scaling with their clients’ growth.

How ADP® helped:

By offering their U.S. clients with everything from payroll via ADP’s white-labeled payroll solution to full-service HR outsourcing, Mazars remains indispensable to their clients by offering the broadest range of HR solutions anywhere, complemented by the firm’s continued focus on securing high revenue generating attest and tax work.

Recognized as a top 25 U.S. accounting firm by Accounting Today, Mazars in the US demonstrates a customized approach by providing a full service platform which integrates accounting, auditing, tax and advisory services seamlessly to best address the critical issues of their clients to help optimize their performance. Jason Pourakis, partner and group practice leader of Mazars’ Entrepreneurial Business Services group, and David Rim, senior manager, discuss how ADP provides HR technology and resources which allows them to access exclusive research and gather relevant data quickly to advise their clients.

The continued move towards advisory services:

As the accounting industry continues to change, so has the need to move away from the approach of exclusively providing traditional accounting services. As Jason explains, “We’re fairly new at the overall concept of putting together a dedicated business advisory team and really pushing for the need for that level of service rather than simply meeting with the client and solely discussing financial statements and tax returns.” He continues, “As we continue to develop and formalize our business advisory services, I think we’re going to continue to see how powerful resources like Accountant ConnectSM can be for our firm and how that benefit will translate to our clients. We currently do a lot of KPI work and dash-boarding for our clients. We think the ability to use this data to help clients will enhance the overall offerings we’re developing within the firm.” Accountant Connect is ADP’s award-winning, complimentary cloud platform that gives accountants secure access to their ADP client data, tax tools and other exclusive resources.

Leveraging big data results in significant cost savings:

In one example, employing real compensation benchmark data using Accountant Connect helped drive better insights used to identify a costly discrepancy. “We have a contract manufacturer client that we were doing a costing analysis for, which was very important because it drove their revenue,” said David. “Whatever they spend on projects is essentially what they charged their customers. Turns out they were losing out on margin. We conducted an exhaustive study on different product lines and different offerings they had, and discovered they had not adjusted their labor rates in years according to industry trends.”

“Using Compensation Benchmarking in Accountant Connect provided us a means to research previous quarters and see what the labor trends were for their area,” indicated David. “The data we were able to supply our client provided them the opportunity to illustrate to their customers how labor rates had trended upwards, justifying an increase in their labor rates.”

“As a result, they were able to recover better pricing on their projects,” adds David. “Ultimately the cost savings to this client was substantial – upwards of $600,000.”

Compensation Benchmarking, powered by ADP DataCloud, is an enhanced feature within Accountant Connect that provides real, up-to-date insight into market pay for jobs in the U.S. based on aggregated payroll data from ADP’s vast payroll base of nearly 30 million people. ADP DataCloud is a powerful, intelligent set of data analysis tools designed to help make workforce analytics and big data work hard for accounting professionals and their clients.

Additional benefit are also recognized. “What I find very helpful with Compensation Benchmarking is you can get very granular with it, researching a specific job salary within a specific region,” said David. “In the past, we’d have to draw information on trends from multiple resources – the Bureau of Labor Statistics for example,” he adds. “Not only was it time consuming but the data was not always up-to-date. With Compensation Benchmarking, I am able to retrieve accurate data in a timely fashion which has been more than helpful.”

Evolving client accounting services at a large firm:

As many of their international clients began to expand their businesses into the U.S, Mazars received increased requests for in-house payroll services. But, initially the clients did not understand that Mazars was not going to be providing in-house payroll services as they did in Europe “That’s when we really started to work more with ADP,” explains Jason. “We’ve been using ADP’s white-labeled RUN solution for our clients for about two years now and it has been a tremendous advantage to our business. In the past, providing payroll services was a true pain point for us – a loss leader because there was no value or revenue generation for us.” He adds, “We strive to understand the wants and needs of clients and prospects and with RUN we have complete confidence offering payroll to our clients which in turn has been very helpful to us in securing higher revenue-generating attest and tax work.”

RUN Powered by ADP® Payroll for Partners, also commonly known as RUN Wholesale, is ADP’s white-label payroll and HR cloud solution for accounting professionals. Thousands of accounting firms, from small tax preparers to many Top 100 firms, rely on RUN Wholesale to efficiently and securely process payrolls and help firms address essential HR needs for their small business clients.

"ADP DataCloud’s compensation benchmark data in Accountant Connect helped us save a client nearly $600,000 within one year, by identifying product lines that were underperforming based on benchmarking and performing an analysis on their labor rates." -David Rim, Senior Manager, Mazars in the US

With a niche focus on helping their international clients establish domestic locations here in the U.S., it also presents opportunities to recognize their needs – and how to service them – as they continue to grow in size. “Our clients continue to expand their businesses here in the U.S and we currently have dozens of our clients set up on RUN Wholesale”, adds Jason, “and with that platform being very efficient and convenient – we anticipate that number doubling this year. However, just as our business continues to grow, we expect our clients will, too.”

"We meet and work together – as a team – to try and make everything we do result in the best experience for the client. It’s that level of trust with ADP that’s allowed us to help best serve our clients." -Jason Pourakis, Partner, Mazars in the US

The breadth of other ADP solutions:

“I would say that I am not stringent when it comes to ADP platforms,” said Jason. “We’re doing our job correctly when we assess either a prospect or client and determine which ADP product would truly be best suited for their needs.” Jason recalls a specific example: “Very recently, we had a conversation with a prospect – a very successful Israeli company with 200 employees – that is looking to bring business into the U.S. marketplace and start with five employees. On the surface, it seemed a default to RUN but as the discussion continued there was more than just entering salaries and payroll information. They are going to require an HR component, insurance, a 401(k) set up and health benefits. With that information provided, I suggested they consider ADP’s PEO platform, ADP TotalSource®.” Jason believes the relationship with ADP helped make this process easy, adding, “ADP knowing which products are best suited for our clients helps us to provide the right solution options and gives me the confidence to recommend that product.” To date, Mazars has many clients who utilize ADP’s suite of solutions, from small businesses using RUN to larger mid-market clients with hundreds of employees using ADP Workforce Now®. The firm stays seamlessly connected to all their ADP client data with Accountant Connect.

A strong relationship is key:

Forging strong and mutually beneficial relationships is a staple of Mazars philosophy, one that helps the firm remain focused and successful when working with their clients. As Jason illustrates, “As an organization – we’re in the relationship business. Going that extra mile is what sets us apart as being a partner to our clients and not just another service provider. And that’s how I view our relationship with ADP. It’s always been that outside of the box thinking that stands out. Our discussions don’t revolve around just landing a client but how to strategize together to be more successful in the long run. To me, that’s the foundation of the strong relationship we have with ADP.”

Reflecting further, Jason also attributes his ADP team with adding to that strength. “Our sales reps have really done a great job at integrating themselves into knowing our business and what we need. Over the last several years, it’s become a very seamless relationship. We meet and work together – as a team – to try and make everything we do result in the best experience for the client. It’s that level of trust with ADP that’s allowed us to help best serve our clients.

"As we continue to develop and formalize what our business advisory services can be, I think we’re going to continue to see how powerful a resource Accountant Connect is for us and how that benefit will translate to our clients." -Jason Pourakis, Partner, Mazars in the US

Looking ahead to continued success:

Jason believes the outlook for continued success will always depend on efficient and reliable information. “The most prominent outlook is not only looking at how we’re serving our clients today, but leveraging big data to apply to what’s still ahead.” He adds, “And I think we’ve just scratched the surface in terms of evaluating where this data can be used, whether it’s specific client projects, benefit plans or advisory services. A big part of my driver in growth is centered on business advisory and we’re already in the process of working with our ADP team on developing this further. And in order to help enhance our client’s experience, I see ADP and tools like Accountant Connect playing a big part in helping us continue to shape and enhance that experience.”

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The information provided here is for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, legal advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other competent advisers.