Chris Noble, Audit Partner, Leader, Technology Industry Group
As organizations increasingly shift to an outsourced services model for a wider range of financial and administrative operations, to leverage the expertise and efficiency of outside specialists, accounting firms have an opportunity to serve in the role of CFO. Firms can extend their mandate to a broad range of functions that are essential to the growth of the business.
Such firms now provide a range of services predominantly focused on the needs of middle market clients. The services portfolio not only encompasses traditional accounting and audit, tax planning and compliance, tax credits and incentives, and forensic accounting and valuation, but also services such as capital planning or transactions.
“We are helping clients strategically grow their businesses as opposed to just providing reactive accounting services under a traditional model,” says Chris Noble, Audit Partner, Leader, Technology Industry Group at Anchin.
Approaching their hundredth anniversary of serving entrepreneur-driven businesses, Anchin recently rebranded its outsourced accounting services group as the Client Accounting Advisory Services Group (CAS), providing expertise in advanced data analytics, overhead cost reduction, buy-side and sell-side due diligence and cyber security, among others.
Founded in 1923 in New York, Anchin is recognized as a premier accounting and advisory firm providing a range of services predominantly focused on the middle market.
“The CAS group is an extension of our own proactive client service model,” mentions Noble. “We pride ourselves on being experts on which our clients rely.”
As the first rung in Anchin’s engagement model, the CAS team evaluates its clients’ existing accounting systems, streamlines processes and executes cloud-based solutions. The technology makeover and integration of automation in bookkeeping, financial reporting, bill payment and invoicing results in less focus on manual processes so as to channel resources on improving efficiencies, reducing costs and increasing profitability.
CAS will deliver value-added services as the internal CFO for our clients, helping them strategically grow their businesses as opposed to simply providing reactive accounting services under a traditional bookkeeping model
The CAS team is focused on building client and industry-specific dashboards and KPIs, and benchmarking performance against industry or niche standards, developing action plans based on customized performance metrics and then monitoring them against forecasts.
When the client is ready to raise additional capital, sell, or exit, the Transaction Advisory Group performs an analysis to determine what might be more attractive to a potential acquirer and optimize key metrics such as EBITDA. This is done well ahead of any potential transaction so historical data can be used and referenced.
Noble recalls a recent client, an Uber-type on-demand beauty services firm, that approached Anchin to help them exit to a public media company in a compressed three-month period. Their books and records were not in order and they had been without an effective accounting function for some time. “Our first deliverable was to clean up the past three years of data and present GAAP-compliant financial statements,” Noble said. “During this process, we identified tax credits for those years, which yielded additional acquisition proceeds upon sale.”
Upon generating auditable reliable statements, Anchin automated and improved accounting processes and moved all books and records onto the cloud. “We fully took over their accounting function, and were effectively acting as their CFO in the process,” said Noble. When the buyer commenced due diligence, the entire process was handled by Anchin’s CAS team and Transaction Advisory Group, and upon exit in just six months, the deal was closed.
In noting that Anchin has seen an increase in opportunities on the West Coast, Noble also highlights the firm’s expertise in data analytics. “Our analytics group utilizes data for various measurements of profits and processes, to add more value to our clients,” he says.