Accountant Success Story: Godwin & Associates
“Tyler doesn’t compete with me to provide bookkeeping, tax, or business consulting advice. He’s doing the thing that he’s great at and that’s payroll. If you talk to other accountants and they’re being honest with themselves, they would tell you that if they could get payroll out of their office and focus on other things, they would do it, and that’s why Cirrus Payroll was my go-to solution.” – Jonathan Godwin, CPA
With a growing client base and maxed out staff, Godwin & Associates, a CPA firm, needed to free up their staff’s capacity to focus on higher-level accounting services instead of processing payroll for their clients. They wanted to find an outsourced payroll solution that could provide a personalized feel with real professionals operating the service.
Read on to find out how they were able to outsource over half of their payroll clients and increase company morale by giving their staff more time to focus on what they were passionate about.
Jonathan Godwin, Founder and CPA at Godwin & Associates, started his firm in 2002 with a focus on helping small businesses and their owners. Over the past 5 years, the size of the firm’s client based grew, which brought on more tax returns and payroll processing work.
Though Jonathan’s firm isn’t focused on being a tax practice, his team will work with S corporations and self-employed individuals with their tax returns.
In the early days of the firm, his team would handle payroll for his clients that wanted it. At the height of offering payroll services, they were managing 43 accounts.
With so many payroll clients and the firm not being payroll-focused, the firm’s staff was getting burned out handling these tasks. They wanted to dedicate their time and energy towards what they were passionate about, such as accounting and consulting.
According to Jonathan:
“What I discovered was that the person I had in the office whose job was to primarily work on payroll, but also help with some of the bookkeeping and individual tax work, had basically become her own payroll company. And it was never my intention for payroll to take up so much of her time.
So she came to me and said, “Look, I’m really maxed out, we’re either going to have to find a better way to deal with the payroll side, or maybe I can’t work on as many personal tax returns during filing season,” which is not what I wanted to happen.
Jonathan knew that he had to outsource the payroll part of his business, but there were a couple of pain points that needed to be addressed:
● He didn’t want to outsource his payroll to a large payroll company like Paychex or ADP because large companies lack the personalized feel and attention that his small business clients were used to.
● Large payroll companies often do not employ actual accountants and CPAs to handle their payroll, and having someone experienced in accounting handle the firm’s payroll was important for him. If he could outsource the payroll processing AND have an experienced accountant or CPA carry on the work he had started with his clients, it would be a winning solution.
Jonathan re-connected with Tyler and hired Cirrus Payroll to run his clients’ payroll for him in order to free up his staff’s capacity for more desirable tasks (and more payroll-free vacation time).
Cirrus Payroll was the perfect solution. As a CPA-owned payroll company, it can match the personalized and professional feel of a CPA firm without competing for other client services.
Jonathan met Tyler back in 2010 during a coaching course and remembered that Tyler is also a CPA but just operates a payroll firm – which is a pretty rare find. This is exactly what Godwin needed.
“I got to know Tyler through the course, and I’ve been following him since he started Cirrus. We kept in touch and I read his articles and other blog posts. So when this opportunity came up for us to maybe outsource, he was the first person I thought of.”
Jonathan and Tyler were in talks for a couple of months before Jonathan pulled the trigger. It’s not an easy decision but Jonathan is someone that is willing to make bold moves to create the kind of firm he wants to run.
Jonathan moved half of his clients over to Tyler in early 2018 and it has been a smooth transition for several reasons:
- Tyler also specializes in working with small businesses and offered the same personalized customer service that Godwin’s clients expected.
- Tyler is a licensed CPA so he fully understands how payroll is tied into the other services Jonathan did for his clients.
The biggest, most surprising result was that Godwin’s staff were happier. While payroll allowed Godwin’s team another avenue into its clients’ worlds, it had become a larger commitment than they could make. The work load began to be a demoralizer for them, and they weren’t passionate about payroll as a revenue stream. Now, they can focus their energy on higher level services and have created a better work/life balance.
According to Jonathan:
“We really do appreciate having Cirrus on board with us. They have allowed us to refocus, which is what I wanted to do.
I can tell a huge difference in my team since we began working with them, especially our main payroll employee. She took her first long vacation since offloading the majority of the payroll, and she was able to completely unplug. It was wonderful!
The way we’ve been able to shift our accounting workaround has made it possible to take on our largest client yet. I couldn’t have managed it without bringing Cirrus into the picture.”
Jonathan’s Recommendation to Anyone Thinking about Outsourcing Their Payroll:
“When I wanted to transition clients out, I didn’t want to get rid of them, I wanted them to have the same level of service but I didn’t necessarily want to have to be the one providing it.
What I found with Tyler was a small business owner who could provide those same kinds of services and the same level of focus to the client that I was providing.
Tyler is affordable and priced for small businesses. And as far as CPA’s go, he has the wholesale price that he offers if you send clients to him, which allows the client to continue to pay you, and then you pay Tyler.
This way, the client doesn’t have to change their world in order to make this work.
I was very appreciative that Tyler did that for me, because it didn’t inconvenience the client at all. In the end, that was one of the most important things for me and my team.”
Book a call with Tyler to learn more about how Cirrus Payroll can help unload the burden of payroll from your CPA firm.