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Benefits of the cloud: Payroll as a profit centre
accountants and bookkeepers

Benefits of the cloud: Payroll as a profit centre

Krishan Sharma is a registered tax agent, Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor and a Director at KNS Accountants & Business Advisors in Rooty Hill, New South Wales. When the previous owner wanted to exit the firm (CY Liew & Co), Sharma, an employee at the time, jumped at the chance to establish his own firm and take over the clients of CY Liew & Co,. He saw a huge opportunity to not only take the then-paper-based practice and digitise it, but also introduce additional services such as management reporting and tax planning to their clients.

Prior to Sharma establishing KNS Accountants & Business Advisors, payroll was one of the services that was paper based, inefficient, and not widely offered to clients. 

“When we acquired the clients of CY Liew & Co, it made sense to install a new, cloud-based accounting platform. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll were the obvious choices,” Sharma says. Payroll was one of the services that was both paper based and inefficient, and not widely offered to clients. 

Ever since the firm switched to QuickBooks Payroll, they have seen a 25 per cent lift in revenue in the last three years. QuickBooks Payroll has also improved compliance, led to impressive productivity gains and helped to generate new business.

“I recently took a call from a potential new client who wanted to know how to comply with phase two of the Australian Taxation Office’s Single Touch Payroll (STP) initiative. His existing accountant wasn’t set up for it and he wanted to explore how we could assist his business. We’re getting more and more calls like this and I’m sure we’ll win this work, including the bookkeeping and tax,” Sharma says. 

Moving payroll to the cloud

“Back in 2019, STP phase one was rolling out and reporting and compliance were increasingly shifting online. So, when we acquired CY Liew & Co, it made sense to install a new, cloud-based accounting platform. QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payroll were the obvious choices,” he says.

The firm relies on QuickBooks Advanced Payroll for clients who pay employees based on a modern award as part of the National Employment Standards. The pre-filled award rates make the payroll process much more efficient. 

Previously the team was searching for, and inputting the awards rates manually which was both time consuming and prone to mistakes. 

“We noticed many of our clients were paying their employees flat rate and not including leave loading. That’s the great thing about QuickBooks Payroll. You can select the industry award rate and all allowances and entitlements are automatically added. So, even if you overlook it, the software adds it for you,” Sharma says.

Benefits of the cloud: Payroll as a profit centre

Online payroll drives growth 

Switching his firm and his client’s to QuickBooks Payroll turned out to be a wise decision. Since Sharma and his business partner Raj Singh established KNS Accountants & Business Advisors, the team has grown from two to ten people, six of whom are based in Australia and four overseas - with the potential of more people joining the team in the future

“Many accountants and bookkeepers may not have experience with STP and cloud-based software, but QuickBooks Payroll makes it very easy. It’s a smart program to adopt, especially if you want to grow your payroll business. Also, because QuickBooks Payroll is entirely cloud-based, I can access my clients’ records anytime, anywhere, and so can my clients,” he says. “Clients come in asking about payroll, and it opens the doors to so many other services,” Sharma says.

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Payroll business model

Through QuickBooks Payroll, KNS Accountants & Business Advisors performs:

  • Monthly pay runs for about 60 sole traders or micro businesses with up to two employees, 
  • 25 fortnightly pay runs for clients with up to four staff; and 
  • Weekly pay runs for clients with ten and 15 staff.

There are two ways KNS Accountants & Business Advisors delivers payroll services to clients. They either fully outsource their requirements or, if they have the time and resources, Sharma and his team will provide training so the client can manage this internally. Clients can then onboard staff into the system and do pay runs themselves. 

There are also two pricing models. 

“Clients with largely standard pay runs, with consistent employee numbers and wages, are charged a fixed fee. Clients with less standardised operations, or whose business model is project-based, are charged on an hourly basis,” he says. 

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Benefits all around 

QuickBooks Payroll offers advantages for both accounting firms and their clients. Sharma says QuickBooks Payroll has made his business more efficient and productive –click a button and the data is live. Pay runs are automatically posted to QuickBooks Online. Plus it allows Sharma the opportunity to provide greater insight into their client’s business performance. 

“Let's say a business has a bakery and a factory where they bake bread and both are managed through one company. We can split the payroll by location and produce separate reports for the bakery and factory. This is really helpful for management reporting in terms of employee expenditure at the factory versus the shop.”

For clients, switching to QuickBooks Payroll also means peace of mind. “Business owners can sleep at night, knowing they are fully compliant with STP rules and paying the correct modern award rate. Plus, we can completely manage the new requirements of STP phase two for them without needing to lift a finger,” Sharma says.

And for employees, “QuickBooks Payroll links with timesheet software and employee portal Swag, which is a system through which employees apply for leave, track time, log expenses and access pay slips”.

Drive revenue with QuickBooks Payroll 

Intuit QuickBooks and QuickBooks Payroll are easy and powerful tools that offer the accountants and bookkeepers incredible competitive advantages. 

Sharma’s advice to accounting firms and bookkeepers looking to explore QuickBooks Payroll is to understand the program’s potential to drive revenue. “This is a way to drive fees and at the same time, ensure  the business is as productive as possible.

QuickBooks Payroll has partnered with Employment Hero to bring your firm Australia’s leading payroll solution for small businesses and is also included as a benefit in our ProAdvisor program for accountants and bookkeepers.

With an Australian-based advisor customer support team, QuickBooks can help you migrate your payroll data from another provider and give you over-the-phone product support whenever you need it. Contact the team today to find out more. 

About our client

Krishan Sharma is a member of the Institute of Public Accountants, a registered tax agent, an Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor and Director of KNS Accountants & Business Advisors located at suite 6, level 1, 14-16 Rooty Hill rd, South Rooty Hill, NSW.

Krishan Sharma, Institute of Public Accountants

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