Blog Post

Accounting Industry Primed for Growth with Apex HCM / Xero Small Business Accounting Platform Partnership


Despite pressure from new and evolving legislation, DIY software encroachment and the economic uncertainty of a new presidential administration, many accounting and CPA firms remain on a defiant growth track. And the savviest among them are getting a little help from their friends in the payroll sector. Now, that growing integration of accounting and payroll is set for a boost via a new partnership between Apex® HCM, a market leader in licensing cloud-based payroll and HR software technology and Xero, the global small business accounting platform.


Xero, along with Carr, Riggs, and Ingram CPAs and Advisors (CRI), a national accounting firm, collaborated with Apex HCM to develop the requirements that provides payroll service bureaus an enhanced GL integration experience and capabilities for accounting firms nationwide. The combination of the cloud platforms from Xero and Apex HCM allow joint accounting clients like CRI to focus on delivering not just value, but a seamless GL accounting experience and boost growth.


According to Accounting Today Year Ahead Survey 2020, more than half – 56 percent – of small US accounting firms surveyed offered payroll and another 10 percent planned to add them as of last year. Some 65 percent of mid-sized firms and 69 percent of large firms also reported doing payroll, with 13 and six percent, respectively, planning to add them. Of these, a quarter opt for providing payroll in-house rather than via outsourcing or referral.

“Payroll and Accounting services just go better together,” said Apex HCM CEO Robert Digby. “We have seen from prospects and clients alike that high growth-minded accounting firms are providing payroll services in-house, leveraging the trusted advisor relationship and capturing all revenues internally versus outsourcing payroll and revenues.”

Indeed, accounting and payroll go hand-in-hand and make for a highly profitable package offer. Other reasons for adding payroll to your accounting and CPA firm’s menu of services include:

  • A deep pool of prospective payroll clients: The global payroll and human resources market value is projected to hit 41.6 billion by 2026 and some 80 percent of enterprises reported plans to purchase or upgrade talent management solutions, including payroll, between 2016 and 2026 according to Transparency Market Research.
  • Year-round revenue stream: Payroll is recurring, predictable and profitable all year round. Not only does it take up the months-long slack after the harried tax and audit season, but it also opens the door to upsell clients approaching you for payroll assistance coupled with your accounting, audit, tax and compliance services. A more comprehensive package deal helps to boost client “stickiness” and retention.
  • Cloud-based tech makes adding payroll easy, safe and offers a high ROI: Today’s tech-savvy culture means data and functionality increasingly reside in the cloud. This minimizes the need to spend precious financial, space and time resources on securing and maintaining physical hardware, infrastructure and staff. Plus, the best modern payroll software provides multiple layers of encryption, user authentication, access customization by role and disaster recovery in multiple storage sites to protect sensitive data. Additionally, because so many critical functions are automated, nixing the need for manual inputting of employee hours, tax information, deductions and liabilities connected to human error are kept at a minimum. All of this adds up to a relatively low investment, highly cost-effective operation and enviable ROI.

“Apex is excited to partner with Xero on this growth initiative,” Digby says of the integration, set to launch in March. Find out how your CPA or accounting firm can benefit by visiting or calling 877-750-APEX (2739).