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Helping accountants guide their clients
Accountants CPAs 401(k)

Helping accountants guide their clients

James von der Lieth

Accountants, bookkeepers and CPAs have long stood as a bridge between small business owners and the complex world of finance. They provide expertise, advice and services to millions of small business owners in the US in order to help them achieve personal and business success.

In 2019, we launched Guideline for Accountants, to provide retirement plans that are easy to set up and manage for small business owners, an intuitive, modern dashboard for accountants, and transparent pricing and fees for everyone. Since then, we’ve added 1,500 accounting professionals and advisors to our community.

But that was just a first step. To optimize our program, we created an accountant customer advisory board so we could hear firsthand what accountants need to grow their practice and see where we could fill in any gaps. With their insights and feedback in mind, we’re excited to announce the launch of Guideline for Accountants 2.0.

Benefits that accountants and clients will love

  1. Dedicated support

Each accountant in our community gets dedicated support from a relationship manager, who can help with outstanding tasks on clients’ plans and answer any questions accountants may have.

2. End-to-end visibility

Accountants can help design a 401(k) plan on their clients’ behalf, track progress and streamline the plan approval process

3. New perks for clients

Each client that signs up for a Guideline 401(k) through an accountant will receive a discount from Guideline. By adding more clients, accountants can obtain higher tier status and pass along bigger discounts.

  • 1-5 clients - Preferred Tier:

Each new client pays no employer fees for 4 months¹

  • 6-15 clients - Premier Tier:

Each new client pays no employer fees for 5 months¹

  • 16+ clients - Elite Tier:

Each new client pays no employer fees for 6 months¹

4. Rewards for accounting firms

When an accountant opens a Guideline 401(k) for their firm—whether it’s a new plan or transferring an existing plan— we’ll waive the employer fees for the first 6 months.¹

Growing your accounting practice

Our many interviews and customer advisory board meetings have taught us a lot. While people typically think of accountants as the people who handle their taxes, our many discussions revealed that modern accounting professionals are taking on much more of an advisory role in their clients’ business operations. Accountants want to do more than just provide great advice and services—they care deeply about their clients’ businesses, families, and dreams.

With Guideline for Accountants, accounting professionals get a true partner in this endeavor. We aim to empower this community with best-in-class tools and capabilities so we can all achieve our collective mission: helping small business owners succeed today and in the future.

Preparing our clients for the future

In recent years, we’ve seen many positive developments in the retirement industry—from the growth of automatic enrollment plans to more focus on employee fees. Looking ahead, there is one major development that has the potential to drastically alter the retirement landscape: state-mandated retirement programs.

As of May 2021, 12 states have enacted or are in the progress of enacting retirement savings programs including California, Oregon and Illinois. And there are dozens of other states that are considering legislation. Our state-by-state overview covers each program’s structure, deadlines and requirements. While each program differs greatly, they all have the same two goals in common: help more individuals save for retirement and make it easier for small business owners to provide a retirement benefit.

At Guideline, we’re incredibly excited by these new developments and the renewed interest in retirement savings in general. It’s why we’re building a complete retirement platform that we believe accountants and their clients will love. With us, clients get seamless, affordable retirement plans with minimal paperwork, no transaction fees, and over 40 index funds from Vanguard and other low-cost providers. For accounting firms, they get the tools to manage their clients’ plans and plan design features to tailor each plan to best fit each client.

Together, we’re uniquely positioned to really help small business owners and their employees achieve financial wellness today and in the future. And we’re looking forward to the journey ahead.

¹Employer fees include the monthly base fee and the $8 monthly participant fee after the new plan begins. This offer is not redeemable for cash and cannot be combined with other offers.