The internet, mobile devices and cloud computing are dramatically changing the way all businesses operate today. For accountants, this technology and the information processing power it provides, has brought massive efficiencies. It is also creating a new framework for the industry.
Vital compliance work is increasingly being handled by software and advisory services are coming to the fore. Current statistics for 2017-18 according to IBISWorld, show that ‘advisory’ makes up 33% of the accounting products and services segment and is therefore a significant factor in the overall growth for the sector. The Sleeter Group (now Accountex) found that 72% of small business owners have changed their CPA or accounting firms because the firm “did not give proactive advice, only reactive service”. More and more, businesses are looking to their accountant to interpret the numbers and provide actionable insight and strategic advice.
So while it seems a good time to embrace or look to expand advisory in your firm, we know that getting started can be hard. The good news is that technological developments have also provided tools and apps that accountants can use to grow their advisory services and become the virtual CFO. Both Spotlight Reporting and BOMA link to Xero to provide the tools for deeper insight and better communication with clients and prospects.
Here’s what they do:
Spotlight Reporting – Shedding the light on performance
Spotlight Reporting is an integrated cloud reporting and forecasting tool that allows you to create insights for better business decisions. Designed by accountants, for accountants, SR gives you an easy tool to go beyond the historical data and focus on the future by advising your clients on their current position, future growth, strategy, objectives and KPIs. All presented in highly visual, easy to understand reports and forecasts.
Spotlight Reporting is a family of four business intelligence tools including performance reporting, full three-way forecasting, easy to use dashboards and multi-entity consolidation.
Spotlight’s toolset is designed to provide progressive accountants and advisors with a great range of reporting options that save time and effort while delivering clarity for better business decision-making. They enable advisors to:
- Engage in strategic conversations with your clients, be their trusted advisor
- Assist your business clients to stay on track by monitoring their KPI’s
- Help your clients understand the data in order to grow their businesses
- Monetise the advisory arm of your business, grow your fee revenue
Spotlight Reporting helps enable your practice to deliver advisory services to clients. It turns the hours it takes to do management and board level reporting into a matter of minutes, so you can engage with your clients in meaningful discussions, with easy to understand visual reports and forecasts.
“I am a newcomer to Spotlight Reporting and I have to say I love it! Being a business coach rather than an accountant, the budgeting and cashflow forecasting never came easy to me. Using spotlight I had the rest of this financial year budgeted and forecast done in 30 minutes. With the addition of the Action Plan, we can now take our quarterly priorities and add them to our reports giving a more complete picture of where we and our clients are at. Great work guys!”
Dave Sewell, Business Coaching
BOMA – The leading marketing app for accountants and bookkeepers
You’ve established your advisory niche, and brought in the tools to help you deliver strategic advice, now you need to build awareness of your firm’s advisory services amongst clients and prospects.
BOMA was designed specifically for accountants and bookkeepers to remove the complexity from email and social media marketing. Even if your firm has no plans to win new clients, there's considerable value in marketing to your existing clients, who may not be taking advantage of the specialist advisory services you offer. By using content marketing and social media marketing effectively, you can share practical advice, keep clients informed about best practise and raise their opinion of you as a trusted adviser. A 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit so keeping your existing clients happy is a win-win.
An accounting firms' success is increasingly due to their people or advisory skills, rather than their ability to just crunch the numbers. BOMA allows you to share insights, commentary and useful information within beautiful and easy emails and social posts.
Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter – all from one easy to use platform. So you can get back to working with your clients. BOMA makes it easy to create and send effective digital campaigns that will engage your audience and it does this in number of ways:
- Share a blog post you’ve written or an article you’ve read online using BOMA’s URL link share. Simply paste the link and BOMA creates an email or social post for you – with images and introductory text. All you need to do is add your personal touch
- BOMA is super easy to use, choose a template or create your own. Create emails and social posts from scratch in minutes. Plus you can choose from a vast array of searchable and free images
- When synced with Xero HQ, accounting and bookkeeping users gain access to a custom built library filled with high quality articles on a range of topics to kick start your communication.
- Design once, apply everywhere. BOMA automatically reformats the content and images to fit, whether it’s email or a social media post. No more painful editing in photoshop or calling in the design team. BOMA does it for you.
- Share your campaign seamlessly across multiple channels: Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
- When your campaign has been delivered you can see how it performed on the insights page.
BOMA's self-drive marketing platform gives you the best functionality to support your business.
BOMA helps me easily and regularly connect with my clients via email and social media all in one simple but powerful platform – a great time saver.
Nikki Gilbert Enrich Accounting Australia
Stop wondering how to launch your advisory service and get started today, with tools designed to simplify the process.