Management information: The new frontier
AccountingWEB’s management reporting series looks at how forward-looking firms are building KPIs and periodic reports into their business services. John Stokdyk reports.
In recent weeks we have been interviewing and talking to management accountants about how regulatory and technological changes have affected the way they prepare and present financial (and non-financial) data to company owners and managers.
But the same trends are just as relevant for practising accountants. The bulk of many firms work involves preparing accounts and returns for Companies House and HMRC. But what cloud accounting evangelist Richard Messik calls the “audit annuity” is under threat from last year’s threshold increase and European proposals to simplify reporting for micro-entities.
“Clients do not need an audit,” said Messik. “That’s going to make it a bit harder and practitioners will need to find ways to replace it with other services - mostly management accounts, where they can deal with planning issues with real time information, rather than waiting nine months for the final accounts.”
This was very similar to the message from many of the accountancy firms shortlisted for last year’s Practice Excellence Awards. These firms consistently identified outsourced management accounting as a key feature of their success.
Developing accounting processes and key performance indicators (KPIs) for clients gave these firms a way to start conversations that deepened their relationships and strengthened the role they played in guiding strategy at their clients’ companies.
Lessons from Milsted Langdon
No one exemplified this trend more than Milsted Langdon, the 2012 large firm Practice Excellence Award winner. Much of the management reporting work it undertakes...
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The dashboard challenge
How practitioners can add value
Excel still has a role to play
What’s stopping you?