Business intelligence: Do all accountants have it?
Some accountants shy away from providing business advice, but are they missing a valuable trick? Mark Lee reports from the CIMA Members in Practice Conference, where the focus was firmly on business intelligence.
When it comes to the provision of business advice, I’ve previously suggested that accountants in practice fall into one of four categories:
- It’s a no go area: The accountant’s business experience is limited and perhaps they don’t feel that confident with the idea of providing business advice.
- Personal experience: The accountant is willing and able to share their own experiences of business over the years, perhaps drawn in part from working with other clients.
- What others say: The accountant offers advice based on what they have read in books, magazines and websites and possibly what they recall from their studies and from attending seminars and conferences. However, their level of interest in developing this area of skill is much lower than their desire to keep up to date with technical knowledge.
- A systemised approach: The accountant has bought into a programme that assists them in adopting a structured approach to the provision of business advice and either they actively promote the service to their clients or they shy away from doing so and quit the programme.