Help Your Clients Gain Business Insights Using Intelligence
Communicating the benefits
As an experienced client-focussed accountant you’ll already know about the importance of business intelligence. It can offer greater insight into business decisions, and offer a clearer view of company data - but do your clients know this?
This article looks at why business intelligence is so essential, and how to articulate its relevance to your clients.
Business Intelligence: A definition
Business Intelligence (BI) uses a set of technologies and processes to give context to large amounts of data. Various software can be used to transform data into decipherable intelligence that drives strategic business decisions.
BI also brings factual support to new business ideas, rather than companies blindly undertaking a project based simply on gut feeling (potentially leading to costly mistakes).
Additionally, Business Intelligence can help your clients:
1. Analyse their customer behaviour
Businesses tend to have a lot of data stored about their customers. A BI system is useful here in that it can quickly and accurately analyse large volumes of data to provide valuable insights. These insights may then show who the company’s most profitable customers are for instance, and where there’s any down time. It can also show customer habits and where any advertising campaigns were particularly successful (or not).
2. To reduce the chance of risky decisions
A Business Intelligence programme can analyse data in order to identify trends and make predictions. This includes being able to spot potential threats to business continuity. An example might be using BI to forecast cash flow and profit over the next 6-12 months.
3. To cut costs
Not only can a BI system predict trends, it can also offer an accurate forecast about the costs involved in a specific project. This means that project managers can see where savings may be made and where spending might be unnecessary.
Business Intelligence can also help your clients decide half way through a project if it’s still profitable, or whether there needs to be a change of direction. Harvested data can also allow your clients to see where their resources are and what stock they have available, again potentially reducing their costs further.
4. To improve operational efficiency
Business Intelligence can enable managers to effectively measure how different teams are performing against their KPIs. This allows them to see where any problems may be and address any issues. Essentially, the analytics tools that BI incorporates can help locate operational inefficiencies and provide the data needed to make better operational decisions.
5. To make complex data easier to understand
At some point we’ve all sat in front of row up on row of numbers on a spreadsheet and frankly felt a little overwhelmed. But Business Intelligence tools can take data that is difficult for the human brain to understand and make it far simpler. This is achieved by using data visualisation techniques, such as infographics and graphs. It’s particularly helpful if your client needs to explain their data to others.
How to best encourage Business Intelligence use amongst your clients
As a supportive business accountant it’s important to discuss Business Intelligence fully with your clients. Emphasise the benefits, and tailor them to the needs of their business. Also, if any of your businesses are keen to grow (we’re thinking SMEs and start-ups here), then it’s worth explaining to them how BI helps in making good business decisions to facilitate this.
We recommend highlighting some key points to them, including how Business Intelligence can:
- Provide insights that can streamline decision-making processes and reduce risks
- Optimise cash flow for maximum return on investment
- Highlight areas where cost savings can be made, for example in supply chains and stock management
- Give a broader view across the whole business to see what’s going on at any one time
- Identify opportunities for growth or additional human resource
Business Intelligence can make a huge difference to your clients, regardless of what sector their company operates in. This is why it’s a good idea to make them aware of it so they can hopefully work more efficiently during the economic recovery.
How Myriad Associates is supporting accountants and their clients at this difficult time
Something we do know right now is that your clients are looking to save cash - and generate some extra - wherever they can.
Besides Business Intelligence, another excellent way of doing this is to consider if any clients you work with have engaged in innovative research and development activities recently. You may well find many of them have, and in fact this work could attractive lucrative R&D Tax Credits.
How is cash generated?
The research and development (R&D) Tax Credits scheme is open to any UK company of any size. It’s also available for R&D projects that’s have occurred in any sector - so we’re not just talking about laboratories and drugs companies here.
The scheme works by offering companies a reduction in their Corporation Tax to reflect their research and development expenditure. For companies that have made a loss, the relief is offered as a cash credit - and in either case it’s certainly a generous benefit. Indeed, SMEs can claim as much as 33 pence per £1 of R&D expenditure, and everything from staff costs, materials, overheads and much more can be claimed.
Projects that involve some kind of technological or scientific research are likely to be eligible. So if your client has recently designed a brand new product, service or process from scratch, or substantially upgraded an existing one, then we strongly recommend reading our R&D Tax Credits page for more details.
Let us help you to help your clients
Myriad Associates is a specialist R&D funding consultancy that is pleased to offer the most comprehensive, up-to-date R&D tax advice possible. Plus, when your clients are ready to make a claim our Tax Cloud portal for accountants can guide you through the R&D Tax Credits application process in a fully supported way that will mean they receive the much-needed relief they’re owed.
If you wish to discuss how our team can work alongside you in providing a more comprehensive R&D tax relief service, please do give us a call on 0207 360 4437 or send us a message.