Member Since: 28th Feb 2011
18th Feb 2020
I love the responses here. You would think it's common sense, and I wish it was TOSH, but it isn't.
There's a huge amount of fear in many firms, particularly when there is no formal training when it comes to ACTUALLY talking with clients like humans and not compliance box tick exercises.
Partners are often the only people in the firm to have "advisory" (and can we scrap that word) conversations with their clients. The rest of their team don't. So no wonder articles like this are written. If you're taught to look back with 100% accuracy and then are asked to explore the future with far less accuracy then it's genuinely tough for some in the profession. Far easier to prepare a tax return and basic management accounts from Xero...and I'm not criticising. That's ok if that's what you want to do . Just don't purport to being an advisor unless you truly understand business operations.
Ask many firms what operational KPIs they think their clients should be on top of every day/week, why (!) and what difference it would make to the client, not to mention tracking cashflow monthly, target setting and advising on all of the things that come out of actually running a business, then brace yourself - you're not going to get the answer you think you should.
It's such a disconnect, as by god small businesses want to know they're ok, but all too often we hear "my clients don't care about their numbers..." No you're right, they don't care about being sold a PDF. They do care about being given real help and not being made to feel like they are idiots however.
18th Feb 2020
"What do they worry about? What keeps them awake at night?.. It starts with talking to them. The problem is most in the profession don’t know the right questions to ask. If you ask different questions to what you normally do, you’ll soon find most of your clients don’t actually want a tax return or set of accounts. What they really want is an outcome."
Of course they don't want the compliance piece! It's statutory, they have to have it and the value piece there is how cheap, painless and fast will it be to tick that box! What they want is to know they are ok, whatever ok means to them and by asking curious questions you'll uncover that, as well as where you as an accountant can actually add value. I genuinely couldn't agree more - this isn't rocket science, it's common sense. Kevin - I'd love to talk with you about a project I'm running. I think you'd enjoy it.
Bravo on the post.
Hannah Dawson, Futrli founder & CEO
2nd Mar 2015
It's been brilliant reading these comments as it confirms our research. Winforecast is used broadly and is loved by many. Providing a first class cloud-based solution to it is our aim. It's not finished yet, but, in working with our partners over the last 6 months and into the future, the replacement is coming. It will be in incremental steps so watch this space.
We know what you need and we're building it. Feel free to email me at [email protected] for more details.
Hannah McIntyre, Co-founder, CrunchBoards
21st Feb 2014
Cloud is about collaboration and efficiencies
With bank feeds this should never happen? Using Xero or QBO you will have all of the benefits of a single ledger, and lightening fast bank recs. You've also got a brilliant opportunity to collaborate in a much easier way with your client.
Tools like Xero touch are only making clients and you more efficient too and getting them paid faster.
Using the Add-on ecosystems that Xero and QBO (to a lesser degree at the moment) have, also open you up to unbelievable efficiencies. There are new Add-ons opening up every day and if you want to work smart with clients try http://crunchboards.com - they're just opened up Beta for their Financial Intelligence plug-in
11th Feb 2014
Future proofing practices with Financial Intelligence
It's refreshing to see this shift in perspective. We are climbing up the Roger's Bell Curve of technology adoption within the industry, and appear to have moved into the early majority phase, but there's a way to go.
Xero and Intuit are two of many cloud solutions steam-rolling through practices up and down the company and have effectively waged war against each other. This delivers a huge benefit to any consumer using these cloud power-houses to manage their day-to-day, as they will find intuitive (pardon the pun!) and time-saving workflows and a solid ability to get an overview of their business.
It doesn't stop there though. If Xero and Intuit are the day to day, then there are also cloud tools that can aid accountants and business owners equally when bringing the sometimes dry nature of number crunching to life.
If these are the stats:
88% of SMBs think the cloud will enable them to work more closely with their accountant and develop the right relationship84% of small businesses would like their accountant to act as an external CFO82% of SMBs think accountancy firms should be more proactive in developing services, particularly around business advice. Yet many accountants are failing to provide new services; for example 81% of the business respondents expressed a need for project financing and reporting, but only 36% of accountants currently offer such a service61% of clients wanted a cloud-based solution - yet a little over a third (37%) of accountants could furnish this request.
then complimentary Financial Intelligence software such as http://crunchboards.com is the frosting to Xero or Intuit's delicious cake. Collaboration, future-prediction, scenarios, targets & alerts, cash flows and KPIs all enable the future relationship that clients want. Effortless financial management using a fully integrated offering is the way forward.
CrunchBoards is available for early VIP Beta Signups now.
9th May 2013
management accounts for the hospitality trade
This issue of "excel being the comfort zone" has its limitations. Traditional management accounting processes require repetition of data entry and time lag awaiting month-end. This costs in many ways.
Frustrated with what was on offer to help SME single and multiple-site pub and restaurant businesses in viewing management metrics instantly and the associated costs incurred we built mylivevision.com.
Fully integrated back office processes using the daily information already recorded by management. Time spent inputting data is reduced, internal reporting vastly improved and as KPI's are analysed across all departments, sites and the entire company instantly, operators can act quickly on the information at hand.
I love excel, but low-cost, high-impact, fully integrated cloud solutions have to be the way forward.