A pre-requisite for the path to high-value advisory services is to have a team that has business acumen and people skills. and is able to work alongside the client at all stages of the advisory engagement. Included are the skills to communicate effectively with the client at all levels of their organisation. In addition, the skills to execute research/analysis, value identification, distillation and presentation, project management, and the use of modern automation/time-saving tools.
No one person will have all of those skills so there will be roles to fill and share by the members of a smallish but competent Team. Round pegs into square holes must be avoided. And, these roles are not for the faint-hearted!
The Practice and Team(s) must identify and resonate with each 'vertical market segment' they intend to operate in. For example, Process Manufacturing, Aged Care, Logistics, etc. They need to get to understand the segment and its issues top to bottom and inside out. There must be enough reachable potential clients in the segment to comprise a significant size business opportunity for the Practice.
The use of modern automation/time-saving tools has already been mentioned. Client Dashboards with customised KPI/Alert facilities for Advisors, Trend Charts, Drill down into Summary Charts and Reports, Advanced Analytics, Quick Reports for Clients.
The above tools must have automated and integrated access to the various systems relevant to the Advisory projects to be undertaken. Outputs for the Team members and Client must be available by mobile device 24/7.
Cerebiz Automation Support for 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory
Cerebiz provides the 'right tools' for Advisory services as outlined above.
Accounting Practices use a set of long-established Financial Ratios, and KPIs and many reporting systems provide such outputs from the data in accounting/business systems.
The causes of anomalies are often in the underlying data, which requires drill down into financial detail, and these days more and more into detail in non-financial systems.
Clients' businesses may be under 'disruptive' market pressures. They may have new opportunities to 'differentiate' through specialisation and online reach to new markets. All this may bring new opportunities but also risks for them. Also, hence, Advisory Services potential for your Practice.
Your Practice could specialise in one or more industries and differentiate on your experience and insights in those industries.
Access to the right data level(s) and advanced analytic tools can provide part of the basis for new High-Value Advisory Services. Of course, it also needs people on your team who can or have 'walked in your client's shoes' to provide deep and actionable business insights supported by the underlying facts. 'The Devil is in the detail'!
Practices tell us they are looking to set up or grow Advisory Services that are potentially more permanently profitable than 'compliance' work.
Has your Practice also identified this? Does this resonate with you?
While MYOB AE/AO PM and ARL systems hold comprehensive sets of data for a Client's business, they lack 'business-grade' integrated and automated facilities to drill down into the lowest level of detail and efficiently extract, analyse, produce 'what if' scenarios, and offer only rudimentary standard historical accounting reports.
To do more in-depth analysis data has to be extracted, collated, and analysed from multiple paper-based reports or via spreadsheets out of AE/AO Practice Management and Account Right or another business system. This involves export to/entering data into spreadsheets to then be massaged to make sense of it all.
Practices tell us the current compilation process of reports to support Advisory Services is so cumbersome and slow that the figures are out of date by the time Partners/Managers and Clients meet to review them.
Practices also tell us the preparation cost, involving professional staff who understand the data, is prohibitive for both the Practice and the Client.
Manual preparation involving spreadsheets is not a basis for providing High-Value Advisory Services to Clients on a mutually profitable basis!
What if you had the right tools and processes to 'push a button' and activate automated means to eliminate/reduce costly manual steps and time? For example:
The Cerebiz tools are there to do this…. right now!
The combination of Integrated systems and Automated two-way synchronisation of data is here now for' your' MYOB systems that include Client's ARL/Cerebiz systems that you have access to and can monitor via a Dashboard.
All MYOB data resides in a cloud-based ‘Data Warehouse’ and organised to suit ‘Advanced Analytics’ Charts, Reports, Drill Down and Ranking (including) 80/20Analysis.
Set up Quick Report templates for use practice-wide, or by Departments, Manager, or Client.
For a report, draw on data within the MYOB/Cerebiz database and, as required, external sources such as industry benchmarks.
A unique path to 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory!
Use the same Cerebiz Modules to work 'on' the business side of your Accounting/Advisory Practice and for Business Advisory to collaborate and work on improving your Client's Business.
You manage the Client's ARL/Cerebiz system on behalf of the Client or you connect to the Client's ARL/Cerebiz system remotely for your Advisory role.
Others are already doing it profitably for Practice and Client!
In the video across, MRL Group, an Advisory oriented Practice in Adelaide, explains their problem with the functional and process gaps in AE Practice Management and AccountRight.
Their experience has been that to fill these gaps, requires so much valuable professional preparation time that the cost makes it prohibitive to deliver Advisory Services.
The video explains the substantially automated solution that has been working for them for quite some time now. The results have been very positive for their Practice.
Next is the video/story about Grant Thornton Adelaide and their move to a new level of Advisory
GT also had faced the same high-cost barrier as a result of the many hours of professional time required to analyse data and prepare reports for Advisory sessions with their Clients.
They place much importance on a report making business sense to the Client and also bringing out the data to support the insights and advice they provide to Clients.
Using automated processes to eliminate manual operations means the preparation time is now a fraction of what it was.
Grant Thornton's and the Client's focus is changing to timely insights and advice on a Monthly or Quarterly basis.
Proactive highlight and discussion of issues and possible resolutions will turn out to be of much higher value to the Client than the previous Annual 'rear vision' sessions.
What could you do with this Path to 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory?
Everything is here for your Accounting Practice to start right now!