Ways to provide higher value to clients
There are two aspects to the heading 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory Support.
One is that Clients place real Value on 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory Support that delivers for them in terms of improving Cash and Profit.
The other is that without the right automated tools and up to date and 'right' data level required to provide 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory Support, members of a Practice's Advisory Team can not deliver real Value to Clients.
The Chart below illustrates the potential scope of services to Clients for 'Virtual CFO'/Business Advisory Support services.
Other research and industry sources support this potential.
A recent Australian Financial Review Article on its 'Top 100 Accounting Firm 2019 survey' states Matt Ashley, a business advisory and outsourcing partner at Mazars, is seizing the opportunities technological disruption is bringing to the accounting profession and across the wider business community.
Ashley, a chartered accountant, says technology is changing how the firm works in two different ways.
The first is it is allowing Mazars, which is one of the country's most successful newer 'start-up' firms (less than five years of operation), to be more efficient by automating and streamlining as many processes as possible.
Ashley says one of the major problems of the past was that data was stored in different systems which didn't 'talk' to each other and so had to be manually keyed in, taking up time and introducing the scope for error, but much of this now happens automatically.
'What technology has been able to do is give more real-time information, which then helps us accountants be able to give the clients a lot more meaningful kinds of information and advice which should hopefully be greater help for their business,' Ashley says. 'It gives you the chance to provide some advice: 'Here are some things we have seen in relation to how your business is going.
Have you thought about this or noticed this here? It might be an area of concern. Have you guys thought about that?' It's letting us provide a lot more value-add.'
Mazars is drawing technology trends together by offering clients a virtual CFO service. 'It's meant that for us as a business, we're then able to really enter that space and be able to act as the entire finance function for a lot of our clients and also international clients where we may become either some or all of that finance function," Ashley says.
Food for thought for your Practice?