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Articles | reporting

The tech we use to deliver insightful management accounts & reports with an impact

Dan Cockerton, the founder of digitalaccountancy.com, discusses which apps market-leading accountancy firms use to deliver insightful management accounts and reports with an impact. He is joined by James Grew, Founder of Automated Accounting, and David Adderson, Co-Founder of Youtopia.

Panellists include:

  • Dan Cockerton, Founder of DigitalAccountancy.com
  • James Grew, Founder of Automated Accounting
  • David Adderson, Founder of Youtopia

Watch here or read below to discover how these accounting masterminds utilise technology to offer insightful reports and account management.

Top Takeaways:

Takeaway #1: There are plenty of apps for more advanced reporting and management accounts

One of the biggest takeaways from this conversation was learning just how many apps are available for accountancy firms to take advantage of.

Whether it’s Fathom for more templated management reporting, Spotlight for sprucing up reports, or Klipfilio for building bespoke real-time dashboards, there are plenty of apps for you to choose from to improve your reporting and management accounts for clients.

James also discussed that lots of firms aren’t fully utilising the existing apps they already have to get the most out of them.

“People don’t use software to its full capabilities, and I try to change that. Within Dext, getting people to set up automatic email rules to chase emails, for example.”

Takeaway #2: Technology can Provide More Visual and Insightful Reporting for Clients

As mentioned, both James and David utilise additional technology to provide more detailed, visually appealing reports for clients.

A lot of the time, clients will only scan reports or ignore them altogether unless something is wrong. 

By using some of the technology on offer to create more visual reports for clients, you can gain more engagement from them, which will help them to see the value in the service you’re providing. 

Apps such as Google Data Studio and Klipfolio offers users live dashboards that update in real-time, and David uses this with one client who has this information live and running on the TVs in their office.

“Klipfolio is great when it works. It’s a live dashboard that you can use to add any visuals too, pulling in data from anywhere,” says David.

Klipfolio has over 70 integrations with different financial software and non-financial software like CRMs and stock management. It can display that data in a way that clients find easier to digest, especially clients with plenty of staff in several departments. It allows you to build out a dashboard for each department to split up and understand data better.

It is quick and easy to use, with a drag-and-drop system so anyone can use it. As David says, if he can use it, anyone can!

Related – Learn why flinder switched from using Klipfolio to build it’s own data analytics and reporting app in-house

Takeaway #3: Apps automate reporting so you can spend more time discussing with clients

One of the main benefits of using apps like Fathom, Spotlight, and Klipfolio is that they can automate manual processes, saving you plenty of time.

Rather than spending hours inputting data from various places into a report, and writing commentary, only for it to be briefly skimmed and ignored by clients, you can use the apps to automate all of this, giving you more time to work through it with your clients and identify actions to the task.

Apps like Klipfolio even write the commentary for you based on the data that gets pulled into the report.

“I’m a big automator. I describe myself as professionally lazy as I am always looking to turn something manual into an automated process,” says James.

Takeaway #4: Technology does come with its own challenges

Unfortunately, while there are many benefits that technology can bring to reporting and management accounts for accountancy firms, there are some downsides and limitations as well.

As David points out, most of the software on offer is excellent at what they do, but they struggle to adapt to any tweaks or changes you try and make that take it away from the prebuilt formulas.

“We are all capable of gathering plenty of data, but what is useful?” says David. 

Too much data on reports can feel extremely complex, and some of the key information can get lost in the shuffle, defeating the point of reporting.

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