Any professional, whether it be an accountant, CFO or financial advisor, who is advising a business on the state of its financial health relies heavily on accurate real-time data.
To obtain clean data, verifying and recording the information is vital. Having a qualified professional bookkeeper to either assist or manage the process makes a big difference to achieving this end result. A bookkeeper will make sure that there are no gaps or duplication in the data (especially if they’re using the Assurance Dashboard) and that each transaction is coded to the right income or expense category. Only then will the figures and reports you get be accurate and reliable.
What is clean data?
Clean financial data is the outcome of a systematized process that verifies and records data from source documents and transactions. This process makes sure the data is free of errors, verifying and checking that the information contained is free from corruption.
Seamless connectivity to banks and add-ons means the data flows in, clients code it, and you periodically check they’re on track. It’s data oversight and approval rather than data entry, which means it takes less time and there are fewer errors.
Clean data = clear advice
So how are business achieving clean data?
The keys to really making it effortless are having a well-defined process and using the right tools. Accountants, bookkeepers and small businesses around the globe are jumping at the opportunity to work in the cloud and benefit from the efficiencies it offers. Many are choosing Xero as the focal point for a web of data flowing between banks, accountants, suppliers and government agencies.
Crunching the numbers
Many bookkeepers are specializing in particular industry verticals or niches to streamline the process and make it razor-focused.
Nick from Cafe Bookkeepers in the hip suburb of Newtown in Sydney decided to focus on working just with cafes. He got really good at it at, really fast. Specializing enabled him to implement one system, and simply rinse and repeat. Having a deep understanding of a specific industry strengthens the bookkeeper’s ability to ensure clean data – an essential ingredient for small business success – and means increased profitability for the bookkeeper.
Cafe Bookkeepers has taken the step to cloud accounting. Using the now clean data, they can tell the client the story of what is happening in the life of their business. They’re able to put the words behind the numbers in conversations with the client. Nick says to clients, “On top of the usual number crunching, we want to add value to your business. We’ll help guide your business by showing you where you are placed within industry benchmarks.“
So Nick’s recipe for success is creating the right system to deliver clean data, using the best tools available. Nick’s tool of choice to provide the story of the business is Crunchboards – you can read more about Nick’s Aussie success story here.
Heading to the other side of the globe, in the UK, Mark Wallis from Numbers Nerds was on a mission to add value to his clients. He wanted to be able to create a visual representation to show monthly KPIs and forecast cash flow. Mark has implemented Crunchboards as his tool of choice as well. Clean data is vital to the process and Crunchboards pulls live data from Xero to display a compelling visual story that shows what’s happening in the business. He finds that Crunchboards is a brilliant tool for starting a conversation with a client and demonstrating the crucial role of clean data.
Conversations with our clients
As a professional wanting to talk to a client and relay the story of what’s happening in their business, we need to think about how we want to communicate and the style that our clients feel comfortable with.
My advice is stick to just a few points, discover what is important to the client and what you identify is vital to the business success. Some clients will be focused on the numbers, others will be visual.