CPAs have an important role in the success of their clients’ businesses, and data is central to their work. From analyzing past and current financial data to forecasting projections to show clients where their company is going, CPAs are experts at making data work for their clients.
In the digital age, big data is king, and there is plenty of it for CPAs to sift through to determine what their clients need to know. Financial reporting dashboards are an invaluable tool for CPAs as they work to give their clients an accurate picture of their business’s financial health.
Here is how dashboards can enhance financial reports for CPAs and their clients:
1. Provide Answers Instantly
Have you ever had a meeting with a client during which they asked a few questions you weren’t prepared to answer right away? Rather than providing detailed data analysis, accountants often have to tell clients they will get back to them.
Thankfully, such delays can be a thing of the past. CPAs have dashboards at their disposal to quickly and accurately answer questions for their clients without having to spend time crunching the numbers. CPAs can create dashboards to track KPIs that give clients the best insight into their business’ performance.
With real-time dashboards, CPAs can often manipulate data quickly to show clients what they need to know. Clients want answers right away so they can get to work improving their business and planning for the future.
Instant analysis isn’t about instant gratification: It is about getting the best data into the hands of clients sooner and allowing them to make data-driven decisions with accurate information.
2. Show Your Clients the Way
If you’ve ever tried to assemble a swing set using only verbal instructions, you know the value of a good visual aid. When you hand your client a financial report, there is a good chance it is as good as telling them how to put that swing set together with no pictures. While the data and analysis make sense, it is hard to see the big picture of what it all means.
Working with numbers may be incredibly interesting to CPAs, but it doesn’t always have quite the same effect on others. Most people retain information far better when it is presented visually. If you want your clients to have a deeper understanding of their financial reports, give the reports to them in a compelling, visual format.
Dashboards are a great way to share this valuable information with clients. Not only do they show the information in an interesting, visual way, but they can also quickly and easily show the entire picture of what the results mean.
3. Ignore Bad Data, Showcase Good Data
There are oceans of data available for businesses, with more building every minute. But just because the data is there doesn’t mean it is useful. Bad data doesn’t help a business progress. In fact, it can be quite detrimental. A 2016 study by IBM estimated that bad data costs the US economy alone more than $3 trillion each year.
Customizable reporting dashboards help CPAs bring out the right information and highlight it for clients while leaving bad data by the wayside. Showcasing the best data helps companies maximize efficiency, increase productivity, and make improvements in every area.
Data can be a blessing or a curse for businesses trying to harness the power of information. Dashboards can enhance a CPA’s financial reporting and ensure clients get accurate analysis that is easy to understand and use to move their business forward.
Justin Hatch is the co-founder and CEO of Reach Reporting, one of the leading visual reporting softwares on the market. Hatch is an industry expert in business management, specializing in software development and financial reporting. Hatch co-founded Reach Reporting in 2015 and launched in March of 2020, experiencing a growth rate of over 30% per month.
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