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Best Practices

How to Service Twice as Many Clients without Adding Headcount

September 27, 2023
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Running a CPA, bookkeeping, or CFO firm is hard.  So much of your work product is directly driven from human capital. So to double your client base, you would need to double your employee base.  But what if that were no longer the case?  Read on to see how financial automation software can allow you to scale your business dramatically, without adding dramatic cost.

The Bookkeeping - Advisory Split

Clients are your lifeblood and you take your duty of care seriously.  Typically that means that client reps spend half their time doing the tactical daily bookkeeping tasks required to keep accurate financial records inside of your accounting software of choice.

The second half of their time is largely devoted to advisory:  organizing, interpreting, and delivering that financial information to the client.  This is the value-driving portion of your advisory services and the way you turn data into insights to help clients run their businesses more effectively.  It’s imperative to focus your energy here to stand out, wow your clients, and generate more business through client recommendations.  Yet ironically, 80% of this critical advisory step is STILL highly tactical.  That portion involves downloading data from your accounting software into Excel, transforming and formatting the data for client delivery, running next-level spreadsheet analysis like budget vs actual or segment P&Ls, creating custom charts and graphs, and finally emailing these various PDFs or raw spreadsheets to your clients.  There’s got to be a better way.

Financial Automation to the Rescue

The right modern software product can fully automate the tactical 80% of your advisory work, as well as guiding much of your strategic analysis, leaving time for handling more clients.  It begins by creating a single source of truth between the past (the accounting information in your ERP) and the future (the projections in your spreadsheet business model).  Once your clients’ data is in a structured format, the software can automate the various downstream reports and charts that were formerly human-generated.  Finally, the software should deliver the financial package to the client, ideally in a more useful format than a PDF over email.

What to Look for in a Financial Automation Platform

Familiar Workflow
The most important path to scaling your firm is to preserve as much of your existing workflow as possible, and to work with — not replace — your existing tools like ERP, HRIS, and spreadsheets.  The benefit is twofold: it means your reps will have a far quicker learning curve on the software, and even more importantly, you completely avoid the often weeks- or months-long migration of your business model to a new format or system.  When done right, each client should be fully onboarded into the financial automation platform in under an hour.

Depth of Reporting
Simply automating a P&L and balance sheet is insufficient to gain scale here.  To truly create client value, you should be providing deeper analysis such as variance and budget vs actual reporting, scenario analysis, segment P&Ls, and even bring in important non-financial KPIs that the client uses to run their business.  Consider a platform that can build and maintain every one of these reports automatically, with almost no additional work required by the rep.

Automated Delivery & Client Discovery
Emailing PDFs and spreadsheets to a client doesn’t scale either.  They take significant time to assemble and send, the process is rife with version control issues, client communications can get crossed up, and frankly there is only so much information you can fit into a PDF without overwhelming the recipient.

Instead, providing the client with a single destination where their numbers are always fresh is a far superior option.  The best systems provide one secure, firm-branded web destination where both CPA and client are viewing the exact same updated information.  This streamlines communication and eliminates the concept of multiple versions of data — there is one single shared source of truth.  Critically, a fully featured interactive web destination allows the client to consume financial data at their own pace, going from summary to detail when they need it.  These well-designed systems free up even more CPA time when clients can answer their own detailed questions.

Any system touching client data must achieve nothing less than a Soc2 Type II certification.  Furthermore, it needs to be properly permissioned so that each client employee receives the numbers precisely tailored for them, while shielding them from other confidential information they shouldn't be seeing.

A financial automation platform is a non-starter if it costs anything close to the value it provides the firm — it needs to be far cheaper so that firm margins go up.  And it should also cost less on a per-client basis the more clients that are added.

Meet Telemetry Pro

Telemetry Pro is the first and only financial automation platform that checks every box above.  It works with your existing tools — even spreadsheets — without requiring modifications to your teams’ workflow.  Each client can be fully onboarded in under an hour.  It automatically generates a wealth of reporting as well as doing the nitty gritty back office work like truing up Excel models with actual ERP data.  Telemetry creates beautiful, firm-branded web destinations for your clients which ensure that data is fresh and that clients have the opportunity to do data discovery at their own pace.  It is Soc2 Type II certified and affordable, with aggressive volume discounts.  And, as an incentive to start, up to two clients on platform free forever.

Telemetry’s world class financial automation platform will free up your employees’ time so that you can service twice the clients with your existing staff.

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