Visuals to transform client conversations
Innovative new ways to bring reports and financials to life are helping chartered accountants have more productive dialogues with clients. Brought to you by Fathom.
At the start of a recent monthly meeting with a client, Dimitri Matsouliadis, head of advisory at chartered accountants, Hailston + Co, was pleased how quickly an insight into a very specific part of the business had been understood and acted upon.
The client had just glanced at the visually-appealing set of graphs based on the most up-to-date financials that Matsouliadis had put in front of him, and immediately spotted that one of the divisions was seriously underperforming.
Had these financials been presented on complex spreadsheets, the issue probably wouldn’t have been picked up. But that’s not how Hailston & Co work.
“One of the key goals with all our advisory engagements is to make every presentation as clear as possible so that it’s possible to see in an instant what needs to be done,” Matsouliadis says. “This client was doing OK, meeting targets on a whole organisation basis, but prior to this meeting, I had noticed that one of the smaller business divisions wasn’t tracking so well.”
The concerns around its performance weren’t straightforward, so he created a series of graphs in Fathom that made the situation crystal clear.
“They flicked through the report at the beginning of the meeting and, before we even started discussing performance, they were onto this particular issue and wanted to discuss possible solutions,” he says.
Simplify the complex
The data had been visualised in an all-in-one digital reporting, analysis and forecasting application that Hailston & Co use to bring reports and presentations to life.
“Clients are amazed that their numbers are suddenly so clear,” he says, “The dynamic visuals and reports lead to better and more impactful conversations. We are able to zoom out to see the whole of business and then zoom in on very specific parts of the business , he says. In doing so, it frees up the accountant to add greater value to the client’s business..
“Clients are amazed that their numbers are suddenly so clear.”
“It allows us to more quickly do that analysis and present to clients so we can move on to advising the best approach for them to take.”
Insights on opportunities
Such an application, fed by relevant data from accounting software, also quickly reveals where data is missing.
“A simple explanation might be that the business doesn’t have a sufficient diversification of revenue line items or operates on a divisional basis but doesn’t employ divisional accounting.
“When that happens, you’re not going to have the ability to do a monthly breakdown of revenue.”
Matsouliadis describes his role as being similar to Google Maps. He finds out where the business is now, where they want to be, and plots a route for them. Along the way he directs them around unexpected traffic jams and constantly monitors their progress, to ensure they arrive at their destination.
Hailston & Co has a three step process for engaging with clients and it uses Fathom as the platform to create its customised management reports, forecasts and analysis.
“My goal is not just to have visually dynamic graphics and reports. It’s to enable impactful decisions. The ability to convey a substantial amount of data quickly and easily is a key to that.”
Find out more:
Fathom combines insightful reporting, cash flow forecasting and actionable financial insights into one easy business management solution that powers the insights of over 60,000 companies in 80 countries, giving clarity and confidence to businesses and advisors. To start a free trial, visit www.fathomhq.com/caanz
Hear more from Dimitri Matsouliadis as he shares about his three step process for effectively engaging with clients in an exclusive on demand webinar for CA ANZ members. Watch it here.