Date posted: 30/01/2023 5 min read

Turning Data into valuable advice

A new survey reveals significant opportunities for additional revenue streams. Brought to you by Access Group.

Australian Accountants are collecting an overwhelming amount of client data from a range of digital sources, but are struggling to harness and organise it effectively, a major survey has found.

The Access Group polled 493 small and medium sized practices and found widespread confusion over how best to utilise the vast swathes of incoming information and then present it effectively to clients.

The survey revealed that practices are spending an extraordinary 2.2 hours per day collating and curating data, with nearly two-thirds concerned that the ever-increasing amount of time involved poses a significant problem. Meanwhile, only 8% felt they were using their clients’ data to its full potential.

“The ability to process and present data to clients has become a critical expectation for accountants,” David Francis, GM of The Access Accountants Group, says, “so, if they can’t show real-time insights in a visually exciting way, they’re in danger of losing clients that value this proactive service .”

Accountants can now utilise powerful software packages capable of not only filtering an enormous volume of complex data from multiple sources, but also translating it into a range of dynamic visualisations.

David Francis, GM of The Access Accountants GroupPictured: David Francis, GM of The Access Accountants Group

“The ability to process and present data to clients has become a critical expectation for accountants”
David Francis, The Access Accountants Group

Business Intelligence tools

Raw data only becomes useful when it’s converted by specialist software into operational information that can be used strategically. BI tools pull information from multiple sources and present data in ways that can show progress on growth, cost reduction, customer sentiment, sales trends and anything else essential for making critical decisions.

“Fewer than one in five accountants surveyed currently utilises such tools to provide their clients with a superior service,” Francis says. “It’s a big risk to take if your rivals are already using them.

“The deep insights you gain allow you to fast-track towards becoming a data-driven practice.”

Three-quarters of practices using BI tools reported that it had enabled them to grow and provide a better service. A new survey reveals significant opportunities for additional revenue streams. Turning Data into valuable advice

Single source of truth

With so much data flying around, it’s crucial that only the most up-to-date and accurate is available to key stakeholders. Data warehousing unifies the various channels, eliminating the danger that an outdated Excel document or spreadsheet could be shared.

The practices surveyed used an average of four accounting software packages often causing confusion and miscommunication. Fewer than one in 10 used just the one unified system.

“Disparate data sets can be connected and then manipulated into meaningful and elegant presentations so that informed decisions can be made much faster both for clients and the practice.”

Visualising data

BI tools help accountants comb through all the available data and then present it in the most visually impactful way. Using sophisticated and interactive infographics, dashboards, graphs or charts, clients can instantly make sense of the data and then make informed decisions. It’s about making the complex simple.

“We recently acquired a business called Fathom that delivers beautiful reporting, powerful forecasting and timely business insights all in one place. It means accountants can leverage the latest technology to immediately drive revenue, empowering them to communicate advice more effectively and proactively.”

Find out more:

The Access Accountants Group has over 8000 clients across ANZ and has a free eBook on how it can help monetise your clients’ data more effectively. For more information, visit