Transform Your Team:...

Transform Your Team: Leveraging Technology

This is the final deep dive in a series of three articles focused on how to transform your staff into trusted business advisors. For a background on why this is so critical to the long-term success of your practice, read our intro to the series here.

In our first article in this series, we covered the need to train advisors on how to analyze business health AND have meaningful conversations with clients about it. In our second we discuss how to create moments within your existing processes to have meaningful conversations with your clients. 

The last step is leveraging technology. As noted in our intro, quite often the barrier to not delivering on having holistic conversations is not having enough time to do a proper analysis. To become a trusted advisor, the work must be done upfront to show you know the business or at least have some preparation to make the conversation meaningful. 

Technology That Gives the Right Information 

This is where technology comes in. By using a platform that makes it easy for staff to be armed with the right information, it eliminates that time barrier. When vetting technology solutions in this arena a few points are important:

  • Does the technology simply aggregate or present data, or does it analyze it and produce something more efficient or tangible (i.e. is it contextualized data)? 
  • How easy is it to upload data into the system and who can do it? This will help understand if there is actually a time and/or cost savings. 
  • How customizable is the technology to allow you to choose what gets analyzed and how it gets presented? If the data doesn’t come out in a way that you can influence, will it actually be a time savings or not is important to know. 

Technology That is Client-facing 

Technology with a user-friendly interface also helps break down the barrier for the client of being able to understand the key talking points. Having color-coded charts with trend lines and explanations of the key concepts empowers the business owner to feel a part of the process, and not be overwhelmed or intimidated by it. 

On a similar note, having a technology partner who can be alongside you for multiple years is important. This is because you’ll want consistency in the calculation and presentation of the data to your client so that year-over-year historical progress can be tracked on a consistent basis. 

Technology That Helps You Grow 

Becoming a trusted business advisor is a symbiotic relationship between you and your client. The more their business grows, the more opportunities there are for additional fees for you, whether that be through increased fees on existing work due to that growth, or expanding to other service offerings. 

Having a technology partner that can help you identify these higher-margin consulting and advisory services is important. This is because it is the easiest path to validating the return on your investment in the software. 

This is where interVal comes into play. By producing actionable insights based on objective data, all in an easy-to-understand way, it is easy to understand the return from investing in this type of solution. 


Author: Dave Bunce, CPA, CA.