Xero connects with over 1,000 apps that help small businesses and their advisors succeed, with most available in the Xero App Store. Each month we celebrate an app partner who stands out for helping small businesses thrive. Find out more about becoming a Xero app partner here.
We’re back in 2022 with our April app partner of the month, Clarity – a powerful accounting and advisory platform that helps practices provide effortless business advisory services, realising the true potential of both accounting firms and their clients.
Traditionally, accounting advisory services have been expensive and difficult to resource, often meaning that small businesses miss out. Clarity has developed their technology platform to provide advisory frameworks, processes and resources for accountants and bookkeepers so they can streamline their services and package them at a price that small businesses can afford.
“We’re passionate about small business success and helping them succeed – they power the global economy,” says Aynsley Damery, CEO and Founder of Clarity. “We want to democratise business advisory and make it accessible to all small business owners.”
Spotting the opportunity
Hailing from the UK, Clarity was the brainchild of Aynsley and Steven Briginshaw, Clarity’s COO. As previous small business owners and accountants themselves, Aynsley and Steven understand the world of business, the world of accounting and how technology is changing how both those worlds operate. They saw an opportunity to bridge the communication gap and make an impact.
“We’ve looked at what small business owners truly need from a business advisor. We’ve taken that process, leveraged it with technology and then added wrap-around support and structures within the Clarity platform. We’ve given accountants a plan to build better businesses and the confidence to make it happen. Small businesses can now see more value in working with their accountant”, says Aynsley.
Platform and education package
Clarity is a cloud business advisory platform that takes all of the key financial information about a business and captures it in one place for both a small business owner and/or their advisor to see. Clarity organises the data into a portfolio view using high-level categories, including Clarity’s own ‘7 Key Numbers’ system: Revenue, Gross Profit, EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation), Revenue per Employee, Core Cash, Cash Days, and Business Return.
These ‘7 Key Numbers’ form part of an enablement and education framework that the Clarity team have created to go alongside the platform.
“We’ve built an implementation and education program to support accountants using the platform. We’ve done the hard work and created resources, tools and the wrap-around support for advisors to be able to price, implement and deliver repeatable advisory work,” Aynsley explains.
Using the ‘7 Key Numbers’, advisors can use Clarity to quickly build a business report for their clients. The visual and easy to understand report shows small business owners not only their current position, but what is possible with just a few small improvements to select areas. By small business owners being involved in the process and seeing what incremental, targeted increases in those ‘7 Key Numbers’ could look like, business owners get excited and are more bought in.
“Advisors can quickly learn what’s important to small business owners and how to get them engaged. If the small business owner succeeds, the accountant succeeds – it’s a win-win,” Aynsley adds.
Quick to start, quick to produce
Being able to implement Clarity and see results quickly is something the team at UK business advisory team, Accounts + Legal, can attest to.
“Clarity is one of our four foundation apps and is only one of two apps ever that we’ve been able to roll out straight away, need minimal training and see a profit from the word go,” says Accounts + Legal regional director, Stuart Hurst.
Being able to bring key financial information together and present it in a way that made sense to their customers has helped them get some big wins.
“Our biggest highlight so far was landing a £12k per annum upsell to a client. Clarity gave me a structure to set out what we could actually do to help the client and present it in a way that the client could finally understand the value of our additional services. They bit my hand off with the offer to help them grow the business,” adds Stuart.
Heading straight for the future
Aynsley is excited about where they can take Clarity: “The long term plans are big, the vision is huge and we want Clarity to be the business advisory platform worldwide.”
The team is working hard on solutions that tackle communication gaps they see between advisor and client. These releases include a new companion app for small businesses so that they can see reports, track progress and get insights on what’s being worked on by their advisors, and a task management solution to help advisors with project managing next steps and workflows.
“We’re also looking at building in a meeting mode within Clarity. We want to make it easier for advisors and small businesses to speak a common language, and help meetings and the communication run more smoothly,” says Aynsley.
With so much on offer, Aynsley says they’re stoked to be doing it alongside Xero: “We’ve been using Xero for years as accountants, and now in a different way as app partners. It’s been a lovely involvement over such a long time.”