To get us started, why don’t you tell me a bit about EisnerAmper and your role there?
I joined EisnerAmper about a year ago, and I’m a manager in the Cloud Accounting Services team. Some of the key parts of my role are to support clients with cloud implementation, management reporting, and onboarding. We support offices in New York as well as Philadelphia, San Francisco and Miami. We have more than to 1,700 employees, and we’re one of the largest accounting firms in the U.S.
The practice I’m in started about three years ago. We provide accounting services for start-ups, small businesses, family offices.
What does 2020 look like for you and the team? And have you had any wins so far?
We’re continuing to add advisory services for our clients as well as enhance our reporting. We’re also expanding the use of Spotlight Reporting, especially for some of our family offices and clients that require consolidated reporting.
We’re excited and off to a good start! We just landed a new family office client that was using another CPA firm. One of the reasons they switched to EisnerAmper is that they weren’t receiving enough management reports and financials. I’m not sure exactly what the last firm was providing, but I’d say it's nothing compared to what we're going to provide them using Spotlight Reporting. We’re looking forward to using the Personal Wealth Management template for this client, too. Once we get that up and running, we can share this with other family office partners. It’s all about offering a report that has useful information. Clients want quick, accurate information. And due to their hectic schedules, they often just need to see the KPIs in an easily digestible format. And if they need detailed reports, we can build those as well.
"It’s all about offering a report that has useful information. Clients want quick, accurate information. And due to their hectic schedules, they often just need to see the KPIs in an easily digestible format."
What has your experience been like using Spotlight Reporting so far?
When I started at EisnerAmper, the team wasn’t using Spotlight Reporting. We’d signed an agreement with Futrli and had one client doing some actual versus budgeting reporting. I spent quite a bit of time and effort using another reporting application. About a month after I had started, a team member who had experience with Spotlight Reporting brought it to my attention. So we changed providers and started with a 50-organization plan. Then it just took off! Now we have quite a few clients for whom we use Spotlight Reporting. Even outside of our practice, I can share something with another service line or regional office and they can consolidate their statements. It's become a powerful tool for us.
What were the major pain points of your reporting or forecasting process before using Spotlight Reporting?
Good question. In the past, we had one client who we were preparing consolidated statements for in Excel; they had one entity in Xero and the other two in Excel. We were spending way too much time preparing their statements in Excel. But once we started using Spotlight Reporting, we could communicate with the client to get better data that they’re actually updating, which we then import into Spotlight Reporting. Now we’re saving a considerable amount of time.
Then, in Spring 2019, there was a more immediate need to use Spotlight Reporting because we brought new clients on board who required consolidated reporting services. We had one client who started with two entities and that has developed over time into nine entities, on which we’re able to easily report. The CFO loves the information we’re able to share!
"We had one client start with two entities and that has developed over time into nine entities, on which we’re able to easily report."
By using Spotlight Reporting, have you noticed any increases in revenue, growth or time-saving?
It's been huge for our team, especially the time-saving aspect. Spotlight Reporting is something we’re bringing up as part of our sales discussions. If a potential client has multiple entities, we can now say: “We’ve got a tool to report on that.” That’s a unique selling point for us and something we don’t have to worry about anymore. We’re easily able to consolidate entities.
Are there any specific features that you enjoy the most?
Multi-currency consolidation is big. Spotlight Reporting has the ability to consolidate up to 50 entities. We have one client who is currently rolling out individual entities across different states across the U.S., and we’re able to use Spotlight Reporting with them as they grow.
What would you say to someone who’s looking for or shopping around for a reporting or forecasting tool?
See how easy is to use and how much time it will take to learn. With Spotlight Reporting, I found the UI easy to navigate. I sat down with a team member for 30 minutes and we were able to quickly navigate and set up the reports like we wanted—customizing columns, importing data, and getting the layout right. Having an easy-to-use system will allow you to spend additional time on other clients and project work. Also, make sure you review the presentation and customization options of the reports. With Spotlight Reporting, it just takes a matter of seconds to produce a PDF report, review it and send it to the client.
"Having an easy-to-use system will allow you to spend additional time on other client and project work."
Any final thoughts?
Another benefit is working with the Spotlight Reporting team, including Tom and Patrick, who’ve been really helpful. I met Patrick at Xerocon and had numerous conversations before we got going. It’s been great to work with people at your end. Anytime we reach out to your support team, we’ve got some really quick, clear answers.
It's been a really good experience using Spotlight Reporting, and we’ll definitely continue to use it. We’re working hard to get all of our clients on board. It’s fantastic!