From XU Magazine, 
Issue 18

The future is empowered clients

As a trusted professional advisor, the value you bring to your client – is you…

A core definition of a business disruption is the ability to give the many access to products or services previously only available to the few and privileged. A great example of this is in the Star Wars series where the central plot line is a galactic struggle between those wishing to centralize and control all resources and those who believe small and balanced creative communities working together leads to greater success.
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Any small or medium size business leader who has had to rely on their Accountant to pour through data from multiple applications to offer advice on things like cash flow, profitability or even inventory, knows how the Rebellion felt.

“At we’re rebels,” says Cherniwchan with a wry smile.

Empowering clients who don’t read financial statements

“Many business owners we speak with say they don’t even read the financial statements provided to them as they need more in-depth operational data to run their business. They want to learn and be empowered to access and understand their own data, but they aren’t. We believe that empowerment creates a substantial shift in the Accountant value proposition from data-keeper to trusted professional advisor.”

It’s a Force Choke

Conceptually everyone likes the idea of empowered clients, but practically there’s an issue in getting there. Software engineers can build systems that empower people to interact with their own data but it’s not a simple solution and difficult to meet all the reporting needs. That’s one problem, the availability of software solutions. Another issue is self-proclaimed ‘advisors’ who are actually protecting the accessibility of the data from the client because cutting off access to the data viewed as a method to drive loyalty.

“In Star Wars vernacular that’s a force choke,” says Cherniwchan, “no different than Darth Vader using the force to ensure loyalty and compliance.” “Increasingly the cloud accounting industry will need to adopt technology that gives clients the opportunity to get answers from their own business data easily. That’s empowerment, and a positive way to drive loyalty. Professional advisors have the ability to create customized reporting experiences for their clients with little effort. They are then free to do what computers can’t do – think in the abstract and give valuable advice.”

Next Generation Advisory

The challenge in getting to next generation advisory is the cloud accounting community understanding the true value to their clients is more collaborative than tradition; it’s a process of empowerment that enables financial literacy, insights generation, and allows firms to stand-out from others by creating an elevated level of client experience and loyalty. This places more importance on the relationship advisors have with their clients than the data they keep.

The rebellion is growing and dare we say a new hope?

Why leave it there?

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