From XU Magazine, 
Issue 38

Why measuring bookkeeping data quality matters to accounting and bookkeeping firms

How UK firms are using bookkeeping health checks to increase income

Gareth Salomon FCA discusses 5 ways that automatic bookkeeping data quality checks have become the secret sauce for practice growth.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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As bookkeepers and accountants, we love data. A neatly reconciled bank account, a meaningfully accurate aged creditors report and a net pay control account whose balance neatly consists of the most recent submissions only. Pure bliss!

Let’s discuss how you can use bookkeeping data quality reviews to harness that bookkeeping data and grow your firm…

Communicating your value – In all honesty, how do you currently evidence your knowledge and value to prospects during that first meeting? Imagine going into that first prospect meeting fully armed with an automatically generated bookkeeping health report and a couple of large transactions where purchase tax has been under-claimed by the previous advisor. If you were the client, would you be impressed? Is the prospect likely to choose you or one of the other two advisors that spent 30 minutes merely finding out what services are required?

Accurate Proposals – How many times have you had a quick glance at a prospect’s Xero data (probably just to get a rough idea of transaction levels and previous advisor’s fee in the P&L) before coming up with a proposal, only to realize later that there are thousands of unreconciled bank and credit card transactions, hundreds of unpaid invoices & bills dating back 5 years and far too many high value transactions in “429 – General Expenses”? How did the client feel when you doubled their fee? Or did you just suck it up yourself leaving money on the table? Data quality and transactional activity reports give you the information you need to produce an accurate proposal, first time.

Gamifying and motivating – A bookkeeping health score provides a tangible reading of the amount of work required to get the client’s records to an accurate trial balance. The race to get a client’s bookkeeping health score back up to 100% is addictive and extremely motivating – for you and your team members. The team member is motivated to work more efficiently, work gets pushed out of the door sooner and the firm increases profits. Pretty compelling!

Automatic Systemization – The problem with most systems in a firm is that they take a lot of time to develop, review and amend. Bookkeeping data quality checklists and reports are automatically generated, driven by the underlying bookkeeping data. They require very little setup and handholding. They systemize the bookkeeping process, allowing the team to focus on the fee-generating work.

Who needs help? – The ability to have a bird’s eye view of the bookkeeping health score for all of your clients is extremely useful. Which team members are struggling with technical issues? Not bringing bank reconciliations up to date in a timely manner? Are overworked? Bookkeeping health statistics give you the visibility required to nip such issues in the bud before they manifest.

A Final Thought – Every client is unique, with differing levels of complexity involved. Let’s use tools that harness the data we already have to identify exactly what our clients’ needs are, who is best suited to service each client and what fee is fair for the work involved.

Why leave it there?

Get started with Xenon

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