There are some clients that are so valuable to your firm that you just cannot lose them. They demand your attention or at least are in need of the facilitation of introductions to the right people to ensure they are being serviced well. These clients are generally large businesses. If you don’t serve them with the advisory reporting they may or may not yet be aware of, you run a dangerous risk of losing them.
It’s important that you understand the difference between Management Reporting and Custom Client Reporting. So please read this blog first if you have not already to understand when a BI Specialist is needed and when your accounting team can handle things internally.
Custom Client Reporting – An Example Client. They turnover $5M +. They are actively looking at their reporting and needing a better understanding of where things are, to enable them to grow and make wiser decisions. You need a BI specialist for this project. They have accounting, operational, marketing and other data sources. They need reporting designed that does not come from out of the box templates and are past standard management reports.
You can find BI specialists to help your accounting firm from 3 sources;
External Consultants – Bring in a BI Consulting Firm to help service your client. Facilitate the introduction to the client and project manage the reporting needs with this BI Consulting firm.
Hire internally – Onshore – Bring the skillset to your accounting firm.
Hire internally – Offshore – The Philippines for example, you will certainly find this skillset.
Turning your accounting compliance staff into BI specialists – This is possible, however you must recognise that they need further training past the Management Reporting BI work we have discussed. If you expect that your staff member continues to be productive with compliance, I would raise with you my concerns.
The compliance accountant in your firm is very capable of running the management reports inside Power BI for your advisory services. To step up and become a BI specialist/data scientist is a different decision. Making major modifications to data models. Understanding M language, SQL and complicated DAX functionality. They need to learn the craft.