How much do you charge for Business Intelligence in your Accounting Firm?

 

Recommended Pre-Reading.

 

Where to start – Power BI in your Accounting Firm.

 

I wanted to write to you today about pricing analytic services in your accounting firm. A set of dashboards and reports which are scaled across your client base. Why? Because its monthly, recurring, sticky and passive in nature. It is undeniable to ignore.

 

When pricing your analytics services, I believe you have 3 options. (You can have a hybrid of all 3).

 

  1. Management Reporting

  2. Custom Client Reporting – Internal BI Specialist

  3. Custom Client Reporting – External BI Specialist

 

 

  1. Management Reporting

 

Delivery of management reporting to your SME client base can be profitable if executed well. The idea is to design a set of management reports which are custom to your firm but have a familiar feel to the management reports you have done previously in Excel. Budget v actual on a quarterly basis. KPIs, Debtor Days and Ratio analysis.

 

On average you would see pricing for this service anywhere between $200 per month per client, all the way up to $2,000 per month per client. It can also facilitate further service offerings to your clients, like business coaching and custom client reporting. (Please keep in mind, this price guide is for scaling management reporting to your small and lower end medium clients. Custom reporting and advisory for medium and above is not considered in this )

 

Typically, you would have one champion in your firm who would manage this. It is not a full-time job, but there are still many admin tasks in facilitating the roll out. Inviting clients into the system. Explaining to them what they are receiving. Rollover of monthly or quarterly reports to entire client base. Printing to PDF and email to the select clients who would like to hold a static piece of paper at the end of each month to review.

 

 

  1. Custom Client Reporting – Internal BI Specialist

 

 

Custom client reporting as mentioned previously, can be done by hiring internally in your firm.

 

When pricing a custom client report with this resource, I recommend you still move your clients onto a monthly recurring revenue stream and carry the payback period WIP in the interim.

 

As an example, let’s say a client of yours running a wine business approaches you with the need for a set of KPIs via Dashboards for their Sales team. They have multiple different data sources (accounting, operational and marketing) and need the data blended and modelled. You scope the job out and decide that it will cost $8,000 for your staff time.

 

You approach the client and say, we are going to move you onto a monthly debit system. For delivery of these Dashboards, it is going to cost you $1k per month and you need to sign up onto a 12-month subscription of the package with an automatic rollover after the 12 months. That way you know that you will have an 8-month payback period and have an ongoing revenue stream not to dissimilar to your management reporting above.

 

 

  1. Custom Client Reporting – External BI Specialist

 

 

The final method is finding yourself an external BI Specialist to look after the clients who are in need of this reporting. Depending on your appetite, you can either Project Manage and discuss the reporting needs with the BI Specialist and client in the same room, or simply pass the introduction on, and they handle everything without you.

 

When a BI Specialist does complete work for your clients, there are some things you need to be aware of;

 

  1. They are likely going to want and need to put that client onto an ongoing monthly fee to charge for the data sources and updating/delivery of the reporting needs to the client.

  2. They are also going to charge an upfront fee.

 

 

Simply facilitating the introduction is the cleanest and easiest route for you. Although you make little financially out of it (unless you have a referral arrangement). You do ensure your client is being serviced.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

Hopefully this article gives you a feel for the different pricing options available on the table for you. Some of the options ensure your client is well served but you receive little to no financial value out of it, while other options, create an entirely new revenue stream for your accounting firm.