MBS Accountancy and BILL Bring Transparency to Clients
Tell us about your firm.
Consultance Accounting leverages top technology platforms, exceptional talent, and proven processes to deliver timely and accurate solutions. Our expertise lies in helping our clients (small businesses and nonprofits) leverage their limited resources to establish repeatable and scalable best practices to level up their organizations. Our unique approach to client relations has led to an increase in productivity, profitability, margins, and net income for the firm.
How do you approach working with small businesses and nonprofits compared to larger organizations?
Coming from a major corporate background, I was surprised that small businesses and nonprofits often lack the data they need to accurately inform important decisions. Sometimes working with these clients can feel like the Wild West due to their unfocused approach and arbitrary adherence to a focused strategy. I often find that these business owners are so focused on the hustle and grind of daily operations that they can lose sight of the strategy behind initiatives.
With our small business and nonprofit clients, we want to act as an extension of their existing team, providing strategic advice and guidance that transforms the role of an accountant into that of a trusted business advisor. We emphasize the importance of planning, budgeting, and—most importantly—creating processes and procedures to bring order to the chaos of daily operations. Providing much needed structure to these clients also mitigates risk and allows us to identify potential problems before they happen. This in turn empowers our clients to effect change and effectively communicate their ideas to internal stakeholders at their organizations.
How does BILL help small businesses and nonprofits create finance departments that scale with their organizations?
For all our clients, understanding the nuances of each unique business model is key. We want to get to the “why” and “how” of the way they do things so we can effectively advise on the applications and technologies best suited to each client’s individual needs. Particularly for our clients with one-person finance departments, we want to help streamline operations and create best practices that will save valuable time and money.
This is also where a technology like BILL and the extensive reporting capabilities of the platform come into play. Without the real-time information provided by BILL, our clients can't make informed decisions.We’ve found that BILL’s reporting capabilities are particularly helpful for our nonprofit clients, whose budgets and annual planning often require extensive board oversight and approval. These nonprofit leaders need data and numbers in order to effectively communicate their own ideas and visions to internal and external stakeholders who might not be in the weeds of daily operations. Ultimately, BILL’s easy real-time data and visualization provides our teams and our clients with the advice they need to make informed decisions.
How has BILL helped you grow your business working with small businesses and nonprofits, and what advice do you have for accountants looking to do the same?
While I strongly believe in the importance of technology and creating scalable practices to increase the functionality and capability of small businesses and nonprofits, that’s only one of many things that goes into building a strong client relationship. Clients expect a baseline of service with any accounting firm. The way to stand out in a crowded field is through the soft skills of communication and relationship building offered through a curated advisory service.
BILL helps us to offer a higher level of client service while simultaneously allowing us to spend less time on mundane tasks and more time advising and adding value in moments that matter to clients. In fact, we calculate that we save an average of 65% on invoice processing costs and 90% of processing time per client using BILL. These kinds of cost savings really add up across our entire book of business.
Additionally, as firms think about growing out their client rosters, they should consider what type of clients are the best fit for their firm’s expertise. Firms could have the most orderly standardized practices and processes, but if it’s not a fit with the type of client and how they work, then the experience for the client won’t be correct and it’ll be a challenging experience for both your clients and your employees.
At the end of the day, it all comes back to what experience you are providing for your clients. What will set your firm apart from other accountants are not the numbers you provide, but the story and vision you help your clients create through a strategic partnership powered by the best technologies.