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KPI sting a boon for bookkeepers

New KPI video reporting tool brings bookkeepers and clients closer.

As the bookkeeper turned part-time CFO service offer gains momentum, for long-time Australian Bookkeepers Network (ABN) member firm, RobertsCowling, has innovated with a new KPI video reporting tool to bring bookkeepers and clients closer.

Speaking on ABN’s Bookkeeper Radio program recently, RobertsCowling Founding Partner, David Cowling, addressed the opportunity bookkeepers have to reap the reward from upping their offer to clients.

“This is not a question of whether, it’s a question of when bookkeepers will make the transition to outsourced CFO as bookkeepers are the ones best placed to do so,” said David.

“The only thing stopping many is some uncertainty about how to help, and that’s ultimately about knowing how to monitor clients’ KPIs well and how to communicate your insights.”

Having already spent years refining RobertsCowling’s virtual CFO offer, a major stumbling block was persuading clients of the value of monitoring and responding to the numbers that signal important things in their businesses.

“Most people see figures like revenue growth trend and net profit growth and cost of goods sold and they don’t mean anything to them,” said David. “That’s why it can feel like a battle to get clients to even read that report, let alone understand how their business is doing.”

“The bookkeeper really has to lead reform in their clients’ business and get people excited about using those KPIs to drive the business. They have to compare them over time to know what needs to change,” said David. “A big part of that is being able to explain things in ways that are engaging and clear about how the information is relevant.”

To pursue that end, David has just launched a new video communication tool for bookkeepers and accountants called Digital Rapport, to help with their virtual CFO service that clearly explains the stats to clients.

“It is integrated with Xero and is a cost-effective way for bookkeepers to dip their toe into the water of business advisory and make it super easy for clients to understand,” said David.

For just under $20 a client per annum for a quarterly video, the plug-in securely links client data to the Digital Rapport system. This then uses the key indicators to produce a two minute video which is delivered along with it a voiceover capability and script for the bookkeeper to record their advice on top.

While every business is different and Digital Rapport is tailored to each businesses own KPIs, David confirms there are usually a selection of must-have KPIs in all reports. These are:

  • Revenue Growth trend
  • Net Profit Growth + Target metric
  • Current Ratio, which is a tally of current assets to liabilities, indicating cashflow and solvency.
  • Cost of Goods Sold to Sales
  • Wages % to Sales
  • Expenses and how they track overtime, with large ones important to the P&L.

“It’s all about relationships,” continued David. “Use your relationship to find out what your clients’ pain points are.”  

“Often clients don’t even know what to ask and they’re not having these conversations with anyone, making it a perfect opportunity for bookkeepers to show what they’re worth.”

For more information about the Robert Cowling new Digital Rapport, Robert is hosting live webcasts on midday 27 April 2023 and midday 11 May 2023. Visit to register.

12 Apr 2023
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