NEED HELP searching for the best advisory tool in the market?

After meeting over 50 finance professionals and accountants last week, it remains absolutely clear to me that, the majority of people have no idea which rabbit hole of technology to go down to assess the best advisory tools.

So, I decided to write this post and create a poll.

I would like the customers to talk. Knowledge shared is extremely powerful and time saving for us all!

Having researched this space deeply I wanted to share these questions, which I ask when assessing a new “tool” for advisory services:

1)     Content - Does it have 3-way financial statements (Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statements for Historical and Forecast financial information). Most importantly does it contain a forecast balance sheet including forecast liabilities, working capital assets, capex and fixed assets etc.

2)     Flexible - Is it adaptable to your (ie clients) specific business logic? In other words, are you able to customise it without much effort eg. If you want to change the revenue drivers is this easy to do?

3)     Helps to make real business decisions and drive performance - Does it include rolling financials that can be compared to a budget? Can you run real live business scenarios and sensitivities easily?

4)     Time saver - Will it save you time straight away? How much time and effort will it take to get setup? Is it going to make your monthly reporting process quicker and easier especially when the chart of account changes or you need to change the way the business calculates its revenue. Is there an API that can update the data live whenever you want?

5)     Cost – Are you charged on a per staff user basis or on a per client basis. In other words, does it cost you more the more clients you have? Do your clients also must pay to use it

6)     Training – what is the cost and quality of the training? Is it online and available for you to go at your own pace? Are there YouTube videos and similar content available for you to learn from.

7)     Control – Does the system ensure you have accurate financial information always? Most importantly maintaining and ensuring your balance sheet always balances, particularly the forecasts balance sheet.

8)     Ease of use – Can other people use it (not only the client themselves, perhaps a 3rd party e.g. a bank) without also having to purchase the license? Can you send it to someone to operate it easily including running scenarios or sensitivities?

9)      Ease of integration – Does the tool integrate easily with any other system outputs like CSV, Excel files or similar data sources. Is it possible to structure the data coming from that source into multiple drivers eg some chart of accounts have only 1 revenue account, but multiple products at different prices? How easily can you forecast based on a driver for strategic planning for say new product lines or new business locations, or will this require additional configuration and most cost?

Conclusion

If you want to learn more in 2019 and also understand how you can upskill in FM be sure to reach out to us or stay tuned.

I encourage you to also take a peak at my past/present articles on financial modeling which is the foundation of business decision making, planning and forecasting.

We have also redesigned our website to help you along your journey of levelling up in this space.

We will continue to discuss this topic and you can click to follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn or subscribe to our short but sweet newsletter.

Be sure to check out our pods and video page.

Here are also some past/present blogs that might be of interest.

Forecasting skills doesn't guarantee good modeling skills

How Technology Will Change FP&A Forever

Why so many unemployed accountants are already struggling..and how I can help?

Father battles cancer, son battles career extinction

Why being a 1-man/women VCFO business is a really bad idea?

Why Vlookup (vs Index(match) shows your lack of embracing change, innovation and better Excel skills

Why a Truly Integrated Business Planning Solution Requires a Flexible Dual Architecture known as Core and Edge.

Excel is dead!

Financial Modeling Innovation: Predictive analytics vs Financial Modeling

Financial Modeling: Diamonds in the rough

Why Monte Carlo will change the way you make financial decisions and think about scenarios?

Driver Based Planning & Forecasting in the context of FP&A

Inside the mind of a spreadsheeter vs a financial modeler

Virtual CFO the Good, Bad and the Ugly

Part 3 of Finance Innovation – The Airbnb of spreadsheets - first major wave of spreadsheet innovation

Do You Model Off against the Masters of Financial Modelling?

Part 2 of Finance Innovation - Data Analytics / Big Data is not Financial Modeling

Why I disrupted my own role and you should do the same?

Consulting, Advisory, Finance and the art of influencing is about to change forever.

Your Financial Model can save lives !

The Machines Are Not Coming… they are here!

Why financial modelling skills will be a big career door opener for emerging accounting and finance talent.

The Demand for Financial Modeling Skills Reaches new Heights

Lance Rubin is the Founder of Model Citizn, partner of theOutperformer, approved training provider to the Financial Modeling Institute and Group CFO for SequelCFO.

I have more than 20 years of combined experience working in model audit, investment banking, corporate finance, finance business partner and Fintech CFO.

Organisations I have worked with include PwC, KPMG, National Australia Bank, Investec Bank and Banjo small business lender.

I have a YouTube channel dedicates to the Future of Financial Modeling and also provide access to Models via Eloquens with thousands of viewers and downloads.