This conversation formed part of the ACCA The Practice Room session. I’ve cherry picked some of the questions explored.

Accessing the latest data keeps you in the know, enables compliance, improves productivity — and drives sustainable growth. Automation, Visualisation and Insight.

With a wave of technological advances, accountants have access to huge volumes of data. The question is: what can they do with it? Data-informed decision-making can help a business respond faster and adapt with greater certainty and clarity. Accountants can help decision makers evaluate future options. While they don’t need to be data scientists, they can help unpack commercial realities of the data; and make an effort to understand data analytics, data visualisation, and analytical tools.

Don’t be so focused on the numbers, you miss the big picture. Verify the data. Use insights from the data. Add a dash of intuition or gut-instinct, to make informed decisions. I worked with a client who while lazing in a sun lounge on a cruise ship, realised his business was not performing as it was, and on closer inspection there had been coding errors of imported stock going back years.

Have you explored visualisations with your clients? From beautiful reports, graphs, dashboards to imagery embracing the data, embrace creativity and simplicity.

How are you using data with your clients?

What tools are you using to automate access to data?

How do we get clients to buy into facilitating accurate data?

What tools are you using to analyse data?

How do you weigh up the cost of accessing data?

Data is important for investor relationships

How are you adapting your skills to support the data needs of clients?

Accountants are Driving Data-Driven Insights. Data in the form of qualitative, quantitative, intuition, financial, operational, and other sources, all contribute to an informed decision. First start with showing analytics insights from their operational data; the key operations that they perform and understand. Once they start seeing operational efficiency, financial efficiency can easily follow. So get that operational data as much as our usual financial data.

The Modern Accountant embraces Data, Insights, Automation.

During the session I learnt something! I love it when I find something I think I know inside out and upside down has another trick up its sleeve. You can create charts and graphics in

Canva !!
Here’s a video I found explaining it :
Now I’m not suggesting this replaces our out of the box fab solutions. But for micro cost sensitive clients who need some colourful inspo – it’s a neat solution.

Resources mentioned:

Business Data Insights PlayBook

Upcoming Practice Room sessions :

ACCA Certificate in Data analytics