Raise your hand if you have ever pretended to understand something but have no clue what is going on? For me, it was almost every day in 11th-grade math class.
On the other hand, raise your hand if you have ever had an absolute lightbulb moment when everything FINALLY made sense? Same math class, and my teacher was as excited for me as I was!
The moral of the story is feeling lost and confused is a scary place to be; no one wants to be in that situation, including your clients. They are yearning for that lightbulb moment when they find the answers to their questions, and all those numbers tell a story.
So let’s chat about how the proper Financial Reporting can give your clients the lightbulb moment and raise their confidence in their business finances.
Financial Reporting that Creates Confidence
When you begin the process of creating the best possible financial report for your client, here are a few things that can aid in understanding that leads to confidence;
Keep It Simple
Be straightforward and avoid overcomplicating the report. That doesn’t mean leaving important data out or changing the data. It implies including the crucial information in an easy-to-communicate and understand format. Visually displaying the data with dashboards are an excellent way to visualize the KPIs most relevant to your client’s goals and that will drive wise decisions.
It simply means including the data your clients need to know to make decisions at the beginning of the report. Check out this article about KISSing your clients for more information and ideas about keeping things simple.
Speak their Language
If your client busts out a dictionary after each meeting, you need to lose the accounting jargon and speak in layman’s terms. Nothing loses someone faster than strange lingo they are too embarrassed to ask about. The perfect balance includes language that is professional in nature but is not talking over their heads. This is the best way to master client communication.
Open Communication Lines
When your client (or anyone) feels heard, everything changes. Communication is key to the success of any relationship.
Communication includes taking the time to teach your clients how to read the Financial Reports you provide them. Teach them the relevance of each KPI in their everyday decisions. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.
You need to teach your clients, but you also have to listen to your clients. Learn their story, why they do what they do, and the direction they want to take their business. Assuming you know their goals is a mistake that can lead to losing a client.
The Data is Correct
All the listening, talking, and communicating is useless if the data you provide is incorrect. Nothing will shake your client’s confidence faster than bad data. This is non-negotiable.
Often these kinds of mistakes occur with the tedious nature of spreadsheets. One small mistake has a domino effect that leads to big problems.
According to Forbes, “Various studies report that nearly 9 out of 10 spreadsheets (88%) contain errors. A majority of these errors were from human error (and could have been avoided).”
Reach Reporting can reduce the chances of errors in your Financial Reports. Reach auto-populates your reports. You create a report once, save it, and then it’s done the next time automatically. It reduces the possibility of errors, but it also saves countless hours.
Take time and review your clients data at the source. If needed take the time to reboot your client’s chart of accounts. By taking time to do a little house cleaning your reports can be more beneficial and more streamlined.
Final Thoughts on Raising your Client’s Confidence
Giving your clients that feeling of confidence is priceless. You are doing your job when they can confidently make financial decisions that lead them closer to their goals.
And in turn, it makes you a vital partner working hand-in-hand with them.