17 Feb, 2020
Specialist Accounting Solutions (SAS) was founded in 2015 by Sean Hackemann, who has been a Chartered Accountant for over 10 years and has extensive experience leading the finance departments of SMEs and growth businesses, as well as providing business advisory services and corporate finance.
- Between three and seven hours saved per management report, each month
- In the time they’ve saved, SAS use Fathom in conjunction with their video recording approach to design pitches to win new clients
- More professional, easier to understand management reports that provide more detail
Specialist Accounting Solutions focus on primarily growth businesses in and around Greater London and the Thames Valley. They offer clients both business advisory services such as financial modelling, business plans and business valuations, as well as an outsourced financial director function for clients that don’t yet need a full-time FD, but do need financial guidance and management. Their typical clients range in size from £3m to £15m.
"I'd say, on average, we probably save half a day to a day’s work on a regular monthly report. Three and a half – maybe five, six, seven hours potentially – on just proofing and checking stuff that we now don’t do because we know the data is live. Multiply that up by the number of reports that we produce, and also the speed at which we can do stuff now, you can see it’s a game-changer." - Sean Hackemann
The management report building process was time-consuming, laborious, and far from dynamic
Generating reports and management information is a key offering of Specialist Accounting Solutions' advisory service to their clients. However, the process was time-consuming, laborious, and far from dynamic.
Producing reports in PowerPoint meant taking core tables out of Xero or QuickBooks and putting them in a table in Excel, then placing this (via a link) into PowerPoint. This raised all sorts of issues, such as the links being updated, and making sure file names are correct and so on. Sean had been writing reports for years, and assumed that was just the way you did it.
This method not only consumed resources, but it also meant that reports didn’t always contain the latest information, and were susceptible to potential errors. But more than that, it was a cumbersome and inefficient way to highlight detailed advice that would genuinely help clients grow their businesses.
Consequently, Specialist Accounting Solutions were looking for a solution to present granular-level management information to clients in a more useful, modern way, one that moved beyond 20th-century tools like slide decks and Excel spreadsheets.
A saving of three to seven hours per management report and an end product that clients could easily understand
After encountering a Fathom-generated report by chance (see this Q&A for the full story), Specialist Accounting Solutions' Founder Sean Hackemann adopted Fathom in his business and began using it to generate not only better looking and easier to understand reports, but ones with much more detail too.
Presenting highly detailed and granular financial data in ways that business owners and managers could not only understand, but also act upon, was a great benefit.
With his current clients reacting positively to Fathom’s suite of options and means of presenting, Sean began looking for other ways to use the software. He now offers a bespoke video run-through to clients, delivering his advice using Fathom’s suite of tools to highlight key areas, successes and potential problems. This personal video, bundled with the details and highly visual presentation of data in Fathom, has proved a huge hit with clients.
With Fathom, Sean estimates he’s saving somewhere between three and seven hours on producing each monthly report. And those hours really start adding up when you consider that Sean might be producing several reports for various clients per month.
In the time they’ve saved, Specialist Accounting Solutions have used Fathom in conjunction with their video recording approach to design pitches to win new clients.
It’s not just about saving time and automating processes however. In the time they’ve saved, Specialist Accounting Solutions have used Fathom in conjunction with their video recording approach to design pitches to win new clients.
“In our experience, people are very, very, very enthusiastic about Fathom. It sells itself because of the level of management information you get, the different presentation of the reports, the way it looks. It’s so much better than any kind of Excel spreadsheet, so much more powerful. You can see so much more about what’s going on” says Sean.
Written by Andrew Webb