Empowering clients: Crossley & Davis' journey of innovation with Spotlight Reporting

Nestled in the town of Sevenoaks, Kent, Crossley & Davis is an esteemed accounting firm specialising in small businesses. After a change in ownership back in 2015, the firm underwent a transformation to become more technology-enabled and innovative, and is now officially an online practice offering virtual CFO services, and more. 

Moving with the times: Putting innovation first 

Led by Mark Lowton, Director at the firm who brings a solid background as a corporate CFO and Finance Director for a large UK company, Crossley & Davis shares accounting expertise to help take businesses to the next level. The firm works with a wide range of clients, from fashion designers to hair salons, graphic design and print specialists, right through to tradesmen. Long providing expert business advice, specialised cash flow, and tax forecasts, Crossley & Davis were looking to expand on its innovation.

This led to the firm making the switch from a traditional accounting practice to digitising their workflows and services. Fast forward to 2023 and they’re a well-established hybrid advisory and compliance firm, working fully online with their clients. 

During this shift, Crossley & Davis faced the challenge of persuading its clients to regularly monitor the performance of their business and show how this can help improve profitability. For one, the firm’s compliance clients were in the habit of waiting until the year was out to see their profit, loss and tax, and make changes from here. But there was a better way, and the team at Crossley & Davis knew it. This is where Spotlight Reporting came in.

With no apprehension against change after successfully taking on the firm in 2015, Mark took the task of rolling out Spotlight Reporting at the firm. He says, “It went well and was fairly straightforward for us, as we were Xero-based and we could integrate Spotlight Reporting seamlessly with Xero and produce high quality reports very quickly. Customising the reports to fit each client takes some time and does evolve as we get further into analysing the business.The Spotlight templates that are provided are a great foundation for this, which means that you can get up and running very quickly.”

Delivering high-quality reporting to clients

Using Spotlight Reporting and Forecasting to help steer the finances of their client’s businesses, Mark’s team were able to design customised Spotlight Reporting board reports for each client. These reports were then able to be presented at quarterly reviews, to show insights into the performance of the business and to discuss ways in which they can improve profitability and cash flow.

Mark comments, “Spotlight Reporting provides a high-quality board level report which through its presentation alone demonstrates a professional approach to managing the finances of the business.” 

Through these professional looking reports, Crossley & Davis could show their clients the data that matters most, and get them to take notice, offering a structured approach to discussing the performance of the business throughout the year. 

Adding a touch of wow factor

To further enhance their offering, Crossley & Davis were able to offer Spotlight’s Reporting and Forecasting capabilities to their clients, empowering them to more proficiently present data to investors, banks and other lenders, for instance. . Having the ability to model different scenarios, particularly based on different loan terms, proved useful for Mark’s clients, but also demonstrated to the lenders that the business could survive various stress tests, such as higher interest rates.

Mark recalls an example where Spotlight Reporting helped a client in need. This client, a printing company, required more support and guidance. Crossley & Davis looked into their situation further and noticed that in one instance, the markup calculation that they were using for one of their product lines needed to be modified to improve the profitability of one of the products. It also showed where the product mix and the level of overheads could be improved. 

Using Spotlight Reporting, Crossley & Davis produced a detailed report with the Profit & Loss for each product together with a forecast for the company as a whole. Now, the printing company has improved its profits from a break-even position to sustainable profit and a reasonable return on capital, all thanks to Spotlight Reporting.

Look at them grow: Fewer clients but 100% more revenue 

Crossley & Davis have seen their advisory services fees grow by 100%, with the average fee per client increasing. This has meant the firm has been able to take on fewer clients to achieve the same level of revenue. Undoubtedly, this prosperous trend has been highly advantageous for their business.

“Spotlight Reporting helps differentiate you from a traditional compliance based practice and enables you to build a closer working relationship with your clients.”

Discover more from Crossley & Davis and how together with Spotlight Reporting they can help your business grow: https://crossleydavis.com/reporting-tools

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