Mark Lowell, a Director at UK-based accounting firm Sedulo, actually managed to grow his client base during the pandemic.
“It’s surprising how many clients we’ve picked up over the lockdown period,” he says. “A lot of the time it was referrals from other clients that started these new relationships.”
To support these new clients during the pandemic, Mark leveraged advisory services, backed up with slick-looking Spotlight Reports. He found that presenting potential clients with just a taste of Spotlight and advisory often left them wanting more.
“Spotlight has been massively important in pitching for prospective clients,” says Mark. “We can usually provide them with a Spotlight Report, and show them what they’re going to get for their monthly fee. That’s been very powerful.”
The Value of Spotlight
Spotlight Reporting is value-for-money on multiple levels. Not only do the final reports look professional and engaging, but they also brought in extra revenue and helped keep Sedulo running strong throughout their local lockdown. The time-saving and extra revenue generated by switching to Spotlight from Excel and Iris easily makes their annual subscription worth it.
“Spotlight saves, on average, two hours per management account, that being either monthly or quarterly,” says Mark. “We’ve had examples where we’ve upsold preparation of projections on numerous occasions, charging up to £2,000 for each projection. But importantly, this improves our overall offering to clients.”
Sedulo as a firm has always focused on advisory services. When they opened their first office in Manchester 11 years ago, they combined compliance services with high-level management information and management accounting. Their goal was to become a one-stop shop for their clients, and through the addition of other important services over the years, they've succeeded.
“When we present Spotlight reports, it’s much easier for the client to understand, so that transparency around the numbers is there.”
When the pandemic first began affecting businesses in the UK, Sedulo were able to transition to working from home with relative ease, due to investing in cloud-based software tools like Spotlight.
“Investing in a tool like Spotlight gives us consistency – it means we produce the same quality of product for our clients,” says Mark. “It allows us to maintain our structure, so we can have monthly or quarterly board meetings with clients, and our clients are used to having those virtually instead of face to face now.”
With the UK's lockdown creating so much uncertainty for the majority of businesses, Sedulo has become the first port of call for their clients. Mark and his team were able to deliver clarity, and speak to business owners about their fears and uncertainties in the face of the unknown.
“We were able to connect Spotlight Reporting and Forecasting with management account packs,” he says. “Being able to drill down into the figures, and really give our clients some comfort about the future in times of uncertainty is crucial. I’m glad we can use Spotlight to make our clients feel at ease.”
Spotlight and Advisory
Although Sedulo has been providing advisory for over a decade, Mark says that Spotlight Reporting has taken their reporting and forecasting services to a whole new level.
“I’m a massive advocate,” he says. “It saves the team a lot of time. When we present Spotlight reports, it’s much easier for the client to understand, so that transparency around the numbers is there.”
“Spotlight saves, on average, two hours per management account, that being either monthly or quarterly We’ve had examples where we’ve upsold preparation of projections on numerous occasions, charging up to £2,000 for each projection. But importantly, this improves our overall offering to clients.”
Having previously reported using Excel, Mark finds that using Spotlight is more effective in conveying important information to clients.
“It’s really useful for clients who are not used to seeing or understanding financial information,” he says. “Spotlight gives you numerical, as well as graphical information, and people who do understand the Excel figures tend to prefer Spotlight Reporting as well.”
One example of Spotlight’s power and flexibility is a client in the recruitment industry, who needed help due to the lockdown.
“For this client, we drilled down into the figures in detail,” says Mark. “For example, we found permanent full-time roles tend to have bigger gross profit margins than temporary roles. By providing that crucial information, we were able to help the client see that they needed to concentrate more on permanent roles to increase their profitability. It was a prime example of where Spotlight really does help.”
Are you ready to take your advisory services to the next level? Book a demo with one of our team to see how Spotlight Reporting can transform your firm today.