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Accounting Apps Podcast | Accounting Technology | formerly Cloud Stories

“Cloud Stories is the world’s coolest accounting podcast” A guy on the Internet told me this once, and I choose to believe him!

The Cloud Stories podcast explores how business solutions integrate with online accounting software (Xero, MYOB and or QBO), and can, in turn, automate processes and improve productivity and profitability. By sharing Cloud Stories from the community listeners gain insights into how small businesses and advisory services can thrive in a brave new world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robots.

Over the years, Heather Smith has interviewed Accountants • Bookkeepers • Business Consultants • Cloud Advisors • Cloud Integrators • Developers • Small Business Owners • and Solution Providers • who have generously shared their own Cloud Story on the popular podcast.

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Mar 7, 2016

Today on episode 39 of the Cloud Stories podcast I’m talking with the Richard Francis who’s the founder of Spotlight Reporting. His company have recently released a whitepaper called The Perfect Advisory Relationship. In today’s show I talk with him about this paper and how advisors and business owners can benefit from monthly advisory meetings.

Spotlight Reporting provides award-winning reporting, forecasting, consolidation and dashboard reporting tools to progressive accountants, franchises, NFP's and business owners. Our cloud tools allow for integrated data-sets (Xero, QBO, Vend, Google Analytics etc) and exceptional, customisable reports for better decision-making and governance. For people listening overseas they have offices in the UK, US, New Zealand and Australia. So you should definitely be able to find someone to help on board you with this solution.

In this episode I talk to Richard about:

  • What Spotlight Reporting does for advisors and business owners
  • Delivering services and attitudes to help transform accounting firms
  • The Perfect Advisory Relationship whitepaper
  • How to run an Advisory / Spotlight Reporting session with clients
  • Blake Oliver gives away Spotlight Reporting dashboard free to all clients – and this in turn generates work for him.
  • Overview of a monthly advisory meeting
  • Establishing understanding and centre yourself on client goals
  • Setting a monthly agenda
  • Ask lots of questions at the start of the meeting
  • Advice over a coffee
  • Richard works through a typical small business example
  • Use a whiteboard to deconstruct and visualise the business model
  • Review pricing and charging for value vs hourly rate
  • Systems and technology reviews
  • Trend and margin analysis, benchmarking
  • Agree on outcome and follow up with action points, including a system that follows up the action points
  • Keep timesheets to monitor budgets


Today’s episode is sponsored by Spotlight Reporting.

Resources mentioned in this interview

Connect with Richard Francis

Thanks for listening! What’s been your biggest learning from today’s episode? Share in the comments below.

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Some of the listeners might know Jason Forbes who’s the Spotlight Reporting Director of Sales here in Australia. I know Jason from my days as a MYOB Trainer back in early 2000. Then Jason became my first Xero account manager. And now he is at Spotlight Reporting – helping advisors and business owners understand their numbers and use them to meet their business goals.

P.S. Loved this episode? You’re going to love hearing from David New who is now the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Spotlight Reporting. In episode 25 David talks about building teams and growing businesses in superfast time.