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Big data accounting – the predictive accountant

I hear many owners say "My business too small for big data”. Ironically, the size of the data is the least important aspect for business improving decision-making.

Business owners, irrespective of the size of their organisation, are making decisions on big data. Businesses of all sizes generate a significant amount of non-financial unstructured information For example, GPS position data from mobile phones, temperatures from sensors, free-form text in questionnaires, website customer interactions, social media conversations and video from security cameras.

The hallmark of big data

The hallmark signature of this big data in this context is that it represents the non-financial information (NFI) occurring in between transactions. Since the Renaissance, humans have been diligently capturing and recording financial transactions using double entry bookkeeping and accounting systems, The NFI has not been collected or utilised.

The representation of the current business is transactions (sales and operational indicators), but the future situation depends on human empathy and relationships, represented by the likes of user-generated content regarding the use of brand products (eg via Twitter), ratings (eg via TrustPilot), reviews (eg TripAdvisor), one to one conversions, distress signals from customers (via Customer Service Video, Voice or Text analysis) and geolocation of customer activities (eg via Mobile Phone GPS).

..and that's before you consider the Internet of Things and all the physical sensor information available

But how does this impact the financial state of affairs? Consider a hotelier. She pays attention to rankings changes on TripAdvisor, as this impacts her future revenue. She could leverage that big data to anticipate a change in demand for rooms and take action. Rather than waiting for financial statements from her accountant before taking action on the revenue discrepancy.

The democratisation of data

Increasingly, this phenomenon of using data held outside of businesses to provide predictive capability in advance of actual events or publication of financials represent the democratisation of data.

The democratisation allows Cloud Accounting to gain access to data to help you make data-driven business improvement decisions. By free we mean very little or literally no investment for the data.

Big data for competitive advantage

Chartered accountants can leverage big data to gain competitive advantage over other professionals.  At Cloud Accounting NI, we integrate big data into the financial performance measures we regularly provide to businesses.

For example, a website of any business is a natural starting point. A decrease in online customer visits compared to a previous period is a potential indicator of a future drop in sales. Google Analytics reporting helps provide visibility into sales well before a sales transaction entry is recorded. Or indeed lost to a competitor.

We have seen NFI (non financial information) and financial accounting data work together to better benefit businesses.As accountants we provide a more holistic service for businesses to provide predictive capability.

Please get in touch with us if you feel you can benefit from predicting the future.

Would you know a good accountant?

Would you know a good accountant?

By automating processes, accounting and finance teams can shift their focus to more rewarding work. An exceptional accountant can evolve toward providing higher-value services in areas like fraud detection, compliance, data analytics, technology, and business advice. Here are the six skills that exceptional accountants will need. 1. Analytical skills and Predictive Data For the finance function, […]

What Does An Accountant Do? That’s No Longer an easy Question

What Does An Accountant Do? That’s No Longer an easy Question. What is the primary purpose of a small business bookkeeper? What services sit at the core of an accounting firm? These questions were once easy to answer but a period of rapid change in the world of small business is challenging a bookkeeper’s identity.
Changing Accountant Belfast, Northern Ireland

Meet your Chartered Accountant

The transition inevitably raises questions about the identity of a bookkeeping practice. Which services are core to our firm and its skillset? What services and service levels are expected by our clients?

Business owners as well as accountants and bookkeeper's now have the ability to look at the same financial information and have connected tools at their disposal for analysis and interpretation. This is changing the client’s perception of the bookkeepers/accountant’s roles in their business.

At Cloud Accounting NI our accountants focus on the value added services and automating data entry. for clients.  Our CLIENT love it as s/he is usually paying reduced fees, has easy access to an end to end service without all the additional admin.

What the Client Expects 

The most obvious change has been the speed of communication. Since accounting records are online and easily accessible, clients expect answers to minor accounting questions within hours. Fast responses can be delivered, as these questions take typically less than 10 minutes to answered online.

Faster communications and quicker access to client records allow accountants to build deeper relationships by taking an interest in the daily business happenings of their clients. There is no technological barrier preventing an accountant from reaching out to offer advice or simply touch base.

Advising on Technology

It is also reasonable for clients to seek guidance about which accounting and business systems will work for them. Would a particular cloud inventory system fit their process? Can a client’s cloud accounting program work with their online shop? Cloud Accounting specialises in advisoing on the right online software and setting it up for you hassle free.

Certain areas, such as technology setups, system conversions and associated training and support do require a deep understanding of the technologies but not necessarily deep accounting expertise. This work can also be repetitive and time consuming and Cloud Accounting NI can provide this service to set clients up with the right technology around them.

RG & Co



Catalyst Inc,
Titanic Quarter
+44 2895 219365

Name: RG & Co Chartered Accountants
Email address: richard@cloudaccountingni.com
Phone: +447868663538