Hear how one member of the #ClarityCommunity raised an extra £42,000 in recurring annual revenue during their free trial…

Introduction to GT Accountancy

Graeme Tennick & Co are a client-centric firm based in Newcastle.

Graeme and his team recognise that the accounting profession is seeing an unprecedented change with a heavily reliance on technology; but also acknowledge the importance of personal skills.

They have subsequently found a balance between being a firm at the forefront of technology; where possible, whilst retaining that personal touch to make the information generated by the software of value to the clients which in turn then makes a bigger difference than ever.   

What happened before Clarity?

One of the main issues we had was not knowing where or what the problems were. There’s a complete overload of data for all our clients, via several support apps, and clients did not know what do with this data and were struggling to translate this into something concise but meaningful for them and us. 

Graeme Tennick

Whilst receiving monthly management accounts ticked some basic boxes, so much value was being missed and the amount of follow up once these had been received was rare. 

The three main battles most of our clients face are time, information and money.  

  • They all struggle with time and in particular, focus. 
  • There is a deluge of information; lack of or even confusion over what information clients have or need and then what to then do with it. 
  • Lack of money. Which causes issues when trying to resolve the previous two pain points.

A lot of our clients have more than one of these three problems, if not all of them.

What challenges did you come up against when trying to deliver business advisory to your clients?

The first challenge was, (the one that most accountants need to accept) nobody likes the term ‘advisory services’.

It is a play on the simple and more honest reality of what this ‘new’ service is, which is really no more than ‘advice’.  Not as glitzy I know but let’s just accept this as a starting point.

Graeme Tennick

Once we realise this, then you can focus on understanding your customers and accept that they are not all the same. 

[At Graeme Tennick & Co] We found that even when clients knew they had a problem, offering ‘advisory services’ wasn’t the right solution for them. Plus, it was a hard sell for our team.

The ‘new’ service offering wasn’t clearly distinguished from the compliance based services already offered, and therefore we didn’t stand a chance to charge a premium for it.

Then getting clients to pay for the new advisory services was the final challenge. We found it difficult to demonstrate the value of the advisory services, prior to doing the work. And in addition, clearly separating advisory work from what we were already doing only added to the issue and caused more confusion.

Why did you choose Clarity?

For us, Clarity is the perfect ‘bridge’ that brings our clients and us together.

The Clarity platform pulls in all of the key seven measures where we were trying to make a difference to clients. And these seven key numbers are displayed in a way our clients can understand.

The implementation was so simple and didn’t require a six-month training programme, and there isn’t a significant financial commitment or subscription contract before it would generate a return.

Graeme Tennick

Why is Clarity different from other business advisory apps?

There isn’t one piece of software out there that isn’t trying to do it all.

Once we had tried Clarity out on our firm first, it really brought things home for us.

The presentation of the data encourages all of our team to start having different conversations, and allows them to back-up their findings with a step-by-step action plan based on the same figures.

Clarity allows us to delve deeper and explore various metrics in a lot more detail using our own expertise, and therefore take better and more accurate action as well. Internally, it’s a starting point for conversation, which we can also translate across to certain clients of ours too.

Using Clarity has also made explaining and improving particular metrics to our clients easier.

Graeme Tennick

For example, the common issue of cash flow. Having seven simple metrics displayed visually, with a structured personal action plan attached, helps our clients focus on the solution (or outcome) rather than the issue (such as cashflow).

Clarity is the only software out there that puts the outcome first, that is benefit focussed. My team and our clients relate to this meaning that we are both engaged and invested in our professional relationship.

Clarity is different from the other advisory apps because it serves a dual purpose. Clarity is useful to both us and our clients. It’s something both parties can understand and commit to. It doesn’t require a degree to decipher and brings up quick, measurable results. Both ourselves and our clients can benefit and grow from using Clarity in no time whatsoever.

It is the easiest app I have ever introduced to my firm in terms of team training and implementation. Plus, the support and guidance from the team is excellent.

How did you use Clarity?

In the past, we have done things a little bit backwards when it came to software. Historically, we picked the apps which we thought were important to us, assuming they would be equally as important to clients, and then built up our own ‘tech stack’.

Subsequently, we then struggled to bring all the various apps together and found it even harder to position and strongly market the tech to our clients. We always felt we were missing something just to bring them all in.

I believe Clarity should get commission from various other advisory apps in the eco-system as it positions them so nicely, and really is a gateway for them!

Graeme Tennick

We also made the huge mistake of trying to market the other apps themselves, rather than the outcomes. But the outcomes are actually much bigger and easier to discuss with the client, and simultaneously much easier for them to commit to as well.

Clarity is the glue that pulled it all together. Without having to convince them, the quality of our initial conversation with clients from the seven key numbers partnered with the future outcome and action plan, means that the software sells our packages for us before we even propose them.

Clarity allows us to draw out more information from the client and helps us understand their needs and goals. We as a team engage with them better right from the beginning. We can measure their needs, and on top of that, we can measure the difference we’re going to make too.

We have found just by starting with Clarity we can cover so many issues from one simple starting point. Clarity breeds so many variations in conversation. Time, information and money problems can be so far reaching and can touch on so many different business areas such as cashflow or staffing etc. But just by starting with one piece of software you can draw out the core issues, find their origin, and, from there the conversations expand very, very quickly.

Ultimately, our clients can now see the difference that we are going to make to their bottom line when we’re working with them. And, they understand what they have to do to get there.

Graeme Tennick

Everything that happens underneath, buried within the proposal and quarterly meetings, is almost irrelevant to them. By focussing on the end outcome, Clarity really brings everything together for us and our clients.

What happened as a result of using Clarity?

As a result of using Clarity we have been able to offer a premium level of service never before offered that commands fees far exceeding those ever charged before. For which, we are adding value to our clients they could only ever have dreamed of.  This happened within weeks of committing to this software which just caps it all off.

I’d encourage others to use it on their own business first, as it costs you nothing in the free trial other than a bit of time. Invest a little bit of time, the on boarding is so easy, and really work through taking the deals through to the finish for your own firm. Revisit and hold yourself accountable to the action plan and be strict with it over the course of your free trial. If that hasn’t added any value at all within that fortnight, then there is something seriously amiss.

Ultimately, before I had officially committed to the software I added and spoke to my first six clients and raised an extra £42,000 in recurring annual revenue with no cost to Graeme Tennick & Co other than our monthly Clarity membership.

Graeme Tennick