The concept of data visualisation in accounting is not just to try and make confusing numbers and metrics visually appealing to consumers. The pursuit of developing Fintech tools that can achieve this has been for the purpose of turning raw numbers, regardless of scale, into an easily graspable narrative that aims to guide strategic decision-making. These innovations have given accountants access to simplified financial reports that they can take and analyse, then present the insights to their clients in an understandable way. 

This visualisation of data has become critical in the finance sector, helping speed up aggregation processes, as well as breaking down the barriers of once complicated sets of numbers. Through data visualisation tools, accountants can convert intricate data sets into intuitive visuals, helping them to spot patterns for the clients, as well as other irregularities that might lead to future business problems. 

Looking ahead, we will explore the importance of data visualisation and its uses for accountants, look at how fintech tools are progressing the presentation of financial data, and then touch on how these visualisation tools can benefit the relationships of accountants and their clients. 

The Importance of Data Visualisation in Accounting 

Advancements in financial technology (Fintech) tools for accountants have seen a paradigm shift in how financial information can be aggregated and interpreted by finance professionals, and even entrepreneurs now that those financial insights are so easily accessible. Datasets and numbers were historically confined to sets of spreadsheets which could be a challenge to comprehend even for trained accountants, but no longer as technology progresses. 

The data visualisation that Fintech brings, and how financial data is presented through these tools has completely revolutionised the financial sector. Numeric data can now be presented as a coherent narrative, enabling accountants and their clients to view trends, discern patterns in their cash flow and other metrics, and even pinpoint anomalies so that proactive choices can be made to avoid problems. 

Data visualisation tools excel in their ability to take complex datasets and transfer them into clear, easily understood formats. This is achieved primarily through the use of infographics, where bar graphs or line charts break down and display complicated metrics that can then be transformed into useful financial insights. The entire process increases the comprehension of data for all parties, and helps ensure any decisions made by an enterprise are informed. 

Data Visualisation Tools and Their Impact 

We have touched on it already, but data visualisation tools are impactful because of how effectively they take intricate financial data from sources like Open Accounting or Open Banking software, and transfer it, typically onto an intuitive dashboard where numerous metrics can be accessed and visualised. Both proprietary and open source bookkeeping platforms can offer this resource, and amongst these transformative tools is our very own Pulse. 

Our fintech securely integrates with your accounting and banking platforms, pulling the numbers, and converting them into engaging charts and graphs that can be accessed by both accountants and their clients. Accountants looking for a fintech tool that can provide the necessary resources for them to improve in their field should consider some of the following key features of a product: 

  • Financial Reporting Integration: Tools that can integrate with both common accounting and banking software give the benefit of being able to aggregate all the necessary data to produce a complete picture of a client’s finances. 
  • Analytical Depth: As important as data visualisation is, a platform should also be able to analyse the data it pulls to a satisfactory manner, enabling the user to analyse important metrics like financial ratios, variances, and trends. 
  • Compliance: It is important to ensure that the fintech platform you use adheres to accounting standards and regulations. Enormous amounts of sensitive data move through these APIs, so using tested and proven names like Pulse will ensure trust and transparency with clients. 
  • Client Collaboration Features: Collaboration features and the ability for both accountants and their clients to access data works in a two way street, and are beneficial both for accountants when explaining their advice to a client, and also for client’s to ask questions regarding financial metrics. 
  • Historical Data Comparison: Tools for accountants that enable current and historical data comparisons help provide a valuable visual context when analysing trends and making financial forecasts based on the numbers. 

By ensuring the Fintech you use covers as many important and useful bases as possible, and is capable of visualising the correct data securely, accountants can position themselves to provide solid advice to their clients that is grounded in real-time numbers, enabling prompt, data-driven decisions. 

Transforming Decision-Making Processes 

Fintech and data visualisation tools are playing an increasingly key role in the decision making processes and capabilities of modern accounting firms, with a recent Spotlight Reporting survey stating that 65% of accounting firms now consider themselves to be ‘hybrid’ firms that offer substantial advisory services along with more traditional accountancy roles. 

Visual representations of fluctuating revenue streams or cash flow projections using historical data, timelines, and basic infographics can effectively convey the direction of a company’s financial health, and by simplifying this financial information into easy to understand visual stories, accountants and their clients can guide a business towards growth and success through either capitalising on opportunities, or avoiding holes in the road. 

This immediacy through which data can be understood allows for much hastier decision making compared to what traditional accounting methods could offer, where quarterly, bi-annual or annual reports would be used. The faster the comprehension, the faster accountants can advise their clients, bringing a competitive edge over those who have not embraced Fintech, or are using inefficient or overcomplicated tools. 

Improving Communication with Clients 

An accountant is typically hired to crunch complicated number sets and give financial advice to their clients based on the insights they glean from financial records. It is to be expected from entrepreneurs that their accountant is capable of conveying this, too, either through a representation of the data or another easy-to-understand method. Data visualisation helps accountants collaborate with their clients, making sure their finances are accessible and comprehensible, so together they can figure out a viable financial business path. 

Once clients can visualise and understand how different financial scenarios may impact their business’s future, it should also help encourage them to start being more proactive with their finances. This benefits both the accountant and themselves, and helps to develop a more trusting relationship as clients can visually track their monetary status and understand the reasoning behind the advice they receive. 

One final action data visualisation tools can achieve, and something that should be nurtured regardless between an accountant and their clients, is a catalyst for discussions about any kinds of financial queries a client may have. Through transparency and explanation, accountants can develop much stronger relationships, all underpinned by a mutual understanding of the details. 

Pulse’s Use of Data Visualisation 

Our own innovative AI driven Fintech, Pulse, can aggregate all of your client’s financial data and transform it into actionable insights that you can offer sound advice with. The focus of our data visualisation is on simplicity, where Pulse’s intuitive dashboard integrates with Open Banking and Open Accounting platforms to simplify complex financial information, then presents it through easy to grasp mediums such as graphs and charts. 

Gross Margin, Debtors/Creditors ratio, Profit and Loss and Turnover Trends are visualised by Pulse through simplified mediums that will boost client retention, and once the data is pulled, Pulse will spot trends and flag issues for you. Management accounts are also created where a comprehensive view of your client’s financial data can be examined, further saving time and money through accurate and efficient automation. 

Through Pulse’s data visualisation you can empower your clients with the advice you provide, and together help them make better financial decisions that will see their business thrive. 

Parting Thoughts 

Data visualisation continues to emerge as an increasingly useful tool for accountants and their clients to simplify and act upon complex datasets. Looking ahead, it is easy to see the combination of AI and Machine Learning (ML) propelling tools like Pulse even further into the hands of accountants. Usage will see predictive analytics generating financial insights that human analysis may otherwise miss, doubtlessly accelerating the growth of advisory roles in accounting firms in efforts to maintain a competitive edge. 

Pulse is regulation-compliant and secure so why not sign up today and start improving both yours and your clients’ financial circumstances?