How Leading Reporting Software Fails Finance Pros 

Relationships are the core of the accounting industry, but it’s not just clients that we should be paying attention to. The relationship between an accountant and their software is the beating heart of the value, profitability and efficiency behind every practice. And – let’s be honest – some of the relationships are…not great. Particularly when it comes to reporting apps. 

You know the type. Bored responses when you ask a question. Not remembering key information. None of your friends like them. You keep hoping they’ll get better, or maybe you just need to understand them properly. But eventually, you have to accept that it’s just not working and you deserve more.

These are the stories we hear every day – accountants who realize that their reporting apps aren’t delivering for their clients or their firm. 

Pains of reporting apps

By now, the issues of reporting apps are clear. These tools promised so much – one-click insights, instant value add services, delighted, informed clients. After a decade of test-driving it’s clearer than ever that this was always too good to be true. Instead, accountants received:

  • Generic, Cookie-Cutter Templates: Trying to put a single, standard template on the scale of diversity businesses glosses over the key details that define them, offering reports that lack relevance, utility and depth.
  • Hefty bills: Reporting apps add another line item to your overheads, but the outputs are seldom something clients are willing to pay for, given their limited use. The alternative is to manually edit every report to make it more valuable, but then, what are you paying for?
  • Clunky integrations: Patchwork integration can disrupt data flow, compromising report accuracy and reliability, muddying the whole point of accurate financial decision-making.
  • Oversimplification: In their bid to be user-friendly, these apps often dilute the richness of financial data, sidestepping the complex insights accountants are trained to provide.

How does leading reporting software compare?

The reporting software market is wide and complex – many businesses have set their sights on building a so-called ‘all-in-one’ solution, promising a world of simplicity and freedom from spreadsheets. At Scott’s, we remain convinced that Excel is the best tool for financial reporting available to accountants and after having tried the tools available on the market, many of our new customers say the same thing. 

Here’s what our customers say about financial reporting software available today. 

NameKey FeaturesWeaknesses
DataDearConnects Excel to Xero and QBO, consolidated reportingDiscontinued for Xero, complex, un-intuitive setup
Flex Financial ReportingDirect Excel integration providing consolidated reportsLimited flexibility, higher complexity for accountants
Excel FSMFinancial statement generator, links GL transactionsLimited automation and integration features
G-AcconWorkflow automation, supports multiple platformsIndirect integration, only works with Google Sheets, not Excel
SpotlightData visualisation, customisable reportingCan be overwhelming, expensive
FathomReporting and forecasting, benchmarkingComplexity in initial setup, cost

3 reasons why accountants prefer Scott’s

1. Simpler to use

Scott’s is designed to help accountants integrate powerful Excel capabilities within their cloud workflow, without adding loads of new steps.

As one customer shared: “We are now able to generate custom financials in Excel without the old process of exporting, importing, and manipulating. Took less than 10 minutes to get started. The add-in is much more flexible than the other dashboarding/reporting apps we have tried.

2. Flexible and powerful

The goal of reporting is to go deeper than financial accounts present at first glance. Scott’s range of ready-built formulas give accountants access to a range of custom-made tools to make reporting faster, while not sacrificing detail where it matters.

As another Xero user put it: “Scott’s Add-ins has enabled us to design a variety of custom-built reports for clients, bespoke for the sector they operate in, and provide the management information useful to make informed business decisions. The support from the team has always been first-class. We would highly recommend this Excel add-in.”

3. Genuine time-saving 

For all the much-vaunted automation tools in reporting software, hours are still lost in customizing every report to make it fit for purpose. With Scott’s, accountants can save time across a range of functions while keeping clients informed and empowered.

“I can now run a full board package in a matter of seconds at any time of the month, which means my month-end reports are down so quickly. Estimated time saving of at least 40 hours a month,” says Martin.

Make the right choice for your firm

Financial reports can be a true game-changer for your clients, helping them make the right decisions for their business, stay on top of costs and strategize for the future based on reliable information. This takes more than an off-the-shelf reporting solution – it needs the expertise of an experienced advisor, combined with flexible, powerful tools.

Excel is the most customisable, in-depth tool available for accountants to build bespoke reports – and Scott’s is bringing it into the cloud age.

  • Simple Custom Functions: Scott’s enables accountant to streamline complex tasks with user-friendly functions, making financial reporting more efficient and accurate
  • One-Click Recalc Feature: Users can quickly synchronize data across platforms without the hassle of manual imports and exports.
  • Streamlining tools: Built in automation minimizes the risk of human error, enhancing the accuracy of financial reports.

With our add-ins, you can build exactly the reports you need without worrying about manual data transfer. 

You can try Scott’s Excel add-ins free for 15 days and discover why accountants are embracing Excel after being burned by so-called reporting software.  Want to find out more?  Watch our free on-demand webinar to learn to build management accounts in under an hour with our Excel add-in.

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