From XU Magazine, 
Issue 29

30+ KPIs the modern accountant should be tracking

KPIs don’t begin and end at turnover, return and profit. They tell a clear story of your business.

Most accountants love numbers and mapping data. You advise clients on a financial, tax and organisational level. But do you look at the numbers and data within your practice? Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting UK has created the ultimate KPI list for the modern accounting practice. To get the full picture you will need to consider tracking the number of readers of your newsletters, the speed at which a set of annual accounts are prepared, or the average costs per employee, to name a few. Some KPIs are important for every company and organisation. There are industry or sector-specific KPIs that might be crucial for one company, but no use at all to another. This list strikes a balance between these foundation KPIs and accountancy-specific KPIs.

Financial KPIs

Financial KPIs say something about the financial success of a company. Net profit is not the only indicator here. You can also track the speed with which invoices are paid, and profit per client or department.

1. Percentage of clients with recurring revenues vs. transactional sales
This KPI compares two business models. A transactional business model assumes the number of hours spent, multiplied by rate. A recurring business model is based on a subscription form.

2. Client lifetime value
The client lifetime value (CLV) combines the expected duration of the relationship with the expected financial value. In practice, calculating the CLV can be difficult. It is often assumed that all clients are equal in terms of cost, but this may not necessarily be true. To paint a more accurate picture, filtering by segments is an option.

3. Client profitability score
Again, not every client is the same. The formula here is the difference between the income and the incurred costs, related to a specific client in a specific period.

4. Average turnover per client per segment/department
The CLV and client profitability score can both also be determined by segment or department. That way the numbers you are tracking are put into perspective, by placing clients with the same value or costs together in a segment.

5. Average number of days that an invoice is open
How long does it take a client to pay an outstanding invoice? The shorter the lead time, the better. This ultimately improves your cashflow. Depending on the results, consideration can be given to additional checks, rewards or automated reminders.

6. Time of payment within the invoicing process
The average number of days the invoice is open can also be plotted against different moments within the billing process, such as before the reminder, after the reminder, after the last reminder or once the invoice has been forwarded to a collection agency. Again, the faster the better.

7. Sales growth rate
Profit generation is the main goal of a commercial organisation. The revenue growth percentage looks at the ‘top line’. The percentage of the current quarter can be compared to the last quarter, or the same quarter last year. This gives a good picture of the company’s performance and can be compared to the competition.

8. Turnover per employee
By measuring the productivity of your employees for a longer period, you get a grip on how this can improve. The productivity of your employees is best determined by comparing it with other accounting firms.

Productivity

Productivity translates to the amount of work put into an achieved result.

1. Employee client rate
The number of clients per employee shows how efficient your team can be. Does your team feel overworked? Do you need additional help? If you have an acceptable employee-client ratio, nothing needs to change.

2. Number of billable versus non-billable hours per employee
The number of billable versus non-billable hours per employee is perhaps the most obvious KPI for mapping productivity. The ratio between time spent on clients and on other tasks says something about the time commitment and productivity of employees.

3. Average number of consultancy hours per employee
How many hours does an employee spend advising clients? This shows the productivity and billable hours of your employee. It might also give you an idea of how much advisory time you could be billing for.

4. Average number of consultancy hours per client
While the previous KPI indicates the productivity of the employee, this one shows a client’s need for advice. This offers opportunities for upselling. Possible problems are also detected when the number of consulting hours for a client suddenly rises or falls.

5. Average number of hours spent on an annual account
The preparation of annual accounts has a maximum period of five months after the end of the financial year. This can serve as a benchmark for the speed at which a set of annual accounts are prepared.

6. Average processing time per invoice or receipt
How long does it take your employees to submit an invoice or receipt? The speed that invoices are processed says something about the skills and productivity of the employees. Make informed business decisions with a complete view of your accounting KPIs and metrics, anywhere, anytime.

Marketing

There are a lot of KPIs that can be devised that relate to marketing. From the number of followers on LinkedIn to the average reading time of the newsletter, everything can be measured. These are marketing related activities that are commonly used within an accounting firm.

Newsletters

1. Number of newsletters sent
The number of newsletters sent is a good start, but often not enough. It only gets interesting if you look at your delivery or bounce rate. How many newsletters have or haven’t been delivered? This tells you something about the quality of your contact data.

2. Open rate
In general, a good open rate is between 15% and 30%.

3. Click rate
The click rate represents the percentage of people who clicked on a link, out of everyone who received the newsletter.

4. Click-through rate
The click-through rate (CTR) indicates how many people have clicked on a link, out of all the people who have received the newsletter.

Website

1. Number of (unique) visitors
The number of unique visitors to your website is a good indication of the discoverability of your website. If people are making multiple visits, this shows that your website is likely to be of interest to them. Updating content helps with increasing new and returning visitors.

2. Average time on your website
How long does a visitor spend on your website? The longer they stay, the more relevant your website content is. Maintaining applicable and up-to-date content helps.

3. Conversion rate on website
By conversions we mean downloads, newsletter subscriptions, completed contact forms, sales or demonstration requests. If you have a low conversion rate it is possible that, for example, the call-to-action buttons don’t stand out enough. Or possibly that the leads on your website are not yet ‘warm’ enough to take action.

4. Penetration rate
The penetration rate shows the relationship between the market potential and the current demand. The rate is calculated by comparing the number of buyers of the product against the total number of potential buyers. For example: how many clients do you give advice about pensions to, and how many more could you potentially give this advice to?

Relationship Management

In short, relationship management means the maintenance of existing clients. The target is to ensure client satisfaction and loyalty.

General

1. Average number of client visits per year
A certain number of client visits or conversations ensures that you and your client remain aligned. To guarantee a good client relationship, it is important to keep an eye on this contact level. This KPI can be further specified according to the number of client visits and calls per period and/or per employee.

2. Client share
The client share is determined by the number of services you provide to the same client and shows how proactive you are in the way you deal with clients. A low client share means that you likely only provide one key service. A more varied amount of services should result in a higher client share.

3. Average time taken to respond to or email a client
Response time is an indicator of good service and account management. If a client emails you, it is not expected that days or weeks will go by without a response.

Client satisfaction

4. Net Promoter Score
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures client loyalty. The NPS is based on the likelihood that a client would recommend your company to someone else.

5. Client retention
The retention rate indicates how a practice deals with its clients. This metric measures the loyalty of clients based on actual actions (such as extending a contract or purchasing more hours), rather than factors that try to predict future loyalty, like the NPS.

6. Churn rate
Just like the average time that a client is with you, the churn rate indicates how likely they are to stick with you. Mapping client turnover helps to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary client churn and shows whether you should implement initiatives to win back clients who show signs of leaving.

New Business

In addition to serving existing clients well, the goal will always be to bring in new clients. The growth of your new business can be measured in various ways.

1. Number of new clients per year
The easiest way to map out new business is through the number of new clients.

2. Number of new clients per relationship manager, per period
The growth of new clients can also be tracked per relationship manager, per period. These KPIs can also be used to measure the productivity of these employees.

3. Conversion rate
The conversion rate reflects how good you are at cashing in on potential opportunities. How many leads are going from Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Learn more Qualified Lead (SQL), and who will become a client? The basis for measuring the conversion depends on your goals and when to define a lead as a lead. Are they a lead after they download a brochure, sign up for the newsletter, or complete a contact form?

4. Conversion rate from quotation to new client
Another version of this KPI is measuring the conversion rate of quotation to client. How many offers are accepted?

5. Number of days that a quotation is open
There is a good chance that you have attached a validity period to your quotations. This term can be used to monitor the acceptance or rejection period.

6. Number of contacts for agreement
This KPI can help you monitor the effectiveness of your sales process.

7. Acquisition costs per lead
By charting how high the costs per lead are, you can see the extent to which the costs are justified for bringing in new clients. Viewing the cost per lead is a good indicator of likely future earnings. The focus should be on costs per qualified lead or the leads that meet the criteria to become a client. Calculate the cost per lead by dividing the full costs of the marketing campaign or sales efforts by the number of qualified leads they provide.

8. Number of leads from existing clients
How many leads do your existing clients bring in? This is another form of lead generation, otherwise known as client advocacy. It is also an indicator of your reputation with current clients.

In Conclusion

All the KPIs listed here are there to help you make better-informed business decisions with a complete view of your accounting KPIs and metrics, as well as metrics to help you understand the impact of your marketing and productivity. Imagine having the information at hand on how to boost your productivity or catch a client before they ended their contract. Well now you can!

Why leave it there?

To contact Wolters Kluwer

Straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates as they happen
We hate spam too. We NEVER sell our mailing list.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.