Offer Standout Client Advisory Services With Caseware Sherlock

Offer Standout Client Advisory Services With Caseware Sherlock

Insights-based software can help you provide the advanced services clients crave.

Clients increasingly don’t just come to their accounting firm for tax work and bookkeeping services. They want advice. They see that accountants are specialists when it comes to finances and they have questions about optimizing their bottom line or how to stay compliant with increasingly complex regulations. That’s why the accounting industry has recently seen a 16-percent growth in client advisory services. 

You may have considered including accounting advisory services with your offerings as well, but you want to be sure that you can be a trusted advisor for your clients. How do you make that happen? By utilizing insights-based software to give your clients more helpful answers to their questions.

Why accounting advisory services are increasing in popularity

Accounting firms have provided advisory services for some time. When clients want to start a new business or when they become interested in investing their wealth, they may turn to their accountants for advice. However, in the past, this service was not one that every accounting firm offered, nor was it a common reason why someone hired an accountant.

That has changed in recent years, and a few factors have been responsible:

Increased regulations

Increased regulations in a number of areas are relevant to business clients, ranging from new laws about data protection to new tax legislation, such as the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) and Science Act in the U.S. In addition to this, personal clients may have student loans that are about to go back into effect after a three-year pause. Depending on the client’s situation, this could profoundly change their financial situation. 

Compliance with these regulations often leads to more complex business operations. Take data privacy, for example. Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules established in Europe are not strictly financial regulations, they impact business operations so much that businesses must budget for increased data security and IT. As a result, business owners may come to their accountants for advice about how to best develop a budget for these issues.

The post-pandemic world

Although many people and businesses alike would like to have moved “back to normal” more after the COVID-19 pandemic drove us all into isolation, the truth is that we’re living more in an “after” situation instead of going “back to before.” 

Many businesses became remote in order to comply with shelter-in-place ordinances, and many found they preferred the remote business model. They may have decided to continue that practice, or they may have switched to a hybrid method in which employees work partly from home and partly in the office. 

There were also many people who changed careers after being laid off or quitting due to the stress of the pandemic. Some decided to open their own businesses. In fact, there was a 53-percent increase in business applications in 2021 compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic began. 

These are all significant changes, and some clients have found that they required support from financial advisors in order to adjust. They turned to their accountants for advice on the major operational overhauls that were needed. Their accountants answered this call. 

Providing data-driven insights with your advice

Offering advisory services means that you have to be able to take a deep dive into your client’s finances. Seeing the big picture is necessary for context, but you can’t stop there. You will need to look into cost breakdowns, performance over the period of time in question, and projected performance moving forward. This requires hefty quantities of data from clients and the right analysis to understand and communicate that data.

Some features that can help you provide accounting advisory services include:

Data visualization

The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than it does text or numbers. As a result, it’s much easier to process, understand and retain information provided in a graph or a chart than it is to look at a wall of data in text. Data visualization can help accounting firms analyze the data they’re given, providing clearer reports to their clients. These reports make it easier to provide advice that is backed by fact and easy for clients to act on.


Accountants already have heavy workloads on their plates, and for many, advisory services are still a new offering. Automated accounting software can make it easier to adjust to the new workload by taking the menial tasks off your plate. 

For instance, Caseware Sherlock creates reports automatically based on the data you input. These reports come with visualizations and are updated along with the data. Sherlock also generates fewer discrepancies and errors throughout the course of its work, as changes made in one place are automatically applied elsewhere.


Client advisory services are often conducted digitally, through email or over a video call, rather than at a meeting in an office. This collaboration is key, and you will want to be sure that everyone is on the same page, even if you’re not in the same physical space. Fortunately, digital software allows you to collaborate with your team and with your clients in real time, no matter where you are. Participants can upload documents, and you can send notifications, reminders and so much more. 

How Caseware Sherlock can help you become a trusted advisor

Caseware Sherlock was designed to provide data-driven insights that promote informed decision-making. This pairs perfectly with advisory services offered to your clients, who want sound advice they can act on. You can provide them guidance that’s backed not just by your opinion but by concrete data. 

Let’s break down the features that Caseware Sherlock offers to help you provide richer insights and stronger advice:

A secure, user-friendly experience

Sherlock is a cloud app that can be accessed from any device, with a user-friendly interface that anyone can understand. This is great for your team and even better for your clients, who are likely not professional accountants. Using this software, it’s easy to find the right places to analyze data, create reports and share valuable insights.

Some clients may have hesitations about security when it comes to cloud software. However, in most instances cloud software is actually more secure than local software. It is encrypted, so even if someone manages to hack into your data, they would have to decrypt it in order to understand it. 

Accessing local software, meanwhile, would require simply knowing the password to the server. Sherlock has built-in security that is on par with the security of online banking, so clients know their sensitive documents are safe.

Automated data transformation

Sherlock is fully automated software. As soon as you upload new data, it is stored in one central database and incorporated into the workflow. This takes all the manual work of inputting data and drawing up reports out of your hands. Sherlock’s format is easy to navigate and understand, so you can analyze all insights from your clients with ease. 

Look for patterns and trends that stand out, as well as risk factors and key values that may be relevant to the client.

Customizable data visualization

Sherlock also automatically creates beautiful data visualizations that you can customize based on your needs and those of your clients. Show earnings from the past five years or compare your client’s earnings and expenses for the quarter. Sherlock can visualize it all. 

These visualizations come in the form of charts, graphs, maps and more. They are easy to read and ready-made for a report that can be communicated with your clients. And, like the rest of the features of Sherlock, the data visualizations update automatically. If the data changes, so do the charts and graphs, with no manipulation required on your part. 

A deep dive into client insights

If you want a deep dive into your client’s key values, performance indicators, risks and goals, you can explore that with Sherlock. Create client profiles and analyze trends using year-to-year comparisons. At the same time, benchmark your client’s data against industry standards or competitors in order to show them where they might need to improve. 

These deep, rich insights will set your accounting advisory services apart from the competition. You can then use data analysis to cut right to the strongest priority issues and offer advice for change on those first. The data that is backing your advice will build trust with your clients and ensure that they are happy with your services.

Begin your accounting advisory services with help from Caseware Sherlock

At the moment, the field of accounting advisory services is only growing. If you want to keep up with the competition, you will need to enter the advisory services space, and if you want to stay ahead of your competition, you will need to establish yourself as a particularly trusted advisor. Fortunately, you can do this with data-driven software that offers rich insights – like Caseware Sherlock. Contact Caseware today to learn more about what Sherlock has to offer or to request a demo.