MYOB has added a breakthrough feature with MYOB Advisor, an algorithm-driven feature that automatically adds explanations and suggestions to financial reports.
Included in MYOB AccountRight Live and MYOB Essentials, MYOB Adviser generates a 15-page, monthly management report in seconds.
It includes sections on sales, revenue (year-to-date and cumulative), top customers by revenue, cashflow summary and at bank, expense report with cost of sales and operating expenses, and accounts receivable with top debtors.
The real magic is in the use of algorithms to insert plain-English explanations in each section of the report. A business owner can pick up the report and understand instantly how each part of the business is performing.
MYOB Adviser inserts two types of advice. The first is the explanation, in black font, describing the story behind the numbers in each section. The app uses an algorithm to analyse the numbers in the report and generates an appropriate explanation from its internal “natural language” library.
The second type is more proactive. This advice, framed in a purple border, sometimes makes an observation, such as:
“The decrease in sales this month has contributed to the decrease in overall net operating profit from last month. We know this is due to seasonal factors so not a cause for concern.”
Or it will make a suggestion to the business owner. For example:
“Even though your cash balance is increasing at a healthy rate, it could be appreciably better if accounts receivable was under control.”
An accountant or bookkeeper can manually edit both boxes to include their own observations or delete the auto-generated text.
If you would like a sample report from MYOB Advisor that shows the natural-language algorithm at work please leave a comment below. Update: MYOB will send a better version of the report by Friday. So leave a comment and I’ll send it to you then.
Where it fits
MYOB Advisor is a key element of MYOB’s “connected practice” concept. By turning data into written sentences that simply explain business performance, accountants and bookkeepers can use the reports as a prompt to speak with clients.
The management report becomes a reason to meet with the client once a month to review progress, spot issues and adjust forecasts.
MYOB Advisor is in a pilot program with general release set for mid-2018.
“With MYOB Advisor we’re looking to use it as a way to stay involved on an ongoing basis – not just reporting at year end,” Jason Seidel of Galpins Accountants, Auditors & Business Consultants, who is involved in the beta, said in the press release. “It turns the conversation into a live analysis rather than a retrospective analysis looking at tax information, for example.”
Seidel said the reporting tool could engage staff who are tired of compliance work.
“Instead of doing monotonous tax returns, staff are freed up to use their skills more. They (can use the report) to pick up issues and bring them to the partners’ attention or to surface them directly with clients.”
Image credit: MYOB