During our on-boarding conversations with MSPCFO clients, our Customer Success team looks at an MSP’s data and sees where they might have data gaps. What can be surprising for clients is how much is revealed about their business during those initial conversations. just collecting and looking at your data uncovers a great deal of value. This is before we even start reporting on it.
Our Customer Success team often brings some key problem areas to the surface right away, such as gaps in data or localized data inaccuracies. Simply taking the first steps to use a data reporting system can therefore provide crucial information. Plus, we’ve had customers realize, right then and there, that they have a substantial revenue in pending invoices that have never been sent!
What Can Looking at Your Data Reveal?
Uninvoiced labor. One of the first things we frequently find during onboarding is that there’s a fair amount of uninvoiced labor sitting in an MSP’s system, sometimes going back several months. Because so much of an MSP’s work is covered by fixed fee agreements, time typically doesn’t need to be itemized. But there’s often a meaningful amount that isn’t covered by the FFA and should be billed separately. We sometimes spot tens of thousands of dollars that haven’t been invoiced. These amounts quickly come to light during onboarding.
Unbillable time. Where are you engineers putting time in? Which engineers are outliers in terms of having more unbillable time than others? Are any engineers spending excess time on admin, or dumping time into agreements? During our onboarding process, we take a look at these areas to quickly answer those questions. We can then pinpoint who is using their time efficiently, and who might not be.
Looking at your data can also show you if one team member keeps being attached to inefficient agreements. If we see a consistent relationship between an individual engineer and low-efficiency agreements, there may be a personnel issue there.
Inaccurate costs. We have found plenty of instances of missing or wrong costs in an MSP’s system. In most PSAs, costs don’t go anywhere except the MSP’s reporting system (unlike revenue, which of course generates invoices and affects taxes). But when your costs are wrong, there’s no way to have an accurate view of your MSP’s profitability on an agreement level, let alone your business’s overall profitability. Knowing where costs are inaccurate lets you improve your reporting and gain a much stronger picture of how your business is doing.
From Data to Decision
The fundamental purpose of the reporting we do at MSPCFO is to identify fixable problems at your MSP. We facilitate easy reporting and unambiguous analytics, so you can clearly see areas for improvement. Even before our reporting system is fully implemented — while we’re working with a client on setting up MSPCFO at their business — problems can already be identified and addressed.
At this onboarding stage, sometimes a small adjustment to business operations or even basic data capturing (such as how you categorize agreements) can go a long way. For instance, we’ve seen clients decide to redo how their invoices are presented to the client, resulting in greater transparency and a stronger MSP-client relationship. Or sometimes MSPs will discover the need for a more meaningful adjustment to how their business is structured.
Onboarding, then, isn’t just a necessary first step in the reporting process. It is valuable in and of itself, showing that the benefits of strong data and granular reporting start appearing right away.