Goodbye ‘Good Bad Ugly’, hello ‘Active’

After 21 years of publishing the premier benchmarking report for the Australian accounting industry – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Australian Accounting Profession – we are saying goodbye to this much-loved report.

We developed Good Bad Ugly in 2001 to measure how Business Fitness systems and tools improved firm productivity and profitability. We wanted to track how individual firms performed over time, and how firms using our products performed in relation to their peers.

The data we collected gave us insight into the mechanics of individual accounting firms, but it also became a snapshot of the industry at large. In the past two decades, we’ve seen some amazing positive changes:

– Revenue per partner has more than doubled

– Lock-up days have been reduced by almost half

– Net profit % and staff productivity % have skyrocketed

But at the same time, the challenges faced by accounting firms are intensifying — and they’re both fuelled (and solved) by changes in technology.

Although we are retiring the Good Bad Ugly, this is not the end of our work helping accounting firms benchmark themselves against their peers, and use data to move their firms forward. In fact, as you’ll see below — it’s just the beginning.

What we learned from analysing thousands of accounting firm data sets

After 21 years of collecting thousands of data sets from accounting firms all around the country, we gained deep insight into the secrets of highly efficient, highly profitable firms.

Our clients would continually ask us: How do other firms do it?

And thanks to our GBU data, we could tell them. We had the inside scoop on the Australian accounting industry.

So when, a few years ago, we took a step back to analyse what the accounting industry would truly need for this decade and beyond, we had all the information we needed right at our fingertips.

We knew the biggest challenges facing accounting firms:

– Data in multiple systems (lengthy manual extraction)

– Lagging indicators (performance)

 – ‘Out of date’ data

– Static reports

– Practice data only

– Focus on past performance

And with this knowledge in mind, we’ve spent the past two years developing a brand-new platform to solve the most critical issues facing the industry.

Introducing Active, by Business Fitness

Active is our hyper-automation platform. It is a series of integrated modules that run on a single platform to hyper-automate compliance, accounting, and reporting workflows.

Active’s Data Cloud module turns client and practice data into meaningful information. We collect data to give you the ultimate resource for understanding the behaviour and needs of your clients and team. You’ll get:

– Data in one location (automatic and integrated)

– Leading indicators (process)

– Real-time data

– Live analysis, insights, and alerts

– Practice and client data

– Focus on past and future (predictive analysis)

Active’s comprehensive Data Cloud means all the benchmarking data you’ll need is right within the platform.

Where it’s headed

Active is our newest product, but it’s a direction we’ve been heading since we began more than 20 years ago. Back then, we wanted to make easy-to-use software tools that helped accounting firms standardise processes, build highly efficient practices, and scale up with ease.

Although we’re saying goodbye to Good Bad Ugly, data will remain at the heart of all product development here at Business Fitness. We are developing your new ultimate resource to give full access to data about both your practice and your clients. You’ll get real-time data along with live analysis, insights, and alerts to better understand the behaviour and needs of your clients and your team.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Active platform, book an Active demo today.