AUTOMATING YOUR PRACTICE WITH SMART SOFTWARE
Don’t be afraid of technology – embrace it and see the benefits!
Gone are the days where an accountancy or bookkeeping practice (or any business for that matter) can employ one or few software packages that do everything. This can be a scary prospect for some as it means additional workflows and training are required. The reality is that this is our new reality and we must get on board and embrace it!
It really is an exciting time for smaller practices to see the benefits of automation and scale their businesses without the need for full time administrative employees. Our firm started last September and with our first employee starting work last month (a part time intern) we have been able to grow the business without needing any assistance up to this point.
There really are some great apps out there and we have discovered the ones that work for us. How have we done this? I highly recommend following other people in the industry on twitter as that is where we get a lot of our information from. Also listening to various webinars, reading the Xero XU Magazine among other publications. I love technology and have spent the time trialling and testing new things
“We have no loyalty to any piece of software - if a new player comes along that can better meet our needs then we change”. Obviously within reason – it is a lot harder to just change your practice management software than it is to change a meeting booking piece of software for example.
An insight to how and what we have automated:
Online meeting bookings & new client questionnaires – Calendly & Office365
We use Calendly to enable prospective clients to book a free initial consultation straight from our website. Calendly links in with my Office365 calendar allowing them to view my availability without the need for a phone call or emails back and forth. Calendly can also contain a link to a zoom/skype or similar meeting.
Then the confirmation email sends them to a Jotform questionnaire where we ask them a few key questions such as what software do they use, what keeps them up at night and contact details. The Jotform then saves the answers in a .PDF straight into Dropbox which is where we have all of our client files saved. We also use Calendly for current clients to book other meetings such as their quarterly management meetings. This feature was really important to me from the beginning as I didn’t want to waste my time scheduling in meetings.
Calendly is free for one type of meeting and $8 per user per month for additional types of meetings. Jotform is also free for upto 100 submissions which is fantastic value.
Collating information from clients - Hubdoc
We have recently discovered Hubdoc and cannot speak highly enough of the value that it adds and the time that it saves. Not only can Hubdoc collect all of your client’s bank statements (historical and current) but it can collect other invoices such as Xero bills, telephone bills and many more. Hubdoc then pushes the information into Xero bills and can code it for you also. We are now offering it free to all of our clients on monthly fixed fee packages.
Hubdoc is free to accountants and bookkeepers so try it out today!
Quarterly Management Reporting - Fathom
We have been trialling a few different reporting programs and have found Fathom to be our preference. Fathom links to Xero to seamlessly import the financial data and allows customisation to prepare relevant and timely reports.
Practice Igntion was one of our very first automated applications. Being a new business we were unsure about the monthly cost but being able to onboard clients in a timely and efficient manner was very important to us and the cost is exceeded greatly by the value it provides.
Practice Ignition does it all, from sending a professional online proposal to collecting the monthly payments and automatically preparing the invoices straight into Xero. Once again this reduces the amount of administrative tasks that need to be done in the onboarding process for a new client and in the billing process.
Once a proposal is accepted in Practice Ignition we use Zapier to automatically add them to our Mail Chimp clients list which is setup to automatically send new clients a welcome email with our contact details, our preferred network of partners such as lawyers, financial planners etc and how we do business (in the cloud/electronically).
We cannot give all of our secrets away but we hope that this short list gives you some ideas on how to streamline your processes and not be afraid to use multiple apps. A word to the wise – make sure you document the processes as you go!
Would you like to automate your business? Our Expert Automator Natalie can help with our Two Sides Automate My Biz Bundle.
Founder & Director
Two Sides Accounting
02 9030 0269