This guest post comes to us from Paul Meissner, Director, Five Ways Chartered Accountants. Five Ways Chartered Accountants are Australia’s only online accounting firm, shunning all forms of desk based software.
Cloud solutions have provided our firm with the platform to service our clients efficiently and effectively from anywhere in the world.
In bringing the firm online we searched high and low and came up with a suite of cloud products that enabled us to work completely online.
What do we use:
Xero Accounting – This gave us the platform to assist our clients, engaging and collaborating with them online. Accountants’ traditionally have used out of date client financial info. Xero gives us access to our client’s financial data in real-time which allows us to engage with our clients and give them a better service. We can also streamline the process of providing annual compliance for our clients using the terrific financial reporting in Xero. By working with our clients on the one system our firm can reduce the time we spend on compliance work by almost ½. Efficiencies like this help our bottom line a lot. Clients love using this program as well, enjoying the intuitive design and easy to use nature.
Batchbook Social CRM – Access to up to date client contact information, email history and social media of our clients is paramount. If you have a mobile workforce then you can’t let this information be spread across different computers, phones, etc. High level customer service in our industry relies on our CRM system being easy to use, scalable to our needs as we grow and based in the cloud. No more out of date information slowing down our business. Client service depends on people having access to client information to help them wherever they are. With Batchbook we really like the email tracking system. So much of our business is done on email, having this CRM means that client service continues even if some staff are away.
Box.net document management – Standard documents, letters and client documents are a drain on all accounting firms. In looking for a document solution we needed a way of collaborating with our staff and clients online. With Box.net’s user management and security, we can share different levels of access across all our staff. Client too can each get an area in which to collaborate with us.
Efficiency is the cornerstone of all businesses and the cloud has enabled us to turbo charge our business. While these products help and improve the financial performance of the business it also saved us from the capital burden of coming up with the cash to buy computer hardware and have an office to keep it all in.
Overall the move to the cloud has made our client service more efficient, cut our overheads and made us more profitable. Not bad for a team of Accountants….