Edmonton may not be the first city that comes to mind when thinking of leading tech hubs, but it is rapidly gaining recognition as an emerging hotspot for technical innovation, positioning itself to compete with the likes of Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Toronto.
It’s no surprise, then, that a local firm like Faber LLP has embraced digital transformation in the accounting industry. Online Accountant LLP, their cloud-based accounting firm, is a testament to their commitment to innovation and adaptability in a rapidly evolving business environment.
After years of working in public accounting, the partners at Faber LLP have witnessed firsthand the impact of technological innovation on the industry. We spoke with one of the partners, Peter S. Johnson, to learn more about their journey to the cloud.
Embracing the cloud
Before the pandemic hit, Faber LLP had already started on their journey towards digital transformation. They were making moves towards becoming a paperless firm, using cloud-based workflows and time billing. But, when the pandemic struck, it pushed the firm to speed up their digital efforts.
As the team adapted to working in the cloud, they quickly discovered that this new way of working was not just a response to changes in technology, but an opportunity to thrive in this new reality.
“We started to think about how we could enhance our clients’ online experience in this new reality,” says Peter. “We asked ourselves, what if we were to revamp our entire business model with an online-first mindset? How would we offer our services in this new world of online accounting, and what would our firm look like if it were built for the cloud?”
Faber LLP knew that the key to a successful cloud-based firm required better integrated systems and software. They looked for a platform that would seamlessly connect their team online and make it easy for them to collaborate with clients.
“After researching extensively, we found that Xero and its app suite of partners were the perfect solution. By utilizing Xero and its partners, we built the ultimate integrated platform to offer seamless online accounting services to our clients,” Peter explains.
Faber LLP has always been guided by its core values of “putting people first, building community, and working collaboratively,” says Peter. These values have continued to shape the newly formed Online Accountant, LLP, but now with a wider scope. By leveraging the cloud, Online Accountant, LLP is now able to connect and work with people from all over the world, expanding the sense of community beyond previous boundaries.
In the world of online public accounting, outsourcing to companies offshore has become a common practice for many firms looking to cut costs. However, Faber LLP had previous experiences with outsourcing that didn’t align with their values or benefit their employees and clients. So when creating Online Accountant, LLP, they wanted to find a way to pass on cost savings to their clients while still staying true to their core values.
Their solution? Instead of outsourcing to a third-party offshore company, they opened their own office in Lahore, Pakistan and hired their own staff. By doing so, they were able to pass on cost savings to clients, while still feeling good about their choices and taking care of their employees.
Peter adds, “Our Lahore office has been an exciting and rewarding addition to our team. Thanks to our ability to work and collaborate online, our staff in Pakistan truly feel like part of the Faber and Online Accountant family. We take care of and greatly appreciate our staff. I recently had the pleasure of spending over a month with our team in Pakistan, developing a close relationship with each person we hired. I’m eager to return and see our Lahore office continue to grow into an exceptional place to work.”
Enhancing the client experience
Online Accountant, LLP is fully committed to delivering an exceptional service experience to their clients. To that end, they are continuously refining their internal processes and collaborative tools.
Peter shares, “When Xero announced their acquisition of TaxCycle, we were absolutely thrilled. It only confirmed our decision to partner with Xero’s accounting platform. We’re excited to see how TaxCycle will be integrated into Xero’s cloud platform, and we can’t wait to deliver the benefits of this integration to our clients.”
By partnering with Xero and utilizing features like the user-friendly cash-coding tool and a comprehensive suite of apps, including Ignition and Dext, Online Accountant, LLP is empowered to deliver the best possible online accounting experience to their clients.