Over recent years, the world of accounting and bookkeeping has evolved with the times. From advancing business models to offering expanded services to be able to meet new client demands; change has been a constant for the industry. The biggest shift, however? Alongside small businesses, many practices have digitalised rapidly to keep pace with today’s environment. As a result, advisors are reaping the benefits of saving time and cost from more streamlined and efficient processes.
With a new financial year almost upon us, this is the perfect time to review your practice app stack and consider what digital tools could level up your firm in FY24. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list below – all of which can be found in the Xero App Store. We hope this helps you gear up for a great year ahead.
Know where you stand with clients from the get-go
The new financial year comes with the promise of a fresh start for many small business owners. Of course, for advisors, this is an opportunity to attract new business or build on your existing relationships. The tricky part? Proposing (or re-negotiating) the terms of your agreements.
Whether you’re signing on a new small business or restructuring your pricing model, you need to ensure your engagement terms are clear and consistent. The New Proposal Editor from Ignition can help simplify this for all parties. This feature allows you to align your proposal and billing start dates meaning you can secure your contracts before starting work on a new account, and your clients won’t be charged for the transition period.
You can also use the New Proposal Editor to automatically collect deposits from new clients to minimise business risk and keep your cash flow in check. The deposit payment will be clearly stated on the proposal and invoice. That way, they’ll know what they’re being charged for and when.
Pulse check your team’s wellbeing
In today’s uncertain environment, workplace wellbeing has become a major focus for employers – and advisory is no exception. But, as numbers people, we know that understanding your teams’ needs isn’t just about conversations; data also plays an important role.
Everperform is an app that generates performance insights across productivity, wellbeing and relationships within your practice. If you use Xero Practice Manager (XPM), you can sync the two systems to set targets and automatically measure key performance indicators (KPIs) against jobs. Everperform also gives you a clear view of what levers – like time spent in meetings or workload – could be contributing to employees’ performance. As a result, you can use data to make adjustments accordingly – all to ensure your employees are set up to show up as their best selves.
Lean on intuitive dashboards
Speaking of productive working environments, managing multiple tasks and client relationships can be a real juggling act (especially at peak times like tax season). One way to more easily manage this is with intuitive dashboards, like those generated by Dashboard Insights. How? By offering a bird’s eye view of your practice performance. The app consolidates real-time data from other systems (such as Xero and XPM) to produce easy-to-read graphs and insights on profit, productivity and cash flow. This helps you understand what’s working and where you need to focus your attention. Dashboard Insights can also be used anywhere in the world, which is good news for global, remote or hybrid teams.
Streamline reports and ledgers
Reports and ledgers are an advisor’s bread and butter. So ensuring you have streamlined, transparent and automated processes around data entry and outputs is critical. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help, depending on your needs and preferences.
The new ledgers feature from Syft gives you control over how you organise, display, move and group data. You can also add things like profit and loss statements, balance sheets and non-financial data to populate reports. Calxa has also introduced report trees to help group and summarise accounts, giving you cleaner and more readable reports. Finally, if you’re a fan of Excel workbooks, EXL Cloud can connect Xero data to reports, dashboards and models in Excel. Whichever app is the right fit for you, just make sure your systems are synced to ensure data flows smoothly throughout your practice.
With so many apps in the Xero App Store, a customised tech stack for a stronger, more resilient practice is at your fingertips. Be sure to explore the different options on offer to make FY24 your best year yet.