Small town, big impact

pigot-miller-wilsonIn the regional town of Orange, NSW, accounting firm Pigot Miller Wilson (PMW) is switching to WorkflowMax Practice Manager. PMW succesfully exported their client base to WorkflowMax Practice Manager at the beginning of the month and their invoicing followed shortly thereafter. They expect to change to make a big difference – not just in the practice but across the entire town.

By changing to WorkflowMax Practice Manager, they’re freeing up more of their time because the data flows from Workflow Max into Xero and vice versa  without any need for manual entry. And that’s how they’re making a difference: they’re using that extra time to offer extra services that make local businesses better.

“I’ve lived in Orange since 1998, and being a regional town, you know a lot of the people you work with and bump into them at the pub” said PMW Partner Andrew Miller. “We have a responsibility to our clients. We want to provide them with the best financial solutions that give them more time to spend with their family, instead of working”.

To that end, PMW is now offering services like quarterly business performance reports and quarterly management meetings where they talk clients through various business decisions. They’re far more active in client businesses than they were in the past, and by being more active they’re making those businesses more effective.

Sick of servers

When Ray and fellow PMW partner Andrew Miller first saw a demo of Workflow Max, they were using MYOB. Server installs, maintenance and workarounds were part of their daily life – but, says Ray, “I got sick of messing around with server installs and workarounds instead of solutions.” When he saw that Workflow Max, like Xero, was accessible anytime, from anywhere, he thought “That’s exactly what we’ve been looking for.”

PMW had been working actively to get many of their clients on Xero, which provides a simple accounting software solution  for people who prefer to work on their business rather than bookwork. PMW then looked at Workflow Max Practice Manager, a Xero add on, which pushes sales and purchase information, tracking and contacts into Xero– and it’s free for Xero Partners with more 25 or more clients on Xero.  When they saw how easily it managed jobs in and out of the office, they were sold.

Implementation experts help make it happen

Then it came down to implementation: migrating all their clients from their former practice management software and getting them into Workflow Max Practice Manager. To make this task easier, they hired implementation specialists Hansen’s to help with the transition. Hansen’s ran training presentations sessions for all staff, showing them how the implementation would work and how easy the program was to use.

Moving 5,000 clients from one software solution to another was a big job, but Miller saw it as an opportunity for housekeeping. As an interim step between their former practice management software and Practice Manager, they exported their client list to an Excel spreadsheet, then allocated a staff member to go through it and ensure it’s integrity. It was a huge job, that took many hours over several weeks, but Miller says it was absolutely worth doing to guarantee a clean database.

Miller reckons he’s saved $50,000 on servers already – and he hasn’t even begun to quantify the time savings that will come from having his entire practice run on fully-integrated cloud software. Then there’s the less-tangible personal benefit to his own happiness: “It was a great day,” he says, “when I learned our practice no longer needs to run on spreadsheets.”

We’ll check back in on PMW over the next few months to see how it’s going, so watch this space.


Mark Trovati
May 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Am I able to quickly talk to these guys at PMW.
This is exactly my case, I’m sick of Viztopia and want to ask them a few questions about the migration, including what they use as Depreciation and Tax software ?
I’m looking to make a decision this week on CCH ifirm, Handisoft or what Xero can offer.

May 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Hi Mark

Please drop me an email, and I’ll get in touch.

Thanks Andrew

May 13, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Mark / Andrew, like wise
We have seen demos of Ifirm, Handisoft(appears handisoft still living in the 80’s) and also need to make a decision ASAP, and have been looking at WFM, but concerned about the tax integration at least on a short term basis until xero adds tax

We are also using HowNow Doc Mgt which we love using and would love to link with WFM, as Ifirm & HandiSoft Doc Mgt is really a glorified Windows Explorer Platform

Andrew are you using Office 365?

Thank you for sharing

Jacinta Hoare
May 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Great story
Good to see a regional based firm on the front foot with technology.
Just goes to show that not all the movers and shakers in our industry are in the capital cities.

May 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

It is slow, help won’t help me get it going. I got the first 3 or 4 account set up fine but from then on the accounts will no longer set up and I can’t even get back to scratch to start again. It is slow and very, very rarely will bank feeds refresh

Catherine in reply to Felicity Xero
May 14, 2013 at 7:48 am

@Felicity – this doesn’t sound right at all, sorry about that! Best way to get help with this is email and they’ll dig into this for you.

Andrew Miller
May 15, 2013 at 10:56 am

Hi Anna
We are not using office 365 at the minute. We are progressing in this space and hope to make a decision to migrate to this platform very soon. It will make our exchange server redundant and also allow our staff to access our documents on the run from mobile devices, and also access their office web apps. On another note Hansens have the office 365 integrated with workflow max, I’m having a demo of this functionality shortly, but it all looks promising.

Sean O'Rourke
May 16, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Great story, we are using Xero since 2011 and migrated to WFM at the start of 2013. Integrated billing is great as is the ability to login from anywhere. Would love to see a UI facelift in WFM to bring it up to Xero’s high standard and a WFM mobile app would be really useful. It took us quite a few weeks to migrate all our client data into WFM and get comfortable with it but it was definitely worth it

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