Intro to part eight: When Charles Klvana, founder of Eye on Books, offered to lend his perspective on his journey towards achieving platinum partner status, we jumped at the chance.
In this ten-part series, Charles takes us all down memory lane and throws in some great advice for potential partners looking to follow in similar footsteps.
In part eight of this series, Eye on Books is growing its staff cohort as the number of clients on Xero continues to rise.
Date: November 2014
Client count: 260 clients on Xero
Classifying the business
After seven years, with the number of staff we had and the number of clients, we were no longer a micro/small business. New challenges were arising with our workload and the flow of all the requirements of a business that size.
Up until this stage, new clients simply went to whoever in the office had space available. This meant everyone was doing a little bit of everything, which I soon realised wouldn’t work long term.
Based on the natural capabilities of the guys in the team, I classified the business into four main departments:
- Hospitality (which then evolved into “Full Service”) – These are the clients where we act as their full accounting department, taking care of almost every facet of the financials, from paying bills to processing and paying the payroll.
- On-site clients – We are a “full-service” bookkeeping firm. Meaning we take care of every type of client. So our on-site team members specialise in seeing clients at their premises on a regular basis.
- Off-site clients – These clients can be looked after completely from our office but aren’t full-service. Perhaps we only do the bank reconciliations, maybe we only do the accounts payable and payroll. Or variations of this.
- Charles’ clients – The eclectic bunch of clients that I work with and don’t always neatly fall into a category above.
Dividing into departments gave us some order in how to allocate new clients and allowed us to develop our staff in the area that suited them best.
Xeroband – tooting my own trumpet
By September 2015, with 310 clients on Xero and another new staff member on our growing team, Xerocon took place in Melbourne. This is the year I participated in the Xeroband for the first time.
After a few years of not playing, I had dug out my trumpet. It took many months of practice to be good enough to play in front of so many fellow Xero partners. Phew.
It was also at this Xerocon that yet another bookkeeping partner had earned partner of the year. It happened to be a guy that I knew, a drinking buddy from some Christmases prior. I also distinctly remembered him from a Xero certification a few years before.
Why did I remember? His business was called Little Miss Bookkeeper, yet he was a blokey bloke. Good old Jamie Davison from Carbon Bookkeeping. I had taught him Xero and certified him many years before. It was a well-deserved award, given to a guy from the great state of Western Australia.
Speaking of WA, after some changes in the Xero WA office, we got a new Xero account manager. It was some dude previously in recruitment but new to this field. He came to our office with muffins, the stylish Michael Kerr.
I wasn’t sure about this guy – but he also brought beer, so I figured he must be all right!
Stay tuned for next week’s instalment:
Click here to read last week’s article.