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The beauty of insight: implementing apps in your firm

Posted 2 years ago in Advisors by Erin Smith
Posted by Erin Smith

Jo Doye is the creator of CloudBooks, a specialist firm focussed on the hospitality and tourism sector. Her journey into Xero’s apps ecosystem means she’s now more equipped than ever to tackle the day-to-day demands of her clients.

We used to accept having a once-a-year view of business performance – and even then it was in hindsight. Now, with online tools, shared data and integrated apps, we’re treated to immediate up-to-date insights that enable truly informed decision-making.

CloudBooks is a business advisory firm specialising in the hospitality and tourism sector. Our expanding team is located in various parts of Australia with our core team located in Bendigo, Victoria. Our Bendigo team is in the brand new Possum Works co-working space, which allows us to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs in a creative, inspiring and tech savvy space.

Exploring the Xero apps ecosystem

My first experience in the bookkeeping industry came as a subcontractor for a bookkeeping franchise in 2008. In 2011 my boss gave me the opportunity to take over my own clients and CloudBooks was born. I attended a Xero roadshow and instantly fell in love. This new product made perfect sense: no more travelling to clients, I could work from anywhere, and offer a better service. Initially there was some resistance from my clients and accountants. However looking back, my foresight in adopting Xero gave my clients an edge and put them ahead of the game.

Expanding our offering

The business has grown rapidly ever since the introduction of Xero. Our current focus is to use efficiency apps in our practice to leverage our expertise in compliance bookkeeping. We also focus on offering advisory services to our clients so we can provide even more value and insight.

Taking the complications out of CRM

As a result of our rapid growth last financial year, come April this year I was a very stressed-out business owner. End of financial year with double the number of clients was looming and my to-do list was out of control. Thankfully, a colleague introduced me to Insightly – a CRM and task management tool. While I was worried about the time it would take to set up and implement, once I got into it, the time savings and efficiency increases were immediate. I now use it to manage my deadlines and projects, allocate tasks to staff members and communicate with my clients. It’s ended the distraction of emails and reminds me about conversations I have had with clients, along with my priorities for the day.

Stress-free statements and summaries

I also love Xero Tax and how it has helped me streamline our processes for lodging clients’ business activity statements and payment summaries.

The ability to send out returns via e-sign saves time and we have now had 12 months with no overdue client returns. We also use DocuSign for our client agreements which has done wonders to speed up our client onboarding so we can focus on adding value for our clients.

Let the apps do the heavy lifting

The apps we use have drastically reduced my stress levels and given me more time to focus on building relationships with my clients.

I’m currently implementing Deputy with my hospitality clients which will streamline our payroll processes and help our clients effectively manage their teams. BOMA is next on my radar as we look to develop our brand message to our target market.

My top tips on implementing a new app into your firm

  1. Be clear on what problem you want the app to solve
  2. Do your research, and ask other Xero partners about their experiences – such as via the o cal Xero Facebook communities
  3. Create a plan on how you’ll implement the new app.

Jo’s story is taken from the new issue of Partner Pages – a magazine of beautifully curated content, written by partners, for partners. Get your free copy at the Roadshow Australia 2018.


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