This post was authored by Will Lopez, founder of Xero Silver firm, AdvisorFi.com, and host of Xero Hour in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“Just one amazing experience. One amazing experience and we can change the world of accountancy forever.” I remember telling myself this when I founded AdvisorFi.com, a South Florida cloud-based accounting firm, five years ago.
At the time, I had just finished building a Xero add-on business intelligence browser-based app called AdvisorFi Insights to get a better idea of where accountancy was going in the US. Through that, I discovered accountancy was shifting from the old school suit and tie calculator-in-hand approach to a totally cloud based online experience. An experience that I just had to be a part of! An experience I wanted to make amazing.
So, I started AdvisorFi.com – intending on differentiating my firm as an early pioneer of US cloud-based accountancy. “Wow! An accounting firm PLUS cool tech? This is going to be an AWESOME experience for our clients!” I thought to myself. Looking back now though, I didn’t realize how dependent creating that ‘amazing experience’ would be on the input of the broader accounting community.
This global accounting community is comprised of true professionals, incredible technology and valuable firm-partnering programs – enabling professionals to come together and share their ideas for improving a firm through rethinking processes and technology selection. It was because of the Xero community that my firm started our own YouTube channel in hopes of growing this community and better helping business owners and firms think outside the box (with a little entertainment thrown in the mix).
By partnering with Xero, I have been able to provide the best experience possible for our clients because we have the same goals and dreams in mind – to make accounting an amazing experience. This is also why I lead West Palm Beach’s Xero Hour on a monthly basis. It’s a safe haven for local professionals to get together as a community, share thoughts on how we can do things better without any judgment and, as a team work, through some of those difficult-to-solve firm processes.
Xero Hour provides the accounting community structure that we’ve all been longing for as accountants. We all know that we are “practicing” as we grow our firms, while trying to serve our clients as best we can, so it sure is nice to have others professionals to brainstorm with. That is what Xero Hour does for me. It gives me a community to learn from and problem solve with as I grow.
This month, Xero Hour will be covering a key aspect of creating the ‘amazing experience’ I’m referring to. We will be discussing how to select the right set of technology platforms for your firm and build an almost-perfect set of processes around that technology stack.
The majority of our clients at AdvisorFi.com are in the professional services vertical: attorneys, photographers, business coaches, consultants and so on. So, defining and selecting the right technology stack is crucial in creating an amazing experience for our on-the-go clients. At the month’s Xero Hour, we will discuss how, at AdvisorFi.com, we center app selections and process creation around our clients’ visions and desires for entrepreneurship.
Here’s a real life example. We had a well-known business coach come to our firm and say, “listen, I just want to make sure all my accounting is done right, easily track my hours for the projects I’m working on and not get bogged down with the paperwork of being an employee of my own company.”
Our firm heard his cry loud and clear and placed it center stage. We rolled up our sleeves and selected the right set of apps to save the day. We utilized Xero for the solid accounting foundation, HarvestApp for easy to use time-tracking and project management and Gusto payroll for all things pay compliance. Best of all, all three of those apps communicate seamlessly without any hitches – easing his angst about his ‘accounting being done right’. He was overjoyed by this ‘amazing experience’.
So, as you are considering which platforms are best for your clients and re-evaluating your own internal processes – do not despair, you are not alone. Chances are someone near you is going through or has gone through the same thing. As a community, we can do this thing called business life together and give not only our clients an amazing experience, but ourselves too.
Xero Hour is a series of monthly events where you can connect with local, like-minded accounting professionals on the journey to building connected practices. Over the next month, we’ll be sharing and learning about accounting technology stacks. Find your local Xero Hour and start your journey.