With less than six weeks to go until Xerocon Brisbane, the buildup to the Xero 2018 Awards is growing. We’ve narrowed down the many nominations to 16 Australian finalists, and we wanted to take a moment to congratulate each of them and share some of their experiences with Xero.
Accounting Partner of the Year finalists
“We’re a rural firm, so some clients still send their information in shoeboxes and we teach them to use Xero, even some in their 70s” says client manager Daniel Bartkowski of Queensland accounting firm Carrick Aland, which has offices in Toowoomba, Dalby and Chinchilla. “We also use apps such as Receipt Bank to easily capture client records, giving us more time to investigate the ‘why’ rather than just crunch numbers.”
It can be hard to lure qualified staff to the west side of the Great Dividing Range, so Carrick Aland relies on technology to fill the gap, with Xero and its ecosystem of integrated apps providing a one-stop shop. Carrick Aland says it has become Figured‘s largest Australian subscriber, with more than 200 users of the financial management app for farmers (a 20% increase on the previous year).
“A huge part of our difference is customisable tools that automate tasks, so clients worry less about debits, credits or payroll. Having more effective systems gives commercial and farming business clients more time to work on business improvement,” says Bartkowski.
About 1,500 kilometres south, in Melbourne, RBK Advisory has seen its advisory business surge since a few accountant friends launched the firm three years ago.
“We had all worked at firms using only one or two parts of Xero’s offering, so we decided to jump right in and use the entire suite of practice tools from day one,” says director Jason Robinson. “We haven’t looked back, growing from 300 clients to well over 2,000 in the last year.
RBK does all work-in-progress and billing through Xero Practice Manager, and its entire job system is run off custom-built reports that allow full visibility of the workflow. Xero’s integrations with RBK’s practice tools allow the firm to focus more on advisory and get less bogged down in compliance work.
“The fact we can charge the same price as less efficient accounting practices who aren’t as integrated, and return the value in advisory, is directly correlated to how the practice is expanding,” says Robinson. “We’ve grown our revenue 400 percent year on year, and the team has grown fivefold to 20 staff.”
Bookkeeping Partner of the Year finalists
Bookkeeping partners have also told us their stories of how they’ve used Xero to better serve their small business clients. Our Bookkeeping Partner of the Year finalists are:
- Aegis Business Services
- Business Boost Centre
- Alluvia Financial
- Creative Accounting
- Total Accounts
“Xero Tax has been a game changer,” says Don Grgic, a small business advisor at Canberra-based Business Boost Centre. “It’s helped us minimise clunky access to the ATO BAS Agents Portal and made a real impact on our ability to serve our clients better and faster.”
With Xero, Business Boost has achieved over 95 percent of lodgements on time without using the BAS agent extension period. “That means happy and less stressed clients with no late lodgement fees,” says Grgic. “We have better things to do than chase information and request lodgement extensions.”
On the other side of the country, in the suburbs of Perth, Xero has given Total Accounts total freedom. The bookkeeping firm of seven employees is a 100 percent remote office, with each employee working from home, underscoring the ability of Xero users to work almost anywhere. Clients seem to value the ease of use as well.
“Our small businesses appreciate how easy Xero Tax makes reviewing and signing documentation, as well as accessing their own records,” says accountant and principal Sally Brindle.
Total Accounts has also made effective use of Xero HQ’s functions.
“Through Explorer, my team members are becoming specialists in certain fields,” says Brindle. “They can now be allocated clients according to industry and recommend suitable add-on apps. This provides a superior customer experience and helps provide clients greater efficiency and knowledge.” Total Accounts is currently using Xero Ask with its clients and loves how it enables them to keep all client communication and queries in one place.
National Partner of the Year finalists
In the National Partner of the Year awards category, we’ve narrowed down the applicants to four finalists:
At RSM Australia, the firm is highlighting the benefits of cloud-based business platforms.
“With so many clients nationally, we’re trying to raise digital awareness with our advisors and ensure that they have the right information when speaking to clients,” says Laurel Grey, a senior digital analyst at RSM in Sydney. “The plan at the moment is to run ongoing ‘Understanding the Cloud’ events for clients who are looking to make the most of technology.”
We hope you’ll join us at Xerocon on in early September, when the winners will be announced — tickets are still available, but not for long. Best of luck to the Xero 2018 finalists!