The world of advisory has undoubtedly changed over recent years. Since the pandemic’s arrival, many practices have had no choice but to adapt to an environment where uncertainty is the new norm. And despite some persistent challenges – such as hiring staff and rapid regulatory changes – this evolution has also brought about countless chances to grow, connect and innovate.
With FY23 just around the corner, now is the time to embrace these opportunities. And according to Xero’s State of the industry research – exploring how COVID-19 impacted the accounting and bookkeeping world – digitalisation is a good starting point. The report revealed that adopting technology has had a positive impact for 94 percent of advisors, with the top benefits including time savings, increased efficiency, and improved client relationships.
So, for those looking to build a digitally enabled (and resilient) practice in the new financial year, we’ve rounded up some useful apps from the Xero App Store. Take what you need from the tips below to do what you do best in FY23 and beyond.
1. Know where you stand with clients from the get-go
The new financial year comes with the promise of a fresh start for many small business owners. Of course, for advisors, this is an opportunity to attract new business or build on your existing relationships. The tricky part? Proposing (or re-negotiating) the terms of your agreements.
Whether you’re signing on a new small business or restructuring your pricing model, you need to ensure your engagement terms are clear and consistent. The New Proposal Editor from Ignition can help simplify this for all parties. This feature allows you to align your proposal and billing start dates. Meaning, you can secure your contracts before starting work on a new account, and your clients won’t be charged for the transition period.
You can also use the New Proposal Editor to automatically collect deposits from new clients to minimise business risk and keep your cash flow in check. The deposit payment will be clearly stated on the proposal and invoice. That way, they’ll know what they’re being charged for and when.
2. Pulse check your team’s wellbeing
Amidst staff shortages and the ‘great re-evaluation,’ workplace wellbeing has become a major focus for employers – and advisory is no exception. But, as numbers people, we know that understanding your teams’ needs isn’t just about conversations; data also plays an important role.
Everperform is an app that generates real-time performance insights across productivity, wellbeing and relationships within your practice. If you use Xero Practice Manager (XPM), you can sync the two systems to set targets and automatically measure key performance indicators (KPIs) against jobs. Everperform also gives you a clear view of what levers – like time spent in meetings or workload – could be contributing to employees’ performance. As a result, you can use data to make adjustments accordingly – all to ensure your employees are set up to show up as their best selves.
3. Lean on intuitive dashboards
Speaking of productive working environments, managing multiple tasks and client relationships can be a real juggling act (especially at peak times like tax season). And as we all know, siloed working can lead to double-ups and wasted time. One way to avoid this is with intuitive dashboards, like those generated by Dashboard Insights. How? By offering a bird’s eye view of your practice performance.
The app consolidates real-time data from other systems (such as Xero, XPM and WorkflowMax) to produce easy-to-read graphs and insights on profit, productivity and cash flow. This helps you understand what’s working and where you need to focus your attention. Dashboard Insights can also be used anywhere in the world, which is good news for global, remote or hybrid teams.
4. Streamline reports and ledgers
Reports and ledgers are an advisor’s bread and butter. So ensuring you have streamlined, transparent and automated processes around data entry and outputs is critical. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help, depending on your needs and preferences.
The new ledgers feature from Syft gives you control over how you organise, display, move and group data. You can also add things like profit and loss statements, balance sheets and non-financial data to populate reports. Calxa has also introduced report trees to help group and summarise accounts, giving you cleaner and more readable reports. Finally, if you’re a fan of Excel workbooks, EXL Cloud can connect Xero data to reports, dashboards and models in Excel. Whichever app is the right fit for you, just make sure your systems are synced to ensure data flows smoothly throughout your practice.
With over 1,000 connected apps in the Xero App Store, a customised tech stack for a stronger, more resilient practice is at your fingertips. Be sure to explore the different options on offer to make FY23 your best year yet.