Pillow May offshoot launches mTrio practice suite

mTrio founder Jessica Pillow
Jessica Pillow_FloatingHarbour
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A new competitor has joined the cloud practice management race in the shape of mTrio, a Salesforce-powered practice hub developed by Jessica Pillow of Pillow May.

Known as mTrio, the program is built on top of the Salesforce CRM platform that Pillow May already uses internally. She devised the system with the help of a couple of programmer clients and after nearly two years of development work, she set up a separate entity to market the application to other accountants.

“I fell into software development by accident because I couldn’t find the right product,” Pillow told AccountingWEB. “We were trying to find practice management software that would integrate with Dropbox, Xero, Digita and all the other products we use. We were looking for a central database and something that would give us enhanced marketing.”

Pillow was inspired by what clients were achieving with Salesforce.com’s CRM tools and wanted to apply the same techniques within accountancy. Her clients worked as Salesforce developers and confirmed that the platform could easily meet her aspirations.

“Salesforce gives us the integrations readymade, which means we can focus our software on the needs of modern accountancy practices,” she said.

Having developed a core database that powers her remotely-working firm, Pillow thought that other firms might be looking for similar tools. Buying the program ready-packaged would save other firms the cost of creating their own bespoke practice database, she added.

“Proactive firms that are really keen on technology will love us. As more people get to understand what we’re doing, it should appeal to everybody.”

While the software expertise comes from Pillow May’s own client base, mTrio business development director Ashley Leeds used to be the practice’s account manager when he worked at Digita.

After a period working abroad, he was tempted back into the accountancy market after seeing the mTrio prototype and carrying out market research among 47 accountancy firms.

“Off the back of this research, I decided this has got legs," said Leeds. "Now I’m working for the company. I’m doing exactly what I did at Digita, but without so many managers looking over my shoulder.”

When pressed on what makes mTrio so special, both Pillow and Leeds emphasise the way it has been tailored for small practitioners.

“Most accountants probably have a practice management suite, but it doesn’t do everything. So they probably run spreadsheets for some elements. And then it doesn’t do tax, so they have to go to three databases,” said Leeds.

“There are lots of little packages that people are using and putting into their processes to try and fill the gaps that IRIS, Digita, Sage and CCH are missing. We’ve put all that into one package and made links to other packages so it becomes the heart of your practice.”

Currently mTrio links straight into Xero and Digita, the applications used at Pillow May. “We’re talking to other providers and linking to them, so you don’t need those multiple databases,” said Leeds.

“If you want to do document writing, you might use Practice Ignition. Chaser is another bit of kit to automate collections. If you use Dropbox or Google Drive, it’s all within the program.”

What excites the mTrio team about the Salesforce core is the way it is designed around tasks and processes. So the practitioner can set up a tax process in mTrio/Salesforce and define the number of steps required to complete it. The software lets you program in different actions, so for example a text or email will be sent to the person who should review a job when it is completed.

We’re completing what could be a half-hour job with one click”

The tax sequence at Pillow May connects to the DocuSign portal, so that the practice system posts completed accounts and returns on the web and notifies the client so they can OK them. If an authorisation is not returned by a certain deadline, the system is programmed to send out a reminder email.

“Traditionally the accountant has to go in and check its status, and cut and paste a message into email. That can take 15mins of fiddling around. It’s all done automatically in mTrio,” said Leeds.

On-boarding new clients has been automated in a similar way within the system. “Adding someone new to the database automatically sends them a welcome text, creates a client in Xero and opens a client folder in Google Drive,” he said. “There’s no rekeying of standing data and no going around different systems creating folders. We’re completing what could be a half-hour job with one click.”

John Stokdyk
Editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk
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By mjshort
02nd Nov 2016 16:54

On-boarding new clients...
P W

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By NLB
02nd Nov 2016 20:20

Well done Jessica & team, looks like a great bit of innovation.

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to NLB
03rd Nov 2016 13:52

Thanks for your kind comment :)

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to NLB
03rd Nov 2016 13:53

Thanks for your kind comment :)

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By Glennzy
02nd Nov 2016 22:54

If this links with Digita does it mean that you no longer need Digita PM.

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to Glennzy
03rd Nov 2016 09:03

Interesting question Glenzy, thank you. It depends on what you are using DPM for, but for an example, Jessica does not use Digita Practice Management because mTrio does everything that she needs it to do.

Please contact mTrio for more information and if you would like, a webinar so that you can see for yourself why Jessica is so excited.

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03rd Nov 2016 11:19

Do you have a website so that we can explore the software? What's the pricing structure? How far are you from being able to integrate with IRIS and Kashflow?

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to The Highlander
03rd Nov 2016 11:27

I missed the link on the name in article! I see the website provides the pricing structure.

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to The Highlander
03rd Nov 2016 14:27

Good Afternoon Highlander,

We are in talks with other providers of software to run links to their systems. Iris and Kashflow are on our radars so please watch this space.

Hopefully our website at www.mtrio.io helped answer your other questions but if you wish to know more please follow the links for a call back on our page.

Many thanks for your questions.

Thanks (0)
03rd Nov 2016 12:16

Looking forward to getting up and running - :-)

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to pauldonno
03rd Nov 2016 15:34

Great news Paul, thanks for the mention!

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08th Nov 2016 14:55

A really good innovation in a key area!

Looking forward to seeing how it develops.

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to rsergeant
08th Nov 2016 15:45

Hi rsergent,

Thanks for the kind words. Initial feedback has been fantastic. If you want to take a look please let us know via our website www.mtrio.io and we'd be happy to show you what it can do.

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14th Nov 2016 13:27

Another software provider throws there hat in the ring, begs the question, how many will be around in 5 years time.

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to AndrewV12
14th Nov 2016 14:28

Hi AndrewV12,

That is a great discussion point right there don't you think?

With the compliance software providers there have been some acquisitions in the past and therefore we have seen the attrition of the number of suppliers. Surely this will be the same in the CRM space?

Unfortunately though, there are many differing facets within CRM that work or do not within an accounting practice. We have developed the world's leading CRM package to specifically work for accountants thus giving them all the tools that they need without having to customise a huge and powerful program to do the work.

Will other CRM companies buy up the smaller companies or will the likes of the big compliance software houses buy the CRM companies?

I am afraid that we do not know the answer to the number of providers in the market in five years time, but it does give the proactive accountant more choice. The companies that provide a suitably great product coupled with a fantastic user experience will still be around in the future.

Great question Andrew and thanks for responding. If you would like to know more about how we feel we'll fit into the current marketplace please free to contact us through our website at www.mtrio.io.

Many thanks,

Ashley

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01st Dec 2016 14:32

Great to see a video here as well now. Thanks Accounting Web

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