“AM’s doing the heavy-lifting, so I can do more.”
Vicki Boddice met us at AccountingWEB in December ‘21, wanting to organise her deadlines. Since then, she’s discovered our Automations, the Task List, AML and Risk, Portal and more… Even her clients are impressed.
Vicki started her career at one of the Big Four (hear more about her journey in Part One of our chat). She set up Boddice Accounting in July 2021 with two clients and by the time she went to AccountingWEB Live, she had around 10.
“I could just see that if things carried on the way they were, I’d get in a mess because I didn't have solid systems in place,” says Vicki. “When there’s a handful of clients, you know when everything is due and what's happening.”
“Once you get upwards of about 10 people, you can't keep all those dates in your head. You might know everything about the client, but the specific dates and what you need to do each week or each day, that level of detail… things get lost and things get dropped.”
The best surprise? The speed of the engagement process
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. The process for accountants onboarding new clients is ludicrous. There are many steps, signatures, documents – and at least three people involved.
AM automates and organises everything. It starts by giving you a ready-made letter of engagement template (easily tailored to each client) – and automating its re-sign 12 months later.
Then there’s chasing the incumbent accountant, chasing your new client for information and signatures, submitting 64-8s and, of course, the infamous Client Portal.
“AccountancyManager came at the time when I was having all these new clients coming in. So the one thing that really hit home for me was the engagement process,” says Vicki.
You sit there going, ‘oh, okay. This actually works. This is letting me do more, because it's doing the heavy lifting for me. It's incredible.”
"When I was doing my own thing, it could easily take a couple hours to get all the engagement letters done. Plus making sure that everything was set up right and recorded, and that you had all the information.”
“Suddenly I was getting all this done within 24, 48 hours. And the engagement letter was out within half an hour.”
“Then I've got automation set up for resigning engagement letters. It's something else I don't need to remember to do. The system is going to email my clients and say, "You need to resign this – great"
Following consistent onboarding steps – in one click
“The first thing that really jumped out was the automatic onboarding task button. So when I set up a client, I click to add the onboarding tasks and it’s automatically there for me, so I can work through that process.”
“That’s a really big thing for me. There's so much to do in onboarding that having a recurring Task means you're doing the same steps for everybody. You're not missing something because you forgot about it.
“And when it's your turn for the licensing bodies to come and have a wee look. I know I’m fully compliant because you're working through your tasks and it's recorded. It's not just me saying ‘I've done it’.
Locating document in seconds – every time
“Also, having everything recorded in one place – you're not having to remember ‘oh, is the version that's on my computer the signed one? Or the not signed one? You've got it all in their client area.”
Avoiding the guilt of chasing previous accountants
AM’s mission is to remove every annoying, time-consuming process from your day. Taking professional clearance off your hands has the added bonus of avoiding feeling ‘annoying’ yourself.
“The automated emails to the former accountants, that’s fantastic because I feel bad when it's me sending numerous chasers. But I know that every single week until I've got that information, the system is going to be emailing the accountant.”
Missing information? Just automate it.
“...And the missing information for clients, missing reference numbers, UTRs, all those kinds of things. Again, knowing that that can just be chased up for me is great.”
“Essentially I view the automations as almost being like my office junior. It's all the things I would have got an office junior to do for me. The system is doing it all for me now. And it's reliable. I know that it always happens. I've not had anything that has not gone, when it's meant to have gone, which has been great as well.”
Professionalism, security and seriously impressed clients
Instead of sending documents attached to emails, with AM you add them to the Client Portal. Here, your clients can look back at all their tax returns, their details and reference numbers. They’ll also find their upcoming deadlines – and can sign documents without downloading them.
“When you've got something like a portal, you can completely trust it – it's secure, unlike emails – and people have really, really appreciated it. It gives a very professional appearance too, which can be difficult to do when it’s you and your computer!”
The client was incredibly impressed with the engagement process and the fact that I had a secure portal where she could upload information.”
“The fact that that came out in a feedback comment was phenomenal. I've got somebody actually saying that I'm fantastic because of the systems I have”
Actually getting signatures – when you ask for them
“When you send accounts to clients to sign off, it would always go:
Client: "Yes, that's fine."
Me: "Yeah, but I need you to actually sign it."
Client: "Oh, but I've told you, it's fine."
Me: "Yeah. But can you just sign it?"
“Now, they just go in and e-sign. It's done, it's recorded and they're submitted. It is so time saving. And clients have appreciated that they're not having me badgering them constantly to do something.”
“Even the least tech savvy person can manage it, they can click a button and say, ‘yes, I agree with that’. And it's done.”
No need for separate Risk & Anti Money-Laundering software
Vicki had prepaid for a different AML setup before getting AM, but she’s cancelled that now. “I'm now doing it through AM – risk assessments and AML checks – it's just making it nice and straightforward.”
“From one area, I can click to do all my checks – and it's saved. I've got my risk assessment that I can just click and it starts a new risk assessment. I can work my way through all of that, as opposed to finding the document on my computer and trying to locate all the documents to go behind it.”
“It has been a really easy process. Now I've found myself going back and actually doing the AM risk assessment for all my clients that I had done different risk assessments for previously. So it’s streamlined, secure and all in one place. I don't need to go and look for things.”
It's getting that mindset of, ‘there is something that will just tick all the boxes for you. And you shouldn't be having to have six, seven different bits of software to do an onboarding process. It's ludicrous. So yeah, it has been great. (I feel like I'm finishing all of these sections with, ‘It has been great’ – sorry!)”
Recurring tasks (tasks, tasks…)
Finally, Vicki comes to our two core features: Task management and Automated emails. AccountancyManager’s Task List is automatically generated based on your clients’ accounting dates. AM cleverly syncs with Companies House, so if there are any changes, AM knows about it.
Vicki, however, has gone a step further by creating her own recurring tasks. “I like to send out my monthly report to clients pretty much the same time every month. For each of my clients, I've got that set up and I know that it's just going to be there for the next month. I don't have to remember to put it in.”
Being able to structure my month around the recurring tasks has made life so much easier. It's such a simple process to set it up.”
“It also lets me see if I've put too many in the one week. I've been able to go ‘oh yeah, there's no “way I'm going to get 20 detailed reports out in three days. Maybe I want to spread them out a wee bit more’.
You need to spread your workload out across a month, and having your task list is a very key part of making sure that you've done that.”
“I've used practice management software in previous jobs that were almost completely unfit for purpose. You would have task lists that would have dates that seem to be made up out of nowhere, so you could never trust it. You had to go in and check it constantly.
“Whereas I know that my tasks are set up correctly and I know that my dates are coming through, and I know that the statutory work is always going to be on there. I know that if it’s not working, it’s because I'm not using it properly!”
Cutting out unproductive chunks of your day
Automation has reduced Vicki’s workload, shaving off minutes here and there – adding up to valuable chunks of time.
“The automatic emails mean that if I need information from a client or something signed, I know it's automatically going to be emailed.”
“It takes out steps that don't seem like they're going to take you so long individually. But if you’re doing 30 and each one is taking you five minutes, that's a big chunk of your day. And it's not a productive chunk of your day.”
“And it's also got that delay so that if I've done something I shouldn't, I can take it out again. That has been such a comfort. The email hasn't gone yet, so you can just dial it back.”
Swatting up on AM with in-system training
When you’re getting started with AM, there’s a load of videos and guides to help. And of course, our support team (consistently rated 98%+ by our users).
“I learn best by doing,” says Vicki. “So I jumped on the self-study side of things. I could watch the videos, read the information, then go away and see how it works in practice. If there's anything you're not sure about, there's training there to cover it.”
The videos and training that's available on the system really did get me started so quickly.”
“And if I did get stuck, there was always somebody there that could help. Having that level of support behind the software is really important.”
“Some softwares, you can put in a help request and 48 hours later, you get a, "Hi, how can we help?" And you're like, well no, I've fixed it now. But it took me all day. Whereas, with AM, you ask for help and you get it. It has been great. That’s a big winner.”
Experience the power of AM
Like the sound of saying goodbye to your most mundane, repetitive and frustrating tasks?
Managing your clients, communication, documents and workflow in the same place?
And giving your clients an easy, secure online e-signing portal?
Trial AccountancyManager for free – and we could be interviewing you soon too.
You might also be interested in
Award winning CRM & practice management software