Practice Insight: Adam Brodie from Ignition Financial
We talk to Adam Brodie, co-founder & CEO at Ignition Financial about how his firm uses Senta to onboard and communicate with its clients.
Ignition Financial’s raison d’etre is to simplify the lives of entrepreneurs. Along with its sister firm Ignition Law, the London-based practice helps scale-ups throughout all their stages of growth, from seed to exit, providing services that range across core accounting, virtual CFO, EIS, EMI share options, R&D Tax Credits and M&A advisory.
Adam started his career as an M&A advisor, a role in which he worked on 20 exits and acquisitions across Asia, Europe and the US over the course of three years. “I learned the importance of being an advisor rather than being a consultant, keep things simple, provide clear, actionable recommendations,” he said.
Years later, in 2014, as CFO and COO of Sherwood Technologies, Adam successfully led the exit of a the technology business, with a healthy return for shareholders including key employees.
These experiences shaped the idea of what would become Ignition Financial in 2016, following a catch-up with university friend and Ignition Law Co-Founder, Alex McPherson, and his business partner, David Farquharson.
Adam, why did you decide to start using Senta?
We chose it because it was cloud based. We did quite a lot of extensive search and most of the software seemed to be desktop-based, clunky, expensive and not very agile or adaptable.
We are a fast-growing practice and we've doubled year-on-year in terms of turnover, clients and also team members, so we needed something that could grow with us. Cloud based solutions are typically best for that.
I also thought Senta was a good match. We mainly focus on technology-based businesses so, for us, demonstrating that we are tech-savvy and digitally smart in the way that we work is really important when it comes to speaking to our clients.
Can you tell us about a problem that Senta has helped you solve?
The best solution for me is being able to communicate effectively with our clients. I really like the CRM functionality.
Senta is our practice management system and it's possible to send out communications to everyone if we need to; for instance, if there is a filing deadline, event, news or when we need to keep them up to date about something.
It’s really easy to compose an email and then send it to select clients from a particular sector, or to clients who get a particular service. But the thing I really like about Senta is that when you do send it it doesn't come through like it is an automated email. It is a well-kept secret with Senta, I think. It makes the emails look more personal than a newsletter, for example.
If you had to choose a favourite feature, what would that be?
I like the Zapier integration with Practice Ignition and I am really pleased we worked with Senta on helping them build it – we were the guinea pigs. The integration links any proposals sent via Practice Ignition so that when a client gets an engagement letter it sets up as a new client in the Senta practice management system automatically.
That saves a lot of time for our team in double keying. And then Senta automatically sets up the workflow that the team needs to follow to onboard those new clients.
Is there anything you wish you knew about Senta when you first signed up that you know now?
They are really good on the workflow automation. I think Senta is probably best-known for that, but I think that the fact that the CRM makes clients communications go through with that personal touch is a really cool feature. That is something I didn't know about when I signed up.
Also, the Senta team is very responsive. They are always open to new ideas, feedback and changing things to adapt the software to our needs.