Practice insight: Rachael Prideaux from Figure Fairy

31st Jul 2020
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This month we talked with Rachael Prideaux, managing director at Figure Fairy Ltd., an accountancy practice in Bodmin. The firm has over 20 years’ experience in providing bookkeeping, accountancy and taxation services across Cornwall.

Rachael from Figure fairy holding an award

Figure Fairy aims to make life simpler and less stressful for small business owners. Using the right software is essential for Rachael and her team so that they can provide their clients with valuable insights.

Simplifying the onboarding process

“I started using Senta mainly because of the integration with GoProposal. I decided to switch practice management software to Senta as it links with Gmail, so I can keep all client emails in one place. 

At the moment, the onboarding process is still a work in progress. When I get a new lead, I fill in those details within Senta to make them a prospect, then send the proposal from GoProposal. When the proposal is accepted, in Senta they switch from becoming a prospect to a client. The relevant jobs in Senta are then kicked off automatically from the services agreed.

The ‘new normal’

I recruited a new member of staff in early March, so when we went into lockdown, she had to work from home., A lot of her training was therefore done remotely. We have just gone back into the office, so we are now starting to introduce Senta to her and build task lists between us.

I can see the advantage of tracking tasks through Senta. If we do go into another lockdown I would have visibility so I can see what jobs have been worked on, and what the priorities are without hassling her every five minutes on the phone! I can just see what's been done. 

New ways of communicating with clients

A lot of my clients are small, so we used to have a lot of one-to-one visits and it has been difficult to move all that to online meetings. I've done a few with Zoom but generally, most communication has just been by phone call or email. I think that, although it has saved us a lot of travelling time, some clients still miss that face-to-face contact. 

However, many clients that I initially thought wouldn't want to have a meeting online took to it really well. I've also used Loom quite a bit and that's been really good for following up meetings and training so the client has a visual reminder. Those are the areas we will continue to improve and develop. 

Also, videos in general – I've done a few updates on Facebook and the response that I've had from both clients and prospects has been really good. I can now see the benefit of this because it differentiates me from other accountants in my area. 

We've also done COVID newsletters to keep our clients informed. Those and all the other updates have gone directly through Senta.

Tasks and e-signing

I'm finding Senta very good to keep an overview of all the jobs that we've got on the go. I can build in a list of tasks within a particular job, so nothing gets forgotten. 

It's almost like a workflow within the job production list at the same time, so it's really bringing everything together in one place. I'm not having separate spreadsheets for workflow and billing and where we are with the year-end, everything is in one central database. 

Probably my favourite feature is the e-signing, which is something that I use a lot. I was previously using another piece of software, but I wanted to decrease the number of apps I was using and put more of them together, and Senta has enabled me to do that, so the signing of all the annual accounts and tax returns now goes through Senta.

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