Practice Insight: Technology for work-life balance

21st Jan 2020
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Lynsay Bennett is the founder of Count on You, a firm based in Dalgety Bay, where the team offers bookkeeping services as well as assistance for small to medium businesses.

Lynsay loves using technology to improve processes in her practice and the service they offer to their clients. The firm even has its own app for iOS and Android that clients can use to request meetings, track mileage and read tax tips or use tax calculators.

“I like the idea of having an app available for clients even just from a reference point to help them understand some of the tax information,” she said.

Here’s what she told us about how they use tech in her firm and the benefits they’ve seen.

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Enhanced workflows

“It was trying to keep on top of all the deadlines and making sure that I didn't miss anything. This is what prompted me to have a look at what was available out there for helping to manage the workflow and our deadlines. 

We use Go Proposal, which has a community forum of accountants and bookkeepers. Senta was one of the software companies that were mentioned on the forum and the one that seemed to be more established at the time. 

I had a look at it and it worked for me, so we went for the trial and got all our clients on it. I even created dummy clients to see how things worked and looked from the clients' perspective. We lifted and shifted what was there with regards to the key compliance services like accounts production and tax returns for the companies and sole traders. 

Then I started customising Senta based on how we run our processes in our firm, like payroll and VAT for instance. 

Automatic emails

We have built an onboarding process so when clients do sign up with us there is an automated email that will go out on the first week and another one after 30 days, just to keep in touch and so that we don’t forget to communicate with them. 

We also have an email automatically go out to all our VAT clients asking what we need to finalise their return. We have used Senta quite a bit for that. 

Streamlining processes before taking on new clients

We haven't done a lot of marketing because we have been in quite a fortunate situation in which we have always had clients coming to us. In fact, quite often we are pushing them back and saying we are at full capacity and we can't take any new clients on. 

Instead of growing or expanding the business in any way, we've wanted to stay with what we've got and make sure that we really have good processes before we open the door to new business. 

Over the last year we have spent a lot of time on our internal processes, just making sure that it is all as streamlined as can be and so that we aren't leaving any room for error.

We’ve also gone paperless. It's been a year of scanning and shredding and making sure that we've got a good process in place to take on new business. 

We've also changed a lot of our fees because we were undercharging to a certain extent and Senta helped with that because we can see at a glance what our annual turnover looks like. 

Technology for work-life balance

Work-life balance is one of the reasons I started the business. I was starting a family and I wanted to make sure I had the flexibility to be there for the kids as they were growing up.

And the same goes for the rest of the team. We've all got the flexibility to work from home if need to be. So it's quite important that we've got flexibility and work-life balance. And technology has helped support that.

And as we are paperless in the office there's nothing that can be done at work that can't be done at home, so we've all got the capability of logging in remotely and accessing whatever software we need to in order to get work done.”

Read what Marie Donaldson told us about tax season workflows, the importance of consistent client communication and the onboarding process at Fresh Clarity.