Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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Practice Ignition extends billing capabilities

In a bid for rapid expansion, onboarding tool Practice Ignition has been busy hiring and upgrading its system to a new platform and adding new features to bolster its platform capabilities.

16th Sep 2020
Staff Writer AccountingWEB
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Practice Ignition billing schedule

After raising AUD $26m (£14m) in funding last year, Practice Ignition has been on a mission to expand. Hiring aggressively throughout lockdown, the client onboarding tool has doubled its staff and is in the process of migrating customers over to its new platform.

As part of its plans to scale, Practice Ignition has upgraded its onboarding process with more flexibility to supplement existing invoice and payments tools.

Aside from building a new platform, three key features have been added to the onboarding program: client billing schedule, a new proposal tool and expanded client display options.

Client billing schedule

As part of the revamp, where client billing schedule and the updating of payments were previously tied to the proposal, users can now view each aspect stripped away, at the centre of the hub. For example, everything in the billing can be separated, enabling users to search for an individual item. 

Users can then select, build and schedule a specific selection of items. Payments from any subsection can be selected and followed up, allowing firms an improved level of control over ad hoc and future work. 

All invoices and payments can be pulled through from QuickBooks or Xero and are automatically updated in the centralised hub within Practice Ignition. 

Users can now see payments and proposals due for more specific time periods ie current day, current week, current month, and so on. 

Client billing schedule

New proposal

‘New proposal’ is the improved proposal system, but as it is currently still in the beta version, it appears as a separate version alongside the original – ‘classic proposal’ – which will be available until the new version has been fully rolled out. 

The key difference with the ‘new proposal’ is the added flexibility within all areas of the proposal to make it a fully adjustable proposal editor. The new proposal offers custom pricing and fee collection in any way, with no restrictions,” said Practice Ignition head of accounting Trent McLaren. 

The new flexibility means the start date can either be when the client accepts it or on a specific date input by users. 

Specific pricing structures include payment quarterly, monthly, weekly and twice annually which can all be used in one proposal for one client to identify which components are manual, automatic, or still need to be collected. 

Restrictions with the hourly pricing structure have been made more flexible so that other pricing structures can be incorporated. For example, a quarterly pricing structure can be based on hourly, fixed-rate, per day, per hour, per employee, per transaction, per person or per bill. The bill can then be split up into further component restrictions, ie bill frequency, recurring period, billing start and billing end, within the same proposal). 

The result is many optional billing elements, listed as projects, within one proposal – each with their own separate billing types and restrictions. 

New proposal editor

Client display

Client display (currently being tested and launching later this month) offers added payment options when creating proposals. Proposals can be split into several payment types, which can then be copied, repeated and changed for each payment option. The new options include: 

  • Introduction page: now offering a built-in marketing brochure and an accounting firm video
  • Package selecting option: showing different pricing menus with full service breakdowns
  • Pricing schedules broken down into component variables
  • Expanded variety of payment options, with tools for payees to sign digitally and accept the proposal

client display

Practice Ignition moves further into billing

“We want to drive as far deep on the billing front as we can, making sure that customers can link to the Practice Ignition hub,” said McLaren. “We’ll end up having a nice ecosystem around the tools and users will have added options to input into their tax and general ledger systems.”

As it scales, Practice Ignition plans to continue expanding its services to “solve problems further up the chains” as well as solving longstanding issues by making its billing process more flexible. 

“Our system needs to accommodate all types of users and not just focus on digitally innovative firms. We need to allow users to price any way they want and have a flexible payments structure,” added McLaren.

Future plans

Despite its expanding functionality, Practice Ignition has no immediate plans to move into broader practice management activities. Instead it will continue integrating with more third party practice management systems.

“Our number one goal is to make Practice Ignition a place you can track and manage revenue,” said McLaren. “Creating payment plans is also a conceptual idea we’re thinking about – for example being able to pull down from a general ledger and automatically creating build payment plans.”

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