Business Continuum

APIntel Wrap Up: Gaining Insights from Xero Practice Manager Data

Last month the Business Continuum team participated in APIntel (Accounting Practice Intelligence), a pre-Xerocon event held to demonstrate how accounting practices could achieve better profitability with Xero Practice Manager. Three industry leaders shared insights to help practice owners make the most of data insights to improve workflow, find efficiencies and achieve business growth, including our very own Tim Dowling.

In case you missed it, here’s a summary of the advice from the three speakers at APIntel.

Kit out your practice | Paul Murray, AccountKit

Paul talked about adopting a policy of always seeking better ways of doing things, and using tools that enhance staff visibility of client and practice decisions leads to better productivity, engagement and retention. He also reminded us to ensure integration with cloud-based software solutions to avoid unnecessary double handling of data. He also demonstrated how to use AccountKit to create stunning and precise client entity maps that illustrate complex entities in one impressive image that takes just a few clicks to create.

Print…File…Find | Andrew Sims, SuiteFiles

Andrew discussed the benefits of storing and managing practice files in the cloud, and how this can integrate with Xero Practice Manager to create efficiencies. Andrew emphasised the necessity of simplifying setup and filing of ongoing communications with your client. SuiteFiles is a file management solution that offers email and document templates that can be pre-populated with Xero Practice Manager data. This means your communications are consistent, up-to-date and use the right client information, straight from the source.

Professional client communications can be the difference between an impressed or an unhappy client, so it’s an important process to get right. With the use of multiple cloud-based solutions, Andrew stressed the importance of filing emails and attachments to maintain ‘one source of truth’ from any device. This ensures staff have access to the latest correspondence and files, reducing the risk of errors or miscommunication. Andrew also suggested eliminating outdated versions of documents and email templates (It’s very 2005).

Transform Practice Data Into Relationship Insights | Tim Dowling, Business Continuum

Tim challenged the audience to think about growing profitability even if not actively looking to grow the client base. Growth should not be for growth’s sake, but better profitability is always worth striving towards. With almost endless amounts of data now available to us, it can be difficult to know what to concentrate on. Tim suggested these three areas:

  1. client wealth information
  2. firm service utilisation
  3. client referral and churn

With this data on hand, it can form the basis of open discussions with clients, with the aim of improving your range of services as well as the underlying quality.

Lastly, Tim emphasised that selling is not a dirty word. All successful and evolving practices concentrate on achieving stickier, more engaged and more profitable clients. Focusing on client satisfaction has always been, and will always be, essential for success—we simply have better ways of measuring it with the many cloud-based software solutions on the market.

As the event finished up, it was a great chance for the Business Continuum team to catch everyone for a drink and a chat before Xerocon.