When Leigh joined his wife Sarah in her practice, he was shocked by the ‘spreadsheet monster’. This was not the lifestyle business they’d dreamt of when leaving the corporate world. Cue: Technology and automation.
It’s still early days in AM’s acquisition by Bright and we could tell you ‘the future’s bright’ until the cows come home. Instead, we sat down with a practice that works with both AM and BrightPay, to see it from their perspective.
Meet Leigh, Sarah, Rufflette and Merlin
Leigh met Sarah when he was the chief information officer for a public company and Sarah, the financial controller and internal accountant. They enjoyed working together so much, they got married and set up on their own.
IT All Figures is a play on words that promotes Leigh’s passion for technology and Sarah’s accountancy prowess.
The rest of the team – Rufflette Long Paws and Merlin Curly Tail (AKA Merv, Get Off The Sofa) – joined us on our call.
Hitting their limit, discovering AM – and growing once more
“We decided we wanted a ‘lifestyle’ business,” says Leigh. “And this is exactly why we wanted a software package. It was becoming spreadsheets, deadlines, stress and hassle.”
I’ve given Leigh tasks along the way and it’s become a monster: Spreadsheet after spreadsheet. He was like, “What are you doing?!”
“We’d hit a limit as to how many clients and deadlines we could manage and we weren’t quite earning enough. We needed to become more efficient – and that’s where AM has come in.
I’m not saying the others lacked personality, but AccountancyManager oozed personality.”
“We looked at various platforms and had demonstrations with all of them. AccountancyManager just fitted with our ethos and the way we want to be as a business. We’ve now been able to take on more clients and still manage it with the same overhead.”
Empowering Leigh. Freeing up Sarah.
AccountancyManager is helping Leigh focus on his areas of expertise – business management, technology and client advisory. While Sarah concentrates on her accountancy tasks.
- Onboarding new clients: “I’ve been able to onboard clients easily,” says Leigh. “Leaving Sarah to do the work that’s appropriate for her level of qualification and skills.”
- Task List: “Then we’ve got the Task List, which manages our priorities so that we don’t forget any deadlines. I’m able to manage tasks and that would’ve been something that only Sarah could do before.”
“You’ve started sleeping now, haven’t you? Which is quite good.”
“For me,” adds Sarah, “It’s the Task List, making sure I can prioritise all these returns in a certain time frame and make sure I’ve got the time available. Before I wasn’t able to do that. And make sure I’ve chased records at the right time.”
- Automation: “The automated emails and record chasing has taken manual intervention out of the equation.”
Giving clients ‘hours back’ – from the Philippines to South Carolina
IT All Figure has clients all over the world, including America, Europe and the Philippines. “They love the fact that we can do everything electronically,” says Leigh.
“I say to everyone, ‘Why would you want to travel to see your accountant? Let’s have a conversation over video. Let’s share documents via the portal in a secure fashion. Let’s sign things with e-signatures.”
“Everyone’s embraced it. They love the fact that they can log in, see everything and update things.”
“We customised our portal, so customers go to itallfigures.com and they see our brand – they’ve got that familiarity. People say, “This is great. I’m getting hours back. Instead of faffing I’m able to get on with my business.”
Another ‘warm and wonderful’ experience – with BrightPay
Leigh found BrightPay by reading reviews and feedback on AccountingWeb. “I reached out and… wonderful warm experience once again – like when we first spoke to Marcus at AccountancyManager.”
“Actually, in AM, I was able to pull off a list of payroll services and customers see how much that service is worth to us. I could quickly analyse whether or not we could afford it… And it was a good investment. AM had the answer.”
“I was taken back. I’ve never had that kind of effort put in and that care and attention. It was fantastic.”
“Now, implementation with BrightPay was really exceptional, second to none. The time they spent with us was unhurried, unrushed, it never felt like it was on the clock. They just wanted to get it right.”
…And now Leigh can do Payroll too
“I quickly learned payroll, did lots of courses and BrightPay helped no end. Sarah could hand over some of her knowledge to me, which means I can now take on all of our clients’ payroll services. We utilise some of their key features like batch processing, and it works brilliantly.”
“I messaged the MD of BrightPay, because I do love to tell people when something went flipping well. He should be proud of his team.”
“My IT background tells me that you consolidate and automate as much as possible and that’s where both AccountancyManager and BrightPay come into their own because they enable us to do that.”
How does AM’s implementation and support measure up?
Not that it’s a competition… but if it were, it sounds like AM and BrightPay’s approach to customer experience would be neck and neck.
“Everything from AM has been fantastic. Onboarding was straightforward and easy with videos to follow ourselves in-house, in bite size pieces. It didn’t take months and months and we could see the benefit and time saving, while still working and paying the bills. That was great.”
“When we’ve reached out to support, we get a fantastic, fast reply – faster than anybody else that we deal with.”
“100% of the time (I can be that confident), they’ve come back with the correct answer straight away. They haven’t had to ask me multiple questions like other support teams do. They get straight to the point and understand what I’m talking about.”
“You’re not just a number. They’re just so friendly, And they always solve the problem, they won’t leave it until it’s been solved.”
“We loved the way AccountancyManager put on support staff later into the evening on the deadline of personal tax returns. How fantastic is that? We didn’t need help, but just to know that that care and attention is there is brilliant.”
So, how did Leigh and Sarah take the news of AM joining Bright?
“I was quite intrigued,” says Leigh. “I thought: ‘that’s really good because we’d selected by far the best practice management software out there from a wonderful bunch of people.”
“Then I found this payroll solution, which has a fantastic implementation team. It streamlined us and saved us no end of time…’ So I made two choices and they found each other. I was like, ‘Yes!’ I felt a bit smug.”
“I know that software development is horrendously expensive, it takes a long time. But you see how many new features and integrations AccountancyManager has put in in a short period of time… and now with more resources behind you? The future really is bright!”