Matt could see efficiencies using cloud based apps to collect and organise client information, to take his practice to the next level he chose a pairing of Xero and SuiteFiles.
It's good because I know all the latest information that my clients have sent me is there at my fingertips.
We’d been using a server-based version of MYOB Accountants Enterprise and were getting to the stage where we needed to upgrade our server, staring down what was going to be a $30-40 grand job.
This left us with the decision of investing in a new server or migrating systems and trying to be hosted in the cloud.
I could see the efficiencies in cloud-based apps and the potential to automate processes, especially with Xero’s connected ledger pushing data into tax returns.
Using Xero as the starting point, we looked at Dropbox and OneDrive but eventually gravitated toward SharePoint since we’re a Microsoft Office firm and already had storage with that platform. However, we didn’t like the look of SharePoint and kept an eye on the Xero App Marketplace for a document management solution.
How we solved it
We chose SuiteFiles because it provides a nicer, friendlier interface over the top of SharePoint. Plus, you’ve got all the additional add-ins like the Outlook one where you can save your emails and correspondence history as well as the integration with Xero Practice Manager.
We migrated our files ourselves, including the shelves worth of paper files filling our office. It was painful, but the result was that we have all our client history backed up and easily accessible. It’s made our document retrieval processes that much easier now that we can easily search between historic files and locate anything that clients may have lost over time.
One of the main benefits for us has been the Outlook add-in. Before, staff would save emails on their desktops and once they had a bit of spare time, they’d go and upload everything into Accountants Enterprise. Now it’s just a matter of finding the client folder, saving it and then any future correspondence in that email thread is saved directly into client folders. It’s good because I know all the latest information that my clients have sent me is there at my fingertips. Sending emails is just as straight forward – we don’t need to download files from somewhere else and then attach them. Instead, we can use the Outlook add-in to access our client folders and attach any document straight into our emails.
SuiteFiles has definitely reduced the costs we were getting charged for document management products – so there’s a been a massive cost reduction there, but it has also given us better processes for dealing with documents, allowing us to cut down our non-billable admin work.
- Expensive server requiring upgrading
- Inefficient document and email processes
- User-friendly interface
- Client history backed up to the cloud
- Streamlined document and email processes
- Able to future-proof practice
- Cut out non-billable admin time
Tips & tricks
- It’ll save you so much time and cover yourself if anything ever goes wrong, because you’ll have all your correspondence and communications saved on file.
Migrate all of your business files into the cloud
- If your business is moving to the cloud, I’d recommend migrating as many of your files as possible – including paper copies so that you’ve got all your client history accessible. There have been a few occasions where we’ve gone ‘Oh, I wonder if we’ve got that?’ and then found the information we scanned in SuiteFiles. One example, a client had lost some information regarding the purchase of a property, we were able to jump into SuiteFiles and without the hassle of searching through paper files, located and emailed the document to the client within the space of a few minutes.