Ecomm Accounting were early adoptors of cloud accounting, unfortunately the solution they initially selected was outdated and their clients were reluctant to use it. The practice decided to move to QuickBooks Online and their clients were instantly impressed. They appreciated the ease of use and powerful insights that are available through dashboards and reports. The practice has also benefited thanks to the impressive productivity savings, staff can now do 50% more work and that has impacted profitability.
ACCOUNTANT CASE STUDY | INTUIT QUICKBOOKS | SOUTH AFRICA
Accounting practice stops marketing and doubles sales
Nadine Chetty, Ecomm Accounting Solutions
Results at a glance
Automating previously manaul tasks has delivered impressive productivity improvements and increased profitability
Shaved 90 hours per year from the invoicing function and improved debtor management with automated reminders
The firm has reduced their marketing spend due to volume of qualified leads they receive from QuickBooks find an advisor service
Over a 12 month period client numbers doubled with minimal headcount increase (only one new staff member needed instead of two)
EComm Accounting Solutions (Ecomm) is an accounting practice in Pretoria South Africa. They have a small team that is dedicated to assisting their clients to maximise business potential. The practice provides clients with accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, training, payroll, invoice processing and business consulting services.
EComm were early adopters of cloud accounting. They knew the enormous benefits that cloud accounting provided but struggled to get their clients as excited due to the outdated system they were using. The system was developed for accountants and not designed with the business management tools that small business owners crave.
One of the barriers for their clients was that the system used accounting jargon, so it wasn’t intuitive to navigate or easy to find the information they were looking for.
While attending an industry event, Ecomm founder Johann van der Merwe and co-founder Nadine Chetty were introduced to QuickBooks Online and they were immediately impressed with how user friendly it was.
The graphical reporting and dashboards stood out as powerful tools. “I could see that QuickBooks online was developed for the end user, to help them to manage their business and make informed decisions,” said Ms. Chetty, who also happens to be an accountant.
Changing accounting systems is a big decision for an accounting firm, so Ecomm decided to ask their clients for input.
Based on their research and client feedback Ecomm decided to make the switch to QuickBooks Online for their clients and QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) for their practice.
They immediately saw the productivity improvements that QBOA delivered for the practice. The time spent on invoicing was drastically reduced thanks to automated invoice creation and batch sending.
Ecomm appreciate the powerful features that QuickBooks delivers. It has transformed banking for the practice. They can easily search for transactions from the same supplier and batch them. “Machine learning within QuickBooks is really impressive and helps us with efficiency,” said Ms. Chetty, “If I add something today, it will remember it for all future transactions which streamlines allocating.”
Before using QBOA, Nadine and her team used to keep a list of pending tasks on the office whiteboard and on paper to-do lists. Now, they have embraced the QBOA Work tab to easily stay organized and efficient. All tasks for the entire practice are managed in the work function which has transformed their workflow.
“Normally practice management software with these features is very expensive, but it’s free in QBOA, once you pass the certification,” said Ms. Chetty.
The QuickBooks “find an advisor” service continues to deliver new clients to Ecomm every month. They have found it to be a great marketing tool that provides qualified leads who are more educated in what they want and are more likely to become clients than leads received from other sources.
The practice hasn’t had to spend any money on marketing since changing to QuickBooks. “Thanks to QuickBooks, the practice is growing at a steady pace. We get a few new clients each month just from the free Pro Advisor listing,” said Ms. Chetty.
Ecomm introduced QuickBooks online to their clients as a business solution rather than accounting software. They positioned it as a tool that would help them to run their business and improve productivity. They focused training around the features and tools that they would need to use like bank integration, dashboards and invoicing. This approach meant that clients were eager to start using the system.
Feedback from clients is that the user interface is very modern and user friendly. Financial information is displayed in graphs and charts which makes data more meaningful and easier to decipher. “The dashboards are really pretty and easy to read so our clients want to use the system and aren’t intimidated or overwhelmed by the information available,” said Ms. Chetty.
The VAT centre has also been very popular with clients because it assists with cashflow planning. “Thanks to automated bank feeds the transactions are recorded daily, which means the VAT centre is recording transactions continually and clients can see the amount they owe in real-time then plan for SARS payments,” said Ms. Chetty.
While South Africa has been in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic for more than 6 months and many accounting practices have struggled, the team at Ecomm Accounting Solutions has doubled their sales in the past year.
Profits have also increased because the team is able to do so much more thanks to the efficiency savings provided by QBOA. “With QuickBooks Online our staff can handle 50% more work which enables us to onboard new clients more efficiently and profitably,” said Ms. Chetty
Embracing Cloud Accounting meant that Ecomm didn’t lose any time during the COVID pandemic, they were still able to access client data and advise their clients from home. Their clients also had complete access to their financial data which allowed them to plan and closely work with Ecomm to reduce the financial impact on their business.
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