Running a successful accounting or bookkeeping business is about more than just working with numbers. And while administrative tasks are critical to keeping your business running smoothly, they can take time and distract customers. If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I need more hours in my day,” it may be time to consider using technology to streamline tasks that consume a lot of valuable time.
This starts with identifying inefficiencies that are ripe for automation. According to Guy Pearson, CEO of Ignition, “Two of the biggest issues in any business are customer engagement and payment processing.”
Making customer engagement more efficient
Guy shares: “At a company I used to work for, the entire team, from partners to managers, would spend five days working on letters of engagement. Other firms employ dedicated staff to handle engagement letters and proposals, adding to the overhead. Worse yet, with manual processes, you may end up working for a client who didn’t agree to hire you, you may not agree to the fee from him, and you may have moved to another company while you looked up the paperwork.”
If you’re dealing with disconnected systems, spreadsheets, mail merges, and manual proposal processing that takes days to complete and months to close, there’s a better way.
When you integrate and automate your proposal system, you can submit easy-to-sign online proposals that describe your services, pricing, billing, and terms of engagement in just minutes. Plus, you can automate reminders and keep track of when each proposal has been viewed.
Ignition provides ready-to-use, customizable proposal templates that include recommended services, pricing, and billing terms to reduce errors and administration. And once your proposal is accepted, you can simply connect Ignition with your business-critical applications to further automate workflows. According to Guy, “We found that our clients can create and submit a proposal in as little as 14 seconds. And they save an average of three hours per week creating proposals and issuing engagement letters.”
more efficient payments
“Almost every accountant or bookkeeper I talk to says they spend valuable time chasing clients for payments,” Guy reports. a recent poll put the figure at 94%. Customers pay late for a variety of reasons, but the problem may not always be them, it may be your process. Many accountants and bookkeepers still send paper invoices through the mail with no instructions or burdensome payment processes that are more like jumping through hoops in a three-ring circus than paying for professional services. Reducing time spent on payments starts with reducing friction for your customer. But it also requires rethinking how you get paid for your services.
Guy firmly believes: “The right time to request payment is when the contract is signed. If you walk into a coffee shop and order a coffee, you expect to pay for it before you receive it. You can even use an app to order ahead and pay before you get there. With an integrated and automated payment system, it can be that easy for you to get paid too.”
Ignition is set up to collect payment details when a customer signs their engagement letter, automating the collection from day one. “It’s literally never been easier to get paid,” says Guy. “Customers also love it because it makes their lives easier. They can see what they’ve agreed to, how much it will cost, and take care of the transaction with just a few clicks. We find that our clients get a higher acceptance rate for proposals that include instant payment. They also get paid for all the work they do, avoid awkward conversations about money, and increase cash flow, all while saving an average of nine hours per week on billing, collections, and payment reconciliation.” You can save even more time by connecting Ignition with your back office applications to automate invoice creation and reconciliation.
It’s time to add more hours to your day
Guy concludes: “We can’t really give you a 26-hour day. But making your commitment and payment processes more efficient can save you an average of 15 hours per week. So you can spend more time delighting customers, more time on hobbies, or even take a vacation now and then. We would love to see you in Sydney!”
Better Together: Thomson Reuters and Ignition
Thomson Reuters partners with Ignition to streamline the way accounting and tax firms win new business, engage clients and get paid. From stunning online proposals to automated payments and letters of engagement, Ignition frees you to focus on helping your clients and leading your business.
Learn more about ignition. Exclusive pricing for new Ignition customers is available through Thomson Reuters.
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