Hemingway Bailey – An Accountancy Practice in the Digital Economy
Recently I was at at Bondholders event in Hull and one of the presentations was about the new digital economy. I am always interested in this area and I sat down getting ready to listen to what was happening in other sectors away from accountancy. After all, it would not apply to Hemingway Bailey since we were not developing new software or Apps or were working alongside businesses in the impressive C4Di in Hull.
As the presentation moved on, I quickly realised we were in fact very much part of the digital economy with our emphasis on the cloud and as an accountancy practice, we were well ahead of other firms in the industry.
How did I come to such a conclusion ?
Firstly, in the early summer of 2015 we made the decision to move all of our bookkeeping in to the cloud and all clients were going to get Quickbooks Online as part of their fixed fees with us. Previously we had clients who worked on a mixture of systems ranging from Sage, Quickbooks Desktop to Excel for example.
Making this move meant that we were not only working on one package but clients immediately got access to their information when they wanted it. We got efficiency savings by not having to work off backup copies of other packages and both ourselves & our clients were working on the same data.
At the same time we stopped using our desktops and Windows laptops and moved over to Chromebooks. This was made possible as we moved our files into the cloud which meant we did not need machines with hard drives.
More Efficient Processing
For bookkeeping clients who have a large volume of transactions to process, we are now using Entryless which means that we are processing invoices more efficiently for those clients with more supplier invoices. If a client wishes to do their own bookkeeping, we make them aware of this as a solution.
Tax and Accounts Preparation
Throughout 2015 we looked at all our accounting processes and began looking for a cloud based solution for tax and accounts preparation. We had been using TaxCalc which is a very good solution but it was not cloud based and was not going fully down that route in the future.
Having spoken to one of the key developers at Quickbooks Online, we were advised to look at Taxfiler as a cloud solution and after trialling it, we made the switch in December 2015. Tax year end went very well and we no longer had to be attached to the server to get our tax returns submitted. Very useful at Tax Year end when completed forms come after the end of working hours !
In the autumn of 2015 we found the solution to getting paperwork signed by implementing Pandadoc, this meant that we no longer had to wait for clients to come in and sign paperwork, it was all done electronically.
As an accountancy practice that is always looking to find the most efficient solutions for ourselves & our clients, we wanted to find a cloud based practice management software and we have now implemented Practice Ignition. This will generate all our quotes, prepare our Terms of Engagement and upon acceptance, invoice our clients and integrate into Quickbooks Online.
Solutions for Clients
As well as being very efficient in our own operations, we are always looking at ways to help our clients become more efficient and profitable and we are currently working with clients with the following software :
- Fathom – improved management and KPI reporting
- SeviceM8 – helping field based businesses such as plumbers accurately schedule work and invoice on the go
- Shopify – we are currently looking at the feasibility of implementing this for a new retail client to replace their old , non-integrated system.
All of these enhancements for clients are underpinned by the functionality given by Quickbooks Online and the ability for all of these apps to integrate smoothly into them.
We Are Very Much Part of the Digital Economy
After hearing the presentation at Bondholders and looking at what we have done and achieved with our cloud solutions, I am very happy to say that Hemingway Bailey are very much part of the Digital Economy.
We often read that accountancy practices are providing solutions to clients or that they are progressive with their outlook but having implemented the move to a cloud based accountancy practice, I know that Hemingway Bailey are well placed to give clients the best solutions to improve their businesses.