From XU Magazine, 
Issue 31

Banish spreadsheets for good: Help your clients move to job management software

For accountants and advisors, moving clients to job management software is a win-win.

If you’ve got clients who are still using spreadsheets to manage jobs and projects, they’re missing out on efficiency, accuracy, and possibly compliance laws. You can help change all that.
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As an accountant or business advisor, it can be challenging to get these types of clients to understand the value of switching to an online job management system. They may not realise how clinging to spreadsheets could be hurting their business processes and possibly their bottom line.

At the same time, you’re potentially facing your own frustrations if you have to deal with their manual processes, inaccurate data and struggle to get detailed insights.

To help you convince them to make the move, I’ve outlined why spreadsheets can sabotage efficiency, accuracy and more (feel free to borrow my words for your own explanation to clients). Then I’ll tell you how to easily migrate your clients to job management software and how you can boost the value of your business at the same time.

4 signs it’s time for your clients to break up with spreadsheets

1) They don’t trust their own data

When you use spreadsheets and anyone can modify them, it’s nearly impossible to maintain an accurate database for information like deliverables, tasks and costs. In fact, research suggests that close to 90% of spreadsheets contain errors.

If team members are working from different document versions, information won’t match, people might be working to different timelines, and you could easily face hurdles to delivering projects successfully.

2) Processes aren’t consistent

Spreadsheets are designed to be completely customisable. You’ve got endless ways to organise, format and display information.

While this functionality is useful for financial modelling, it’s not great for creating repeatable processes and consistency across your jobs – the key elements for producing reliable results. Businesses that use spreadsheets for job management often end up with overly complicated workflows and less-than-optimum process efficiency.

3) They’ve got no visibility over job progress

If you use multiple spreadsheets to account for project tasks and progress, it’s a time consuming, highly manual job that requires a good level of data management expertise.

That means it could be difficult to quickly and easily see how your jobs are progressing. You might not be able to spot potential problems and make adjustments to keep things on track and profitable.

And you could find it difficult to get the insights you need when you need them (especially when you’re reporting on unreliable data from inconsistent processes).

4) They could be falling behind on regulatory requirements

You may be quite happy manually updating your records in spreadsheets. But as time goes on, your government might not be!

​​In the UK for instance, Making Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs. Keeping digital records and using software to send information directly to HM Revenue and Customs helps avoid transposition errors and will reduce the amount of tax lost to these avoidable errors.

Other countries are also starting to encourage or require digital record keeping as well to make tax returns and reporting more efficient.

So where to from here?

Hopefully these points will help you convince your clients that switching to job management software is the way to go. So which system do you choose? WorkflowMax offers a complete end-to-end business solution for service businesses of all shapes and sizes. It can help you address each of the points above while offering many more benefits. For example:

  • Everything a service business needs in one integrated system
    WorkflowMax helps businesses manage all aspects of their workflow – leads, quotes, jobs and costs, timesheets, documents, budgets and invoicing – all in one place. 
  • Greater visibility over the work being done
    With all their job information in one place, it’s easy for your clients to have a complete understanding of job/project status, team capacity and overall profitability. 
  • Seamless flow of data
    At the touch of a button, your client can convert a quote into an active job/project, then a completed project into an invoice. And when it comes to compliance and regulations, WorkflowMax can improve record keeping and make things less painful during tax return time. 
  • Reduced administration time
    Businesses can spend less time focusing on internal project administration and more time on their clients and the projects themselves. 
  • Xero integration offers instant financial clarity
    Seamless integration between WorkflowMax and Xero means simple and efficient job invoicing.

Proof from a business owner who’s switched

Before WorkflowMax, the team at Asset Management Engineers was using more than 20 linked spreadsheets and their invoicing process took weeks. Today they just have a handful of spreadsheets and invoicing is done over a few days. The ongoing result is huge efficiency gains and improved cash flow.

Trevor Hughes, former founder, says, “There are not enough superlatives to describe how good WorkflowMax is. Everything is accessible 24/7 from any device anywhere in the world. We use WorkflowMax for all our job management, from raising jobs, quoting, recording hours by individual job, tracking work status, pushing invoices through to Xero and tracking profitability. The suite of standard and custom reports is second to none and at the click of a button I have all the information I need for managing our business.”

Enhance your own firm’s offering with WorkflowMax

If you like the sound of what WorkflowMax can do for your clients, consider becoming a WorkflowMax advisor.

You’ll get access to support resources and benefits that are all designed to help your clients’ businesses and your consulting relationship flourish.

Josh Licence from BlueRock Digital, a certified WorkflowMax advisor and implementation partner, has this to say about the benefits:

“When accountants and advisors use WorkflowMax, they have access to near real-time information to jump in and support their clients. With the knowledge they learn from becoming a WorkflowMax advisor, they can help align and embed their clients’ business strategies into the systems and processes they use. Accountants and advisors can also incorporate business system advisory, training, support and business intelligence services into their packages. It’s a great way to expand their service offering.”

You’ll be able to have better conversations, offer richer insights and provide more strategic business advice. Your clients will be able to work more efficiently and get a better view of their people, profit and performance. It’s a win-win for you both!

Why leave it there?

To become a WorkflowMax Advisor

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