At Xavier we’re all about increasing productivity, both for ourselves and the accountancy practices we work with. We all strive to make sure we spend our time in the most effective way that we can – however, in both our working and personal lives, this is becoming increasingly difficult. With so many distractions, from email and Slack notifications to news articles popping up on your phone, finding time to get the job done is becoming harder and harder.
Recently we took some inspiration from Xavier team member Simon’s summer holiday reading, after he stumbled across the book ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport. In ‘Deep Work’, Cal explains how in an ever-distracted world we need to create an environment where we have the opportunity to be able to focus on a single task – he argues that being able to nurture this environment for focus can give you the competitive advantage to get things done.
With that in mind, we revisited our mission at Xavier; to provide accounting practices with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age. We wanted to help our users increase their productivity and the value that they provide to their clients amongst the perfect storm of ever-increasing apps, data, and compliance requirements. Many of the practices we speak to are also being pulled in different directions at once, bombarded with questions and requests from clients. This makes it difficult to focus on the core work and jobs that need to be done.
As more data moves onto the cloud there is a real need to maintain quality across the work accountants and bookkeepers do as part of the process, rather than reactively correcting it. By developing a consistent way to ensure quality in the first instance, we can reduce the time spent fixing, auditing and preparing reports further down the line.
This is why we have created our new feature: Xavier Focus.
Until now, Xavier was no exception to the information overload issue. Over the last year Xavier has grown to include a lot of different tools that each provide value, but injecting these into existing processes has been a challenge for some accountancies. For maximum efficiency, accountants and bookkeepers need to know when to use the right tools, at the right time. Working with our accountancy partners we have developed a more streamlined way to use Xavier that meets their needs for all client types and practices, and which will include oversight for Managers on what work has been done, and by whom.
A Distraction-Free Space
The new Focus feature allows you to complete a clear list of Xavier checks and tools in a simple workflow template, towards a specific purpose. Separate from the main app interface and it’s distractions, this allows you to focus on the task at hand, see the progress you have made, and the time taken to complete it.
For example, you may have a workflow for carrying out VAT Returns. Depending on how your business operates, you could include checks on Multi-Coded Contacts to highlight miscodings and incorrect VAT rates, see Unreconciled Transactions, and some checks for high value transactions. The checks are presented in a single page feed, all you need to do is scroll down. Once they have been evaluated or actioned, each of the checks can then be marked as ‘complete’.
To get started, simply choose a Client and a template, select a due date, and assign to a team member. The assigned user can then start, mark progress through, and complete this workflow.
A Process that Works for You
Xavier Focus launches with a pre-made set of workflow templates, but you can edit and create your own bespoke workflows that work with your processes and clients.
You can use Xavier’s library of checks to compile a template for any process, with drag-and-drop reordering, and write your own explanations as guidance for whoever is completing the workflow. We can’t wait to hear what you build in Xavier Focus!
Be recognised for the work you do
We think everyone deserves to be recognised for their hard work. Completed workflows remain in Xavier with a timeline of what checks were completed, when they were completed, and by whom. This information can be used to provide assurance to your clients that work has been done, and managers can have oversight on the workload of their Xavier team.
This is just the beginning
We are really excited to be able to launch Focus, but this is just the beginning; we want to continue to improve, add more functionality and make it even more useful. Better scheduling, tracking and integrations will be on the way…