Speaking to The Bookkeeper, illumin8 director Andrew Van De Beek said part of his firm’s plans for the new financial year include growing his bookkeeping department to improve client experience.
“We find a lot of our clients are constantly asking us a lot of detailed questions that historically accountants don't have time to answer so by being able to bring the bookkeeping solutions in-house for us means we're able to understand that detail and we're able to provide our clients with answers in a real-time approach,” said Mr Van De Beek.
“Otherwise a client pulls up and they ask you a question and it takes you a week and a half to get it back because you're not familiar with the data and you haven't been involved in it and all of a sudden you're potentially damaging a relationship as a result of not being able to provide them a level of service that reflects everything else that you do.”
While the 2018 Accounting Thought Leader of the Year understands that any conversation between the collaboration of bookkeepers and accountants are “delicate”, he believes the move to integrate it within his practice is a natural progression to ensure clients are fully catered for.
“We see that as an opportunity to get in-depth with our clients as a result of being more engaged on a more frequent basis, looking at the detailed things and we can then provide advice beyond what would typically happen when we're just looking at the top side of the picture,” said Mr Van De Beek.
“We know it also provides a really great supporting platform for our accounting services as well if we know the bookkeeping work is done well and nice and clean so that when it gets to the point of providing the accounting services, it becomes a much easier process.
“I see it far too often the tradie who is sitting on his computer at 11pm doing their book work because they just don't have time to do that,” he added.
“Ideally, it is about what is their time worth and spending time with their family is far more valuable than doing book work and if we're able to provide that to them as a solution, it gives them that time back at a price they are comfortable with.”
Jotham Lian is the editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.