Tuesday, July 21, 2015

We're in the paper!

I do a lot of things with the accounting community all over the globe, but having this lovely article featured in the local newspaper has to be one of the most exciting things to happen yet! It has been tons of fun to get calls and emails from my clients and family congratulating me on the article.

The questions for this weekly column are pretty standard, so we had to get a little creative to fit some things in about myself that I thought were important...

It took a long time for me to be comfortable sharing that I am a high school and college dropout. I like to get that out to let everyone see that you can't let past decisions hold you back in life. Everything that has happened to you, and everything that you have happened to, has made you in to the awesome person you are today.

My passion for my work stems from watching my single dad work his @$$ off to support me and my sisters. Being a single parent now myself, it is way easier to appreciate how crazy that life is. We all have our own struggles in life, it's easy to think everyone else has it all together.

I am very thankful to the local paper for reaching out to me and taking some time to learn a little bit about me and my business, hopefully the information I shared can help inspire business owners all over SW Washington!

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Artful Engagement - Close More Business with Practice Ignition

If you've been taking advantage of live education over the last 12 months, you have probably seen the adorable astronauts passing out Tam Tam's in the expo halls of many accounting conferences across the globe...

But what do they do?

If you are not familiar with or already using Practice Ignition (PI), let me give you the scoop:

PI is an amazing app that creates and manages proposals/engagements letters and their approvals on a web based platform. Using this app streamlines the time it takes to prep an engagement letter, send it to a client, make potential revisions, get it approved and get paid. 

We started using PI about 6 months ago. Prior to using PI we had word templates that we would have to comb and revise, making sure that the client company names were changed everywhere and that dates and services were accurate. We would cut out irrelevant portions depending on the project and add more stuff in where needed. Once an engagement letter was accepted we would collect project deposits and relay the information to team member assigned to the project. IT SUCKED. On top of all that, we had to store the signed engagement letter in client files either in a drawer (yes, those do still exist) or in their folder on the drive.

Since moving over to PI, we simply enter the client, choose our template, assign services and hit SEND. I am able to assign the managing team member so that once the engagement is approved, they can invoice for the deposit through QBO (or we can send an invoice for deposit simultaneously with the engagement, OR we can insert our own custom deposit hyperlinks!). 

The potential client received a beautiful, professional engagement proposal that allows them to provide an electronic signature. They love this because it cuts out the step of them printing, signing, and returning. It's so fast! We can even insert hyperlinks to our client portal so that they can begin uploading the documents required from them in the client contributions sections.

Deets on the US Platform:

  • Full disclosure - payment processing within PI is not yet available in the US - but they are expecting to have it rolled out in about 90 days. Use my method of inserting payment hyperlinks or sending an invoice with the proposal 
  • PI can push invoices over to Xero or QuickBooks Online upon engagement acceptance
  • Pricing plans are based on the number of engagements and can fluctuate each month as your proposals scale up and down
  • The trial period does not require you to enter your credit card info! SWEET.
  • The have an AWESOME website plug in that allows your clients to get real time quotes and submit an engagement request!
  • If you're using Xero Practice Manager, a whole new world features opens up to you!
  • Available in US, UK, Austraila, Canada and New Zealand. Word on the street is that also have clients in South Africa (where I also hear Sage is about to roll out some cool stuff....)

Want it? Of course you do. Sign up to get started for free, and if you are ready to sign on before August 9th you can enter the discount code MAKEACCOUNTINGFUN for an additional 10% discount on an annual plan, which is already discounted at 20% below the monthly plan! It doesn't get much better than that ;-)