The simple step to unlocking greater efficiency

The simple step to unlocking greater efficiency

Practice Ignition speak with David Lushington, owner of the TaxAssist Accountants Oxford franchise, to learn all about why his practice switched payment providers

Every practice, regardless of its location, niche, or size, can benefit from one thing: unlocking greater efficiency. Accountants want to operate quickly with confidence, spending less time on manual, low-value tasks and more time focusing on high-value projects.

Fortunately, unlocking greater efficiency isn’t as complex as you might think. It doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your practice – you just need to start working with the right tools.

We caught up with David Lushington, owner of the TaxAssist Accountants Oxford franchise, to learn all about why his practice switched payment providers to Practice Ignition, unlocking greater practice-wide efficiency in the process.

Why did you decide to make the switch over to Practice Ignition payments? 

In one word: efficiency. We’d moved over to Xero because I liked the idea of automatic invoicing and reconciliation. Once we did that, I began seeing if there were any other integrations that we could use to further optimise our ways of working – and once I did a little reading, I soon realised that linking Xero to Practice Ignition was a no-brainer.

However, this meant that we’d have to transition everything over from our previous direct debit provider. While I knew this might be tricky, I was convinced that moving over to Practice Ignition was worth it — and I was soon proved right.

Did you have any pushback from clients when changing their direct debit provider?

Not at all, primarily because the process was straightforward and painless from their perspective. We just sent out a brief email letting them know that we were going to be changing our payments provider. A few of them had a couple of minor queries, but that was it.

Clients are generally receptive to changes, so long as they disrupt their existing ways of working as minimally as possible and improve the levels of your service. Practice Ignition fortunately ticked both of those boxes.

What sort of impact has this had on your clients?

We definitely have a more unified approach than we used to. For instance, we used to collect monthly direct debits but only invoice clients on an annual basis – we can now instead automatically send out monthly invoices without having to lift a finger. Clients have noticed that our approach is now more systemised and less disjointed, which I think has significantly improved their perception of our practice.

Take the process of setting up direct debits, for example. We used to have to meet with a client face-to-face, ask them to sign the proposal, collect their payment details, and finally plug them into our previous payments system. Now, they can remotely sign proposals – and they simultaneously enter their payment details which are then automatically updated in Practice Ignition. Our whole system for setting up direct debits is now considerably more unified and painless from both sides and removes the risk of clients not paying on time (or at all).

This is especially important when it comes to new clients. You don’t want to promise a new client that you’re going to make their lives easier only to subject them to jumping through multiple hoops just to get you paid. Now, however, we have a smooth and seamless onboarding process that handles all the necessary admin as quickly and efficiently as possible so we can get straight into providing value to their business.

When switching over to Practice Ignition payments, did you use this as an opportunity to renew client fees?

We didn’t actually – we usually raise prices on an annual basis instead. However, it has made this process significantly easier than it used to be. We can now simply consult the Service Library to see all our services in one place instead of trying to manually list everything out ourselves.

Has Practice Ignition had any sort of impact on your proposal process?

It really has. We can now keep all proposals and engagements in one central place instead of trying to keep on top of disparate documents and different version histories. We’re also able to send out proposals and letters of engagement at the same time. This is really handy – we love the fact that we don’t have to manually create a separate engagement letter ourselves every time.

So what has been the main benefit since you switched over to Practice Ignition payments?

Definitely the fact that our proposals, engagements, and invoices are all linked together and automated within Xero. I’m a massive fan of systemisation. That’s why I decided to move over to Practice Ignition in the first place – your tool seamlessly fits into the Xero ecosystem.

This ultimately makes our lives so much easier than they used to be.

We can focus on our core work instead of trying to flit between multiple tools that don’t seem to talk to each other. It’s a massive weight off our minds. Plus, automatic reconciliations mean that we’re spending far less time manually reconciling transitions than we used to. It was never a massive task, but it certainly wasn’t worth our time or effort – especially if it could simply be automated instead.

Would you recommend Practice Ignition payments to other TaxAssist franchises?

If you’re looking to become more efficient then yes, without a shadow of a doubt.

That said, I’d also remind them to be patient, at least in the beginning. You were great when setting us up – Jack was incredibly helpful – but it still takes some time for your team to get used to the system and how it works.

Don’t expect all your problems to instantly be solved. But if you take the time necessary to get to grips with the system and to properly integrate it with the rest of your ecosystem, it will be a game-changer.

You’ll soon begin to wonder how you ever operated without it.

Find out how Practice Ignition can help unlock efficiency in your business by signing up for a trial here or booking in to talk with one of our team using this link


Resources & Whitepapers

Why Professional Services Firms Should Ditch Folders and Embrace Metadata

Professional Services Why Professional Services Firms Should Ditch Folders and Embrace Metadata


Why Professional Services Firms Should Ditch Folde...

In the past decade, the professional services industry has transformed significantly. Digital disruptions, increased competition, and changing market ...

View resource
2 Vital keys to Remaining Competitive for Professional Services Firms

2 Vital keys to Remaining Competitive for Professional Services Firms


2 Vital keys to Remaining Competitive for Professi...

In recent months, professional services firms are facing more pressure than ever to deliver value to clients. Often, clients look at the firms own inf...

View resource
Turn Accounts Payable into a value-engine

Accounting Firms Turn Accounts Payable into a value-engine


Turn Accounts Payable into a value-engine

In a world of instant results and automated workloads, the potential for AP to drive insights and transform results is enormous. But, if you’re still ...

View resource
Digital Links: A guide to MTD in 2021

Making Tax Digital Digital Links: A guide to MTD in 2021


Digital Links: A guide to MTD in 2021

The first phase of Making Tax Digital (MTD) saw the requirement for the digital submission of the VAT Return using compliant software. That’s now behi...

View resource