What systems are crucial to run Growthwise
The updated version 3.0
I’ve updated this from the original version in 2016 to include everything we still use + some newbies we have added into the mix.
I often get asked why we use certain systems, how we use them, why we chose this one over something else and what problems does this system solve. As part of Curated by Accountants for Accountants I’ll be detailing how we run Growthwise.
Here is a summary of each application we use and a short brief on what we use it for. In the coming weeks I’ll detail why we chose each application, what it replaced if anything and any issues we had with implementation.
INTERNAL APPLICATIONS (the main ones)
This handles Email (from clients only, we don’t email internally), Workflow, To-Do’s, Contacts & all our Work Checklists. It’s the 1 system EVERYONE at Growthwise opens every morning and is our go-to for all information about our clients as well as work that needs to be done. It’s also great for workflow and transparency, as communication is visible between all clients for all users, meaning no searching for that email sent to someone else.
This is our internal communication tool as well as learning platform. Anything Growthwise-related is posted here as well as articles we think are interesting, technical question and answers, info about new clients and interesting things our existing clients are doing etc. We have all our marketing, social posts and client blogs automatically forwarding to Slack as well so the entire team can see.
This is what we use for our Daily Standups. We also have customised questions that the team answer at the end of the day. These are focused towards the 3 targets we set for Growthwise quarterly; eg one of the questions we asked this is Quarter is “what was your biggest frustration today”. We also use this tool to set goals for the business that everyone can see as well as individual goals that are reviewed each quarter. Jell feeds into Slack so everyone in the team can see what each other is working on or trying to improve.
We use this to prepare ALL of our Internal Working Papers for Compliance. For all types of Businesses as well as our SMSF.
We prepare and lodge ALL of our Income Tax Returns via Tax (except for SMSF’s) as well as all IAS/BAS.
This is what we use to prepare all of our Financial Statements and Income Tax Returns for SMSF’s.
We use Spotlight to tell our clients the story of how their business is going and where they are headed. We also use forecasting to show when clients are likely to run out cash etc. Everything is automated as all data is imported straight from Xero.
Whilst spotlight is an amazing tool to show our clients what’s improving and what they need to work on, often the driving force or objective of running the business is something external — be it reducing mortgage, buying investments, increasing super, having more time off etc. That’s where My Prosperity comes in. It shows the entire picture external to the business for our clients. We get to see if they are actually achieving the goals they set.
This is what we use to handle all our Corporate Compliance needs. Annual Company Statement Reviews, Changes to Companies as well as setup of Companies, Trusts and SMSF’s.
APPLICATIONS WE USE WITH OUR CLIENTS
We prepare all our Proposals for new clients as well as our Re-Engagements here. Clients accept their Proposal and invoices are automatically deployed. This is also the tool we use to track our Performance for Growthwise, ie actual to budget, mrr etc.
Every document we prepare for our clients lives in a Box folder. Clients have full access to all Financials, Management Reports, Tax Returns etc as soon as we prepare them and can log in at any time to see them.
For the last 7 years we have used Docusign. Every non tax related document a client needs to sign is sent using Docusign straight out of Box meaning the signed copy is automatically filed for us in the correct spot. For our Tax Returns and Activity Statements we use Xero E-Sign. (NOTE : It’s not ideal using two systems and we would love Xero to allow us to send Financials via E-Sign but the efficiencies in the flow from approved to out to sign to returned to lodged in tax is worth the inconvenience)
All of our clients use Xero as their bookkeeping/accounting system. Loads of them use a heap of add-ons (as well as other systems) as well but all use Xero as the back-end. We then use Xero to prepare our Financial Statements for clients. We also use Xero to run our internal accounting.
INTERNAL APPLICATIONS (the rest)
For those times when we need to use a spreadsheet we use the Google Apps suite. We also use Google Calendar to track appointments, and google docs for content planning etc.
We use Zoom for meetings that can’t happen in the office. We were previously using GoTo Meeting but Zoom for us is much easier to use and integrates nicely with Slack.
We love Social Media at Growthwise. We use Hootsuite to manage it all.
This is what we use to send out all our Newsletters — Weekly Ninja News etc. We send these to anyone on our mailing list and also have our clients tagged so we can send specific newsletters to them.
Using social a lot means we often need to prepare visual aids. Canva lets us prepare these with the click of a few buttons.
There are a lot of things that happen in an accounting business. We use Karbon for our internal checklists of things that need to be done but you often need a how-to. This is what we use Clarify for, to snapshot the how-to allowing us to easily annotate along the way.
For 8 weeks of the year we prepare Personal Income Tax Returns at very specific times (8 hours for the week). We use Timely to allow people to book their own appointments easily.
We use Typeform to survey our clients as well as prepare checklists. As an example we have a questionnaire for our new hires to answer our culture questions around who are and what we stand for, as well as a checklist for clients who want us to setup My Prosperity so they can track all of their personal income and expenses. We also use this to collect all the information we need to prepare Personal Income Tax Returns.
We use this so our clients can book their own appointments. It’s awesome as we can set parameters for when we want appointments etc and clients can easily pick a time that suits them.
When you have more than a few people in our team it’s hard to ensure everyone’s email signatures are the same, let alone ensure everyone has the same Christmas message! Black Pearl solves these issues for you as well as tracking the calls to actions you put on your emails.
This is the best learning platform I’ve found. We use this for our L Platers and P Platers course to ensure we are deliver high quality, engaging content. It’s also super easy for us to see where everyone is up to and answer questions in discussion forums.
We love to hold events at Growthwise. Especially our BabyXerocon. We use Eventbrite to create the event, for registrations, then data and info on who turned up etc.
For all our hiring needs. This includes our job portal, advertisements + the entire process of finding someone to hire.
We love Zapier. It stitches together the little things that you wouldn’t get around doing if they weren’t automatic. eg all of our social profiles automatically post to a #social channel in slack so no one misses anything and allows easy interaction with social material by the whole team.
Handles all of our email passwords.
ADD-ONS WE USE WITH OUR CLIENTS
Having ‘automated bookkeeping’ is so important for our clients. We love the fact HubDoc uses ‘bots’ to pull invoices and bank statements with no human intervention. This really cuts down on admin time.
With clients who are growing it’s important to have really good ‘expense’ systems in place. We love how expensify makes this process to easy. Our clients love the fact they can set rules for certain expenses and approve things easily.
We absolutely love #banadmin and not having to enter any receipts or invoices into Xero or file an invoice EVER means we love love Shoeboxed. A tonne of our clients use it and we also use it for any bookkeeping we do internally. For those clients who still get paper receipts the fantastic magic envelopes are great.
Receipt Bank is great for our hospitality clients. We especially love the fact you can easily split out invoices to ensure COGS are all going to the right places.
Our clients love tracking all of their share investments via Sharesight and we love the fact it integrates perfectly with Xero.
Add-ons we implement and support for our clients
- Dear Systems
- Workshop Software
- Debtor Daddy
- Asset Guru
Other apps we use with our clients to help them manage
As well as many more :)
Would love to know what your technology stack looks like.