The ‘cloud’ is most likely a common topic that comes up in conversations with other accountants, and some of you might have questions revolving around the ‘cloud’ and its capability.
Wing Siang, Managing Partner of Neutral Consulting, was unsure of the ‘cloud’ too until he got to know Xero. Neutral Consulting PLT is a consultancy company that provides accountancy, immigration and tax incentive advisory services to both local and international companies looking to set up their business in Malaysia. In a business environment that requires communication and connectivity with clients from around the world, Wing Siang recognised the importance of going paperless. He also saw the opportunity that digital technology can bring to his team. They need to be online and they need to be in the cloud.
The ‘A-ha’ moment knowing that Xero is the one
To him, Xero is an opportunity to enable and educate his clients to access and understand financial information easily, especially within the Xero dashboard. He wants business owners to take a different perspective when it comes to accounting – it’s not a cost purely associated with compliance. Accounting can be a powerful and informative tool that businesses use to make informed business decisions.
Besides seeing it as a valuable tool for his external stakeholders, he believes that the adoption of cloud technology can be beneficial for his team too. Based on Xero’s 2020 Singapore Accounting Industry Benchmarking report, practices that adopt the effective use of cloud technology were able to lower their costs by 240 hours per client per year. Practices are also 10% more likely to retain their staff when they embrace technology and invest in staff training.
Since implementing Xero, Wing Siang and his team have saved at least 30% of their time previously spent on manual data entry and bank reconciliation. They now spend the extra time saved to deliver detailed analysis for their clients or turn it into an opportunity for staff to upskill themselves personally and professionally.
“I see Xero as a breakthrough for accounting software technology and believe that they are heading towards the right direction,” says Ng Wing Siang.
Delivering greater value with cloud accounting
Despite the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) in Malaysia for approximately two months, Neutral Consulting has observed a revenue growth of 30%. This is in line with what was observed among the pacesetting firms who participated in our 2020 Singapore Accounting Industry Benchmarking report. Those who fully embrace technology were able to grow their revenue three times faster than the other firms who had not yet. Businesses are starting to see the need to move online as they face difficulties in getting the company’s latest financial information. With businesses working remotely with their accountants, it’s challenging for those who are still using desktop software and requiring physical document filing.
Cloud accounting software is the perfect tool that enables advisors to connect and collaborate with their clients seamlessly. Being a Xero certified advisor, Neutral Consulting’s clients have been able to benefit from the switch to cloud accounting. They now have access to real-time financial data and can achieve automation in various aspects. This includes the use of Hubdoc to automatically capture data from uploaded documents and extract these information to publish into Xero as accurately coded transactions for reconciliations.
“Hubdoc helps to reduce our time spent on data entry and improve the accuracy of our information. It is inevitable for human errors to occur when we perform manual data entry. However, with the right technology and a proper SOP in place, we feel more confident in our numbers and are able to generate error-free reports for our clients,” explains Ng Wing Siang.
Leveraging on the power of the platform
Aside from accounting, Xero has also built up an ecosystem with over 800 apps and 200+ connections to banks and financial service providers – including payroll, inventory, payments, reporting and more.
Neutral Consulting uses HReasily – a cloud-based, payroll HR app that provides solutions to improve and automate daily business processes. This includes payroll, staff management, claims and leave. Since HReasily is integrated with Xero, all Wing Siang has to do is enter the payroll information into HReasily on a monthly basis.The system then handles the rest through automation, including the payout of his staff’s salary. This information flows automatically into Xero and can be reconciled through Xero’s bank feeds. This removes the need to key in the information into the payroll journal and transferring the same information into the business accounts manually on a monthly basis.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Neutral Consulting also uses HubSpot – a platform to support CRM, online marketing, sales and customer service, so you can deliver the best end-to-end customer journey possible. One of the great features that HubSpot offers is the ability to nurture leads through their platform – helping you to build better relationships with your prospects and customers. HubSpot has proved to be effective in helping the team at Neutral Consulting to manage their leads. With clear categories to filter the leads and a proper follow-up process in place, they are able to prioritise and handle the high value leads resulting in a better conversion rate.
“Before HubSpot, it was hard to follow up with all the leads and close the sales, even with just 20-30 leads a month. We found ourselves carrying forward those leads to nurture the following month. However, with HubSpot, we have proper categories and follow-up processes in place enabling us to easily handle 40-50 leads a month,” says Ng Wing Siang.
Moving into the future with Xero
Initially, when Wing Siang first started using Xero, he was still searching and requesting for ‘missing’ functions, such as the ability to print all supporting documents in Xero with a single click. However, it dawned on him that this is not the vision that Xero is driving and shouldn’t be what modern accountants are looking for. Here at Xero, we are working towards being paperless and collaborating in the cloud, and this has motivated Wing Siang to move in the same direction.
“The goal for my practice is to build a collaborative relationship with our clients. I am to take on an advisory role that helps us to grow together with Xero advisors from other regions, including Singapore and even Australia,” adds Ng Wing Siang.
If you are keen to find out more about how you can grow your practice with Xero, get in touch with us here. If you would like to try out Xero’s features that small businesses love, start a 30-day trial with us here.