By Deanna C. White
Two years ago, Nick Bird, CPA, of Orem, Utah, was a tethered man â chained to his laptop or desktop to process reports and send invoices, wasting incalculable hours shuffling data files back and forth to clients like a game of financial tag.
But today, Bird, owner of the tax and accounting firm Lucid Books, is a free man, living in the Cloud.
That's all thanks to Xero and the recent addition to its Cloud-based offerings â WorkflowMax. It's a complete practice management suite that enables accountants to handle everything from leads and jobs to invoicing and time tracking.
Bird says he's used Xero Cloud software both in his own business and in his clients' businesses for the past two years, but the addition of WorkflowMax has done nothing less than revolutionize his practice.
"WorkflowMax means I now can use one online solution to service my clients and manage my entire practice", said Bird, who is also a Xero certified advisor. "Eliminating all those manual processes is much more convenient, and it's been great for time management. It's allowed me to take on more clients and double my business."
Xero announced the addition of WorkflowMax to its Cloud-based offerings May 23. According to Xero, WorkflowMax addresses the entire work management process, allowing accountants to find and filter leads; enhance job procurement; and manage time tracking, report generation, and final invoicing.
"Cloud solutions are fundamentally changing the way accounting professionals work today â enabling unparalleled collaboration with clients and opening up new business opportunities", said Xero US President Jamie Sutherland. "Xero's addition of WorkflowMax expands the scope of online accounting services to include practice management, making it faster and easier for accountants to run their business in the Cloud."
Recent research, commissioned by Xero, backs Sutherland's claims that Cloud technology is "literally helping accountants rethink the way they do business."
According to the study, three in ten accountants plan to move their clients online in 2012. In addition, nearly half (47 percent) believe they would save a minimum of five to ten hours a week if clients could reconcile their finances daily.
Sutherland said the addition of WorkflowMax to its software suite is simply one more example of Xero's commitment to design technology solutions specifically geared to its key clientele.
"At its very core, Xero was built to allow greater collaboration between accountants and small businesses", Sutherland said. "Xero is built for users and it's designed to be completely available from every device. The small business owner can type in a question and the accountant can literally respond immediately over an iPad or an iPhone. It allows greater collaboration between the accountant and [his or her] client, and they can always keep a pulse on the small business."
Xero is offering WorkflowMax free of charge to accounting partners who add twenty new Xero Business Edition clients by June 30, 2012. Visit the Xero website for more information.