Accounting can be a complicated business. But when it comes to potential bottlenecks and challenges, it isn’t necessarily the accounting itself that causes most problems, but rather the processes surrounding it.
Take information gathering, for example. To do a tax return or provide business advice to a new client, you first need to gather a host of documents and information from them. Without the right tools and systems in place, you can find yourself tripping up on this seemingly simple first step.
But as Northwest Accountancy found out, implementing the right software can make the information-gathering process a breeze, allowing them to get on with doing what they do best.
Northwest Accountancy is a tax, accounting, and business consulting firm based in Karratha, Western Australia. Their day-to-day work requires them to gather information and documents from clients for a number of reasons, including tax returns and preparation for strategy meetings.
Until fairly recently, they were relying on what CEO Jodi Porteous described as “a mess of apps.” When the time came to update their tech stack, they lost the web form functionality that came with their old client communications platform.
So when tax season started last year, they had to rely on ill-fitting legacy tools to gather client information, which caused all sorts of problems for both clients and accountants.
We were sending clients Excel spreadsheets, and they’d send back half the information or no information at all. The accountants were getting frustrated, and the clients were getting annoyed because they were like, ‘I don’t know what you want me to do here.
It was clear that something needed to change.
These frustrations led them to look for a smarter way to gather client documents and information. Having researched the market, they discovered Content Snare. It didn’t take them long to see its value.
I sometimes take a long time to make decisions. But as soon as I saw it, I was like, ‘Yep, let’s try it.’ And as soon as we tried it, I was like, ‘Yep, let’s keep going with it.
The previous software they were using was particularly difficult to use on mobile devices, which wasn’t ideal from the client’s perspective. Jodi was keen to test the usability of Content Snare’s mobile app, so she sent herself a request using one of our ready-made templates.
I sent myself a request and then drove to school to pick up my kids. I did the request in the car park, including uploading documents from my phone straight onto Content Snare. Then, when I got back to the office, I could see all the documents were there, and I went, Yes
The team then experimented with Content Snare with real clients, sending about 15-20 requests out during the first month. They were so impressed with the process that they decided to keep going.
Today, Content Snare plays a central role in Northwest Accountancy’s day-to-day processes. The team uses it to prepare for tax returns and client appointments, predominantly ones where clients aren’t coming in for a face-to-face meeting.
Instead of sending out emails, they send out a Content Snare form, which guides clients through the information and documents they need to submit step by step. Content Snare’s in-app conversations have also proved to be a game-changer.
I love the fact that clients can ask questions straight within Content Snare. So our accountants get a complete, finished set of information with all questions answered before it comes to them to do the tax return. That’s a big one for us.
And because Content Snare allows you to specify the type and format of submissions, it’s virtually impossible for clients to upload or submit the wrong thing. If the team needs the client’s date of birth, for example, they can build the form in such a way that they can only submit a date. Content Snare even allows you to set limits on certain submission-related parameters.
Content Snare has saved the Northwest team tons of time. Before, clients would either battle with the Excel form or drop off a pile of physical documents for tax return purposes, which the team would then scan and process. There would also be a lot of back and forth via email or phone calls.
Now, Content Snare enables the Northwest team to offer digital drop-offs, with much of the process being automated. Clients can complete forms on the go, whether in front of the computer or on their phone. There’s no scanning to do, and back-and-forth communication has all but been eliminated. The team believes this is saving them around 20 minutes per client.
We’re getting through our drop-offs a lot quicker now. There’s not as much back and forth between our clients and our accounting team, because they’ve got all the information they need when they pick up the job.
This digitisation of the information-gathering process has also transformed Northwest’s business model. Where they once focused on the local market, they can now help clients from across Australia.
If, like Northwest Accountancy, you find your information-collection process is causing needless delays and frustrations, fear not — there’s a better, faster way.
With Content Snare, can create intuitive tax preparer checklists and client onboarding forms with ease. You have all the functionality you need to seamlessly request, gather, and manage client information and documents. The result is a smoother process, happier clients, and a more successful business.
Why not sign up for a free trial and see for yourself?
Ready to start saving time and turn content collection chaos into organized bliss?
Give Content Snare a try today with your free trial.