We had the pleasure of speaking with Jamie Williams from Lime Advisory, an advisory-led firm that utilises modern technology and live data to help you make real-time decisions. We discussed how up-to-date management information is the backbone of advisory services and how they use Pixie to keep track of compliance deadlines and get work out the door faster. You can watch or read the conversation below.
Lime Advisory started life as a Corporate Finance Boutique, but Tom (Founder) had issues getting up-to-date management information for his clients, so he added a cloud practice element. I joined the team to manage this.
We’re slightly different from more ‘traditional’ firms because we don’t treat compliance work as the primary focus. A client’s year-end is ‘another’ deadline and not ‘the’ deadline. We’re much more focused on implementing financial systems to help businesses.
To keep the management information up to date, we needed to get compliance work done faster. So we needed something to help manage deadlines. We had no issues hitting the statutory deadlines, but we had our own internal deadlines for getting work done faster, and we needed something to keep track of those.
We also needed a place to keep track of our workflows. When you’re small and starting out, it’s easy to keep things in your head, but as we grew and added more people and more clients, we needed somewhere to establish our workflows so that it was easy to check the status of jobs.
We thought about alternatives like using spreadsheets, but there is too much risk of human error, and the lack of automation and links to external applications didn’t make sense. We also looked at tools like AccountancyManager and a few others, but we found that Pixie was much simpler & more flexible, with a better user interface we could get a handle on.
The simplicity was really key for us. In my experience, one of the biggest hurdles with implementing new software is getting team members on board and using it. The fact that Pixie is so simple to use and get to grips with was a big plus over some of the other apps.
We also really loved the flexibility of Pixie. It’s easy for us to go in and create more custom fields for our clients and choose whether or not they’re required. The workflows are also incredibly flexible as well. We can tailor them to precisely what we want & need without much work. Some other apps are pretty inflexible, and you have to use them as they come.
One of the things I like using the most in Pixie is the email integration. It makes it easy for me to check on workflows and see what emails have been exchanged back and forth. I had a client call me recently asking something about his payroll. It took me less than 2 minutes to open Pixie, find the payroll job, and see all of the email history to find what they’d been sent. Normally I’d have to go and speak to the payroll team, and it would take longer to respond, but in Pixie, everything’s in one place, so it’s quicker and easier to answer questions.
I also really like the built-in file portal and the ability to include links in the automated emails we send to clients. We use this in our onboarding process, and we’ve had a few comments from new clients about how seamless our onboarding process is compared to other accounting firms they’ve worked with in the past.
I spent a couple of days getting our clients imported and playing around with the workflow templates. And then probably another day or so with the reports to see what we could do. But in total, we had it up and running in a week. It was a lot quicker than I thought it would be; these apps usually take a lot longer. If I wasn’t so detail orientated, I could have probably done it even quicker!
Pixie has reduced the amount of time I spent administering deadlines, and we’re getting work done for our clients faster. With VAT returns, we used to be scrambling around close to the deadline, but now we have a workflow set up; all of our clients are contacted within a few days of the VAT quarter-end, and we have their info ready a week later. We’re also ahead of the curve in terms of our other statutory deadlines like year-end filing.
I’m also spending less time on admin tasks and searching for answers to client questions. With Pixie, we have a singular database where all of our client information lives, so it’s fast and easy to find any emails or information we need.
Just because you get a practice management module in your practice suite doesn’t mean you have to use it. I’ve used them before, and they’re clunky. Have a look at Pixie because you can vastly reduce the time you spend on admin.
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