Tax & Accounting Blog

Sole practitioner saves up to 60 hours a month on data (re)entry

Accounting, Blog, Onvio, Onvio cloud, Tax, Technology May 12, 2020

“As a sole practitioner with a client base of 1700 clients, you can see why it was important to have a good program.”

 

And for Debbie, there was one reason in particular to make the move. A loyal Software Assistant customer for 10 years, the restriction of desktop software was becoming a hindrance.

“Look, we’re all moving towards a cloud-based system, we’ve all got no option! Desktop programs are going to be a thing of the past in the very, very near future,” predicts Debbie Hiscock, Down The Line Tax Services, Queensland.

If Debbie was out of the office with her computer, the other staff couldn’t access the software, so they would have to enter the data into a spreadsheet, then Debbie would have to transfer the data to Software Assistant.

“I thought this is ridiculous. We’re entering everything twice! That made me go to a cloud-based software, and that’s what got us into Onvio.”

Onvio choice a “no brainer”

But not straightaway. “I looked at other products,but they all had a whole heap of bells and whistles that I will never use in my lifetime!”

The transition was relatively seamless but not without Debbie having reservations. “I was really, really worried that I wouldn’t be able to use it. But that was unfair really, because it’s easy, anybody can use it. It’s just that I was out of my comfort zone. It’s different to Software Assistant and that’s what I had to get used to.”

In the end, for Debbie, it was a “no-brainer” to stick with Thomson Reuters. “I do like their product and if you like a product, you stay with it! I’m not a very tech savvy person so I needed something that’s very straightforward and easy to use.”

Flexibility away from the office

And now? Debbie’s reaping the benefits. A big advantage is the flexibility it gives her when she’s away from the office. Every month she spends a week on Queensland’s Central Coast working on a client’s tax affairs. With Onvio, she can access everything she needs from the system remotely, without disrupting her staff’s workflow.

“I needed a solution for me being away from the office, something where the girls could still use it here at the office. And that was a really big problem, because most software has to be linked into the office, but that was not going to work for me. I didn’t want to work up north and then come back and have to re-enter everything back into a system down here. That’s crazy. So, this is where Onvio is a big win for me, for me to be able to work from wherever I am. Before, if I went away the staff couldn’t do anything because I had the program on my laptop. But with Onvio it doesn’t matter where I am.

“It gives you the freedom to be able to move, you know – you’re not stuck in your office. If you’re sick, you can work from home, it’s got so many bonuses.”

Bonuses galore

Here are some more. Onvio’s validation tool has been “a godsend” for Debbie.

“It’s really top notch. It picks up all the errors, any inconsistency. It does more than edit checking for you, it tells you if you’ve got something that’s not quite right or if it doesn’t fit in with the Taxation Office rules, and it reminds you to check things, keeps you on top of the compliance requirements. I do love that tool, I use it on everything.”

Debbie’s also found that Onvio’s menu system allows for easy navigation, so that if she wants, for example to change a depreciation item it’s quite straightforward. “It’s very easy to click on the little button and it takes you straight there!”

Online access for clients to tax documents has been another positive outcome. Their read-only view of their tax returns on the new platform gives them more control, according to Debbie.

“It just strengthens our relationship, because we’re being more interactive. I think it gives them confidence in what we’re doing as well.”

Seamless workflow reaps its benefits

Overall, the value for Debbie is about bringing everything together in one smooth process, she says. Where there used to be a lot of entering data into spreadsheets (particularly from 300 or so clients’ shoeboxes full of receipts!), then re-entering that data into Software Assistant, that is now a thing of the past.

“Onvio has really, really improved our workflow something chronic! I think I’ve now got more productive staff, so that equates to better money, better profits. It’s a lot more efficient. Let’s face it in a business world today you need to be efficient.

“Without a doubt, going from manual data entry into a cloud-based set up, would have saved me a good 20 to 30 hours a month, for each of my staff. That’s an incredible amount of time that frees everybody up,
but it also too improves the accuracy of what’s going in.”

Extra time for value-add

So, what does Debbie do with all that extra time?

“I will still do my tax because I love that, but I want to give my clients a value-added service, I want to take the tax returns one step further. I used to be a financial performance analyst and now I’m planning to include a graph of their competitive performance and a little bit of ratio analysis for them in their reports.

“I needed to be freed up more to focus more on that.”

With a practice that’s grown almost ten-fold in as many years and with plans for more growth in the next five years, she’s got her work cut out for her. But with Onvio she feels she’s in good hands for the long-term to help her build the practice.

“I can’t imagine changing from where we are, and I do really believe that the end product is going to be absolutely fantastic.”

Takeaways

  • Onvio provides Debbie the freedom to be able to work offsite with her clients, without disrupting her staff’s workflow.
  • Despite not being “tech savvy” and having fears of being out of her comfort zone, the transition to Onvio for Debbie was seamless.
  • Time saved in workflow efficiency has meant Debbie can work on creating a value-added service for her clients.

 

Find out  how you can make the transition to cloud with Onvio 
Or contact us: 1800 074 333
supportanz@thomsonreuters.com

 

Debbie Hiscock,
Down The Line Tax Services,
Browns Plains, Queensland

Position: Sole practitioner

Staff: Receptionist and bookkeeper

Priorities: A strong client relationship, creating a bond and focusing on their individual needs

Business: Specialises in small business, tax returns for trusts, companies, partnership, individuals, bookkeeping, payroll, business activity statements, installment activity statements.