For Khiya Kara, founder of Kara Bookkeeping Specialists, owning a practice isn’t about money or quantity of clients, but the relationships. Just one year in, KBS is a great example of a practice never being too new or too small to utterly love AccountancyManager.
Khiya launched her practice last year, having worked in various finance roles for around 10 years. “I’d hit my limit. I had to get out of working for other people.”
“The goal has always been to run my own bookkeeping and finance business, I finally did it at the start of lockdown”.
There were a number of reasons for Khiya’s leap. “I kept hitting that glass ceiling. It was driving me mad. I wanted to do it for myself, I wanted to be free of the office, and I wanted to also work with people that I’m passionate about helping.”
“I’ve got a client who calls me and we’ll talk business but she’s putting her kids in the bath, and it’s normal.”
“My clients are predominantly women – often women of colour – who are running their own businesses. I work with a lot of single mums. They’re really time-poor and don’t have a lot of flexibility in income, but they have the passion, the drive and the skills to do what they want. My services aren’t entirely aimed at them, but they’re a big part of my audience and the people I like to help.”
“I’m not fussy about saying no to people, I’m more fussy about who I can build a relationship with. That needs to be right.”
“Conversations with my clients aren’t not solely about business, they’re about them as people as well. And they really like that, because they like to be recognised as humans with lives, aside from just business and finance.”
The self-proclaimed ‘Excel freak’ ditches Excel
Some new practice owners will wait until they are more established before starting to use AM. The problem with that is having to change your processes with more clients and more staff. Luckily, Khiya has realised the limits of Excel early on.
“I’m an Excel freak, right? So I created spreadsheets and macros as my own CRM. But it got to the stage of, “Ok, this is great, but I still need it to do this, this and this.”
“Within three days of the free trial, your guys called me to see how I was doing and I was like, ‘I’m ready, I’m just ready.’”
“I was looking for a CRM first of all. I needed somewhere to hold the clients’ details, data, contact details, deadlines… Then I had a secondary issue where everything was manually done, all the emails and chasing.”
Working your own way with Automated Tasks and Target Dates
In AM, Khiya found her CRM and her automatic chasing, but now her favourite part is the automatically generating Task List and Target Dates. She’s found that using AM doesn’t mean she’s stuck working a certain way,
“It works fantastically well. We don’t work towards the Companies House and HMRC deadlines, we keep those in mind for the accountants, but as bookkeepers we’re way in advance of that.”
“Now I’ve got my staff member, I allocate things to her, then she reassigns to me to review – like ping pong. That works really great for us. I love that.”
“It’s the monthly bookkeeping or recordkeeping that we schedule to say: “This needs to be started now, completed by the 8th of the month, then I need to review it by the 10th. So it goes around like that in a circle.”
Life-changing automated emails and super-handy templates
Like many new users, Khiya has been pausing her automated emails – until recently. This means AM will use your pre-written template, fill in the gaps with each client’s information, then put the emails (or texts) into a paused queue before they go off.
“The automated emails, they just made my life so much easier, I love it.”
“I trust the automated emails now.” Khiya says. “I’ve checked and sent them off so many times, I know they’re correct. I can now automate them and not have to think about it.”
“It’s like a little process that happens by itself. I don’t have to attach anything, search millions of files or remember to email, it’s just all done.”
Templates: Write it once, send it whenever you need to
AccountancyManager comes with over 40 pre-written emails, for everything from onboarding to record requests. One template will go to the right clients, on the right day. But the email (or text) each client sees, will be unique to them.
How? With variables. These are effectively placeholders which are automatically filled (with your choice of over 500 types of information), when the email is sent.
“It has saved me so much time already, you do not know.”
Like Khiya, you can also create your own templates. Simply write your email, add your variables and choose the clients that should receive it. Do this quickly by filtering the Client List.
“I can create templates with pretty much anything that’s pretty regular in my business. Things like getting people set up and giving them welcome packs of documents to read – or just regular information that everyone should have.”
Giving clients their own ‘pigeon holes’ – with e-signing
In previous firms, Khiya has been faced with paper records and receipts piled up on her desk. Something she certainly doesn’t miss. “It was disgusting to be perfectly honest!” Khiya remembers.
“I’ve had a spider in some records, loads with coffee stains, they’re illegible. I love my job, but that was the worst part of it.”
Now, Khiya shares all documents, tax returns and useful information through the Client Portal. “I put news like the Autumn Budget in there too, grants that are available… I just stick in their little – I call it their pigeonhole!”
Khiya’s clients also appreciate the ease of the built-in e-signing function. “Before, I was using Adobe PDF and they’d have to sign like that. So the eSign they love.”
“If I need them to sign something, it’s just automatically there for them. They get the notification via email and text and I know when it’s done with a notification in AM’. It’s just easy.”
Khiya’s advice? Get AccountancyManager. Full stop.
“My advice to any bookkeeper or accountant out there is to use AccountancyManager because it’s a fantastic system, it’s the best system you will ever find.
“AM is really affordable. The price is negligible for the time you save. And stress off my life is amazing. I think it’s the best thing out there.”
In Facebook groups, when people ask which system to use. I’m the person that says, ‘AccountancyManager is the best, just use it!’”
“You don’t understand, when I say it changed my life… this is the best system in the world, literally.”