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Scaling with Technology: How To Combine Service and Growth as a Sole Practitioner

Read on to find out how Equity Books used tech tools to manage more clients

When Andrew Helgensen returned to Australia after years working abroad, he knew he didn’t want to join another large firm. Now three months into running his own business, Equity Books, he’s building a fast-growing, efficient practice based on the latest technology with Receipt Bank Extract.

Setting up as a Sole Practitioner, making the best use of his limited resources was a key priority. “I knew from the start that I wanted to use technology to be more efficient,” explains Andrew.

“Accounting technology in the SME space has come a long way in the last few years, to the point that it’s taken away the outdated, stale stigma around bookkeeping and made it an exciting proposition again.”

Using a Family Guinea Pig

However, Andrew didn’t dive right into building his tech stack – for a time he worked manually to have a clearer idea of problem areas to fix. “I chose the most challenging possible client to start with – my dad.” admits Andrew. “He’s a great builder, but now I know why tradesmen have a particular reputation when it comes to bookkeeping,” Andrew says.

“The main issue for me was data entry. I don’t think typing in numbers adds any value for the client. The value comes from analysing the numbers coming out of the business. And the more time you save on the first part, you can spend adding value with the second part.”

“After spending an hour with Dad talking through his invoicing and payment processes, we made a few small changes in the way he does things and using Receipt Bank, we managed to get his quarterly bookkeeping down from 3 hours to 1.5 hours.”

Building the tech stack

To solve his issues with data entry and help him scale his practice, Andrew started researching and trialling automation solutions, and the fixed monthly pricing of Receipt Bank Extract caught his eye.

“Receipt Bank was the most competitive offering for me. Their Certified Partner Pricing is a great advantage that other services don’t offer. Because the price is fixed, I know my costs every month, regardless of how much I grow,” says Andrew.

The fixed pricing also rewards ambitious owners looking to grow their practice. “The per client price is higher at the beginning, when I only have a few clients on Receipt Bank Extract, but that flexibility is worth it in the long term. I know that as I scale and add more clients, that cost is going to come down.”

The reaction from current and prospective clients has also been very positive, explains Andrew. “I can use Receipt Bank as a selling point. I tell them that I’ve got this software, which will significantly reduce time spent on data entry and handling paper and they’re excited.”

Focusing on service

The multi-currency flexibility of Receipt Bank also helps him offer a superior service to his competitors. Even as a sole practitioner, he can focus on adding value for the client.

“One of my clients has entities in both Australia and the USA. Their old bookkeeper would only handle their Australian books. Thanks to Receipt Bank I was able to able to walk in and offer to do their Australian and American bookkeeping, with consolidated monthly management reports, all for the same price as their old bookkeeper. “

Andrew now has the time to focus on growing his business instead of managing expense data. “I’m spending more time on business development, and networking to build connections,” he says.

“Time is the most important thing and even though I want to grow, I don’t want to be working until midnight every night!”.