How to grow your practice by perfecting your client experience

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Sumi Sivalingham is a bookkeeping specialist based in Melbourne. Find out how she has grown her First Class Accounts practice by increasing her efficiency and delighting her clients.


Getting the data you need from clients and processing is essential for accurate bookkeeping. It can also be time consuming and messy.

Like many bookkeepers, Sumi originally had a very manual service for collecting client data. “I would travel to the clients’ offices to get the data. Some of them were 10 minutes away, others were 45 minutes away. It took a lot of time, travelling, collecting the paperwork and either bringing the documents home or spending the day doing the data entry on site,” explains Sumi.

“I really didn’t enjoy doing data entry because it cut down my time to work on other areas. What’s more, I had a really small home office, which was getting so congested and messy with all that paperwork.”

A big change came in her business in 2014, when she discovered Receipt Bank, and worked with her personal Account Manager to start changing her business processes and increase her use of automation. All this provides the chance to grow her firm. “Since discovering Receipt Bank, life has never been the same.” says Sumi. “Jess, my Account Manager, is fantastic. She’s taught me so much about being more efficient. Now that I’ve cut down on data entry, there a lot more time to take on new clients.”


Sumi’s whole firm philosophy is based around helping her clients. “Everything I do aims to make life easier for my clients. Tools like Receipt Bank and Xero mean I can make life easier for myself at the same time,” she says.

Using the Receipt bank makes the whole process simpler for her clients, and Sumi makes sure they’re using it from the word “Go”.

“With every single client, as soon as they sign a letter of engagement, I put them on Receipt Bank right away. It’s a two-step process. I get them to download the app, while I add them as a client on the web app. It’s a way of showing them the value right away. I’ll make sure I have a receipt in my bag, I take a picture and show them how easy it is. All they ever say is ‘Wow’.”


The approach has worked with a wide variety of clients, converting even technology-skeptics who are used to ‘spiking’ receipts in their cars.

Sumi shares the story of a construction worker who wasn’t sure about using the app for his receipts and invoices. “My new client wasn’t a believer in technology, but he still went off and snapped 25 receipts to try it out. I was working at the time, and saw them come into Receipt Bank with the data all ready to go, so I published them to Xero.”

Two hours later, the client called in a panic, saying that all his photos had disappeared and that he’d thrown away the receipts. “I laughed to myself and said he hadn’t lost the receipts – they’d already been reconciled in Xero.” says Sumi.

“He thought I was confusing them with items he’d given me days ago, so he mentioned again that he’d only took these photos two hours ago. I said ‘I know – you went to a restaurant and spent $27.60.’ He couldn’t believe the speed of the service compared to his previous bookkeeper. Within a few days, he had recommended two of his tradie friends, and persuaded his daughter’s salon business to sign up.


For Sumi, technology like Receipt Bank is the ideal option, because she can improve her client service while making her business more profitable. “It’s like a value added service, because I incorporate the cost into my fee structure. Even for small clients I can pass the benefit of technology on, because I can charge more and do more in the time that I’ve saved on data entry.”

You can find out more about how implementing Receipt Bank in your practice at our weekly Effortless Bookkeeping Webinar. It just takes 40 minutes, and it could transform your business.


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