Accountant who saved £12,000 p.a. using Workflows:
As a Chartered Accountancy practice established in September 2000, it became evident in our evolution that managing the data of our clients in a centralised way was one of the most paramount tasks of our practice.
Although the processing of accounting and taxation information was being done by specialised accounting programs such as Sage Accounts Production packages and Sage Taxation packages, it became evident that these programs would not be able to manage the overall client process.
Sage introduced several management type programs, and we adopted ACT! for Sage in 2007. This did bring together a lot of our key client information and helped us manage the data of all our clients in one place. Although ACT! did address our immediate needs, it was a very manual program and found it lacked any sort of automation. Therefore we had to heavily rely on our administration staff ensuring that the data was constantly accurate. It was also difficult to log emails against client records, or drill down to different screens of information which would hold correspondence or notes relating to those screens.
It is through this frustration that in November 2010 we contacted Logical Office (LO) and asked for a demonstration of their product. On reviewing the major features of LO, we found that it addressed most of our problems we were encountering with ACT! The key features that particularly drew us to this package were:
- The fact that incoming and outgoing emails could be automatically filed by client or event
- That events relating to specific subjects of the client e.g. VAT, Personal Tax, Corporation Tax and so on could be created, and that correspondence and all communications, including accounts and tax computations (in PDF) could all be saved under that event
- The flexibility of being able to tailor different logical screens relating to specific information of the client
- Templates for letters and emails could easily be created, and that these would use the information from the logical screens that were easy to insert.
Knowing that the above would have the potential to save significant time for our practice in the long run, we decided to adopt Logical Office in December 2010. We managed to work closely with LO and imported all our data from ACT! into LO using the relevant software tools.
Once our data was imported into LO, we ensured that this was correct and that all the required fields were complete and accurate. Initially it did take us some administrative time to achieve this, but after a few months we really started to notice the benefits that we had hoped. LO certainly lived up to the expectations we had.
As we began to understand LO more and more as time went on, we found that it had the potential to do much more than just be a basic correspondence and logging system. It was ideally suited to repetitive tasks an accounts administrator would do. Bearing this in mind we worked with LO to help them continue with the automation side of the program, known as “Workflows”.
Workflows are automated processes within the program that checks for data and where a relevant change is made, it can set off another process in an automated way. We helped to develop and refine certain Workflows which included Accounts, Self-Assessment, VAT, Data Compliance and Company Secretarial.
These powerful Workflows have meant that we have been able to send automated emails and correspondence to our clients for reminders for information, informing them when information is received, attaching documents to emails for their review, taxation planning letters at key points, setting actions for our staff and reminders (that integrate with Outlook) and much more.
By continuing to use the full features of the Workflows and logical screens meant that it significantly reduced the administration time of our practice. Before LO we had two full-time office administrators, after the rollout of LO and its full completion and automation of Workflows, we now have two part-time office administrators.
Therefore we saved a full headcount based on LO, saving the firm over £12,000 a year. Although the initial time investment in LO was significant for our firm, the benefits significantly outweighed this in the long run. In addition LO brought about standardisation and increased professionalism to our firm.
Any accountancy practice looking to adopt LO would find this package very flexible in meeting routine administrative tasks including the logging and retrieval of client information in a quick and efficient way. In order to reap the true benefits of this package, the firm must be willing to dedicate the initial time and resources to have the data and Workflows correctly entered and setup. However, this initial investment is truly rewarded in the long run.
Rajesh Kohli BSc FCA MANAGING PRINCIPAL
Accountants in Kent
With four partners and over twenty staff, Magee Gammon is one of the larger firms of Kent chartered accountants. Located in the centre of Ashford, only five minutes’ walk from the Ashford International Station, Magee Gammon help their clients to prepare accounts and provide a full range of related services including audit, company administration, tax and computer advice.
The firm was just about to purchase Goldmine when they found out about Logical Office CRM, and they chose to install a 30 user version of Logical Office.
“Of all the CRMs we looked at, Logical Office was clearly the most user-friendly and intuitive. We try to use the best technology available to ensure maximum efficiency. Logical Office is an important part of this efficiency, and it gives us greater confidence that we are dealing with the correct up-to-date information about our clients and prospects.” “We particularly liked the fact that Logical Office integrates to SAGE, so we didn’t have to worry about importing data or linking the two systems together – it just works.”
Jon Gammon, Partner
Accountants in Leeds
Grants accountants installed a seven user version of Logical Office CRM. Julian Grant established Grants Chartered Accountants in Great George Street, Leeds, in 1946. He set out to offer businesses and individuals an expert accounting service enabling them to achieve financial success. Fifty-seven years later, he is the Senior Partner joined by his son, Jonathan Grant, who is the Managing Partner.
“We’ve saved thousands of pounds since we installed Logical Office. We can’t live without it. We’re now scanning documents into it – it’s a ‘doddle’. With Logical Office I can sit at my desk and retrieve files immediately. I don’t need the manual files now, apart from the older ones.
We use the templates for 90% of our letters, and it is ideal for the practice assurance letters. It has helped us a lot with our end of year P35 documents. We are using Logical Office to send mail shots as well. It’s paradise. It’s much easier to use than our old Goldmine system, and it has become an integral part of our office. We think Logical Office is superb!”
Jonathan Grant Managing Partner Grants Accountants
Griffin, Stone & Moscrop : West End Accountants Griffin Stone & Moscrop is an established firm (1918) based in the heart of central London.They have many clients in the local community and service businesses, small and large, across many industry sectors. They installed a 30 user system in their London offices in 2006.
“We really liked the look and feel of the software and felt that it would be easy to use. This was confirmed with the fact that all our staff attended one morning of training and found it really easy to use.
Scanning is very easy – simple really. We like the “drag & drop” feature as it is so useful to be able to file anything outside of the Logical Office software into the client’s folder with a few clicks of the mouse.
The function to create standard templates has also been very useful for us. We have currently created about 60 to 70 templates. As a result the drafting of letters is much quicker as Logical Office simply pulls in the client name, client address, the text of the letter as per the template and your signature – all you have to do is print it off and sign it!
The Logical Office diary function was an added bonus and has saved us a huge amount of time in long range staff planning. We tried Ms-Outlook but it wasn’t pitched at the level we wanted, and so we had developed an in-house system based on Excel and bookings were emailed to our admin department who updated the excel diary. This wasn’t a very efficient use of time, but with the introduction of the Logical Office diary this is much easier and useful to staff and partners alike.
Since the introduction of Logical Office at our practice a few of my clients have commented on how quickly I can retrieve correspondence when I am talking to them on the phone – they are impressed with the efficiency, and of course it saves time and money!
We’ve had a great relationship with Logical Office from the beginning, and the friendliness of the staff along with the quick response times is fantastic. We look forward to even more success with the next release.”
Jennie Tolmie Partner Griffin Stone& Moscrop
1 Chancery Lane is a leading civil common law set of barristers’ chambers. From their modern, state of art premises comes a wealth and breadth of experience gained in some of the leading cases of the last 50 years.
They act as specialist advocates and advisers in a wide range of civil disputes. Their members enjoy a high reputation within their areas of specialisation. These include professional negligence, clinical negligence, personal injury, travel, contract and commercial, property, and public and regulatory law.
“Logical Office is an excellent CRM and Marketing package and has transformed the ease with which we can market to and inform our clients on a regular basis. It enables anyone to keep tabs on all communications with clients – and thus form a comprehensive marketing history. It is also incredibly easy to set follow-up actions so that each marketing effort can be followed up in the appropriate way.
The mailshot function is especially useful, as it allows us to send personalised e-bulletins and other marketing material to hundreds of clients at the click of a mouse. We at 1 Chancery Lane have received countless positive comments from clients about our mailshot materials – and we are delighted with how Logical Office has made them so easy.”
Genevieve Hardy Business Development Manager 1 Chancery Lane
Rural Trader Ltd is a small publishing company established in 2004:
The biggest problem I had was time…how on earth could I fit 25 hours work a day into 24!
Whilst chatting to my accountant I happened to mention that further expansion would be a nightmare. As it was, my entire weekends were spent invoicing & chasing money…he was incredulous. He asked what systems I had in place & I told him it as it was…none! I hand typed each & every invoice, using 3 or 4 excel spreadsheets to try & keep on top of things. Customer sales were on one spreadsheet, invoice templates on another, amounts outstanding on another, addresses were on a Roladex & so the list went on…but I didn’t know any other way to do it.
That’s when he showed me Logical Office. To cut a long story short, having spent a couple of weeks researching other CRM’s I had Logical Office installed. Logical Office’s representative came up from London & spent a couple of days installing the software & training us on how to use it.
I can’t tell you what a difference it has made to my business. I’m not the most computer literate person in the world I can honestly say it’s a doddle to use!
The best thing about it is that everything I need to know is there at the touch of a button. Now, if a customer calls & wants to know the state of his account, change his address, what adverts he ran last month, what phone numbers we have for him, a copy of an invoice I can answer there & then & deal with him in a matter of seconds. I used to have to check one spreadsheet, then the Roladex, then another spreadsheet & the simplest enquiry was an embarrassingly lengthy task.
The best thing is the time Logical Office saves me. I still work weekends but I spend the time expanding & improving my business…invoicing & chasing debts takes a fraction of the time it did. My turnover is now 4 times what it was when I took the business on but the admin workload is the same. And, Logical Office can cope with all the expansion I can manage at no extra cost!
Phylida Austin Managing Director Rural Trader Limited
Dengie Crops Limited : Horse Feed Supplier
Dengie is the UK’s leading manufacturer of fibre-based horse feeds and the largest producer of alfalfa in the UK, the majority of which is used within our own leading brands of Alfa-A and Hi-Fi.
“In 1998 we opted for ACT as a contact management system for our 6000 records. By 2006 we had a database with 20,000 records and found that we had outgrown the system. We looked at several other Customer Relationship Management systems before selecting Logical Office. The final decision was based on the flexibility of the system with Logical Office’s ability to produce “tailor-made” reports, etc. at the time of their demonstration – something that no other company offered us.
One year on we are delighted with our choice. We have reduced the number of 3 drawer filing cabinets in the office from 14 to 4! The system’s ability to attach scanned documents & emails to individual records enables us to keep all information readily available without having to search the PCs hard drives for the relevant document. The content of a telephone call can easily be added as a note to a customer record with any required follow up.
Logical Office’s team have offered superb support to our “technophobe” team. We have now moved on from being able to set up our own templates to creating event screens and writing our own reports. The importing and exporting of information interacting with Excel is unbelievably easy. The ease in which you can analyse information collected has meant that we have now switched our Customer Service database from Access to Logical Office too.
Both our MD and National Sales Manager have been bowled over with the results – we are no longer updating a “glorified address book” but maintaining in depth records for each of our customers strengthening their marketing decisions based on facts.”
Sheena Mycroft Customer Service Manager Dengie Crops Limited