Meet James Byrne, CEO and Co-Founder of AccountancyManager
It’s been almost 3 years since AccountancyManager launched and they’ve taken the practice management world by storm. Growing from two to 20 staff, voted the UK’s #1 CRM and Practice Management Software and now serving thousands of practices, AccountancyManager is a true start-up success story. We spoke to CEO, James Byrne, about how it all began.
So James, how does an accountant become the co-founder of a software start-up?
Frustration. Pure and simple. I was shocked at how much time my firm spent on what can only be described as admin. Chasing clients for information and reminding them to make payments was a large chunk of each day. Onboarding clients was another long-winded process, due to the stack of documentation you need to gather and have your client sign.
Two years and already so many users, what’s your secret?
A fantastic team helps. We have a couple of real-life accountants on staff, which is great for on-tap industry knowledge, as well as two ex-HMRC tax inspectors over the road as our advisors.
But what it really comes down to is the product. We developed AM within the offices of an accountancy firm, literally writing the software in response to the problems happening around us. It quickly grew from automating as many time-consuming tasks as possible, to a full-blown cloud-based onboarding, CRM, time management, invoicing, practice management machine. It’s so satisfying to see everything we needed as accountants, now working to help other firms.
As an accountant, what was your biggest challenge?
The run up to the self-assessment deadlines! Obtaining the client’s paperwork, with all the correct information and in good time was always hard work. Add to that managing your own workload in preparing the submissions by the deadline and, let’s just say – it’s a little stressful!
And how does AccountancyManager solve this?
Think personalised, automated emails requesting specific information, based on task statuses and deadlines. The client can log on to their online portal (which can be reskinned with the accountant’s brand) to check data, provide information, e-sign documents and view a list of deadlines. Both AccountancyManager and the portal are cloud-based, so the accountants and their clients can access whatever they need, wherever they are. Freedom!
Follow-up emails chasing clients for specific missing information are triggered along the pipeline and any actions required of the accountant are added to a daily task list. All activity on each client’s account, including any calls or emails, are stored in a client timeline (which is a great audit trail).
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