Accountants across the UK are hard at work preparing their practices and their clients for Making Tax Digital. Tomasz Wiadrowski, owner of SAFI Advisory, chose FreeAgent to help him transition earlier this year.
In this video, we ask Tomasz:
- how he is preparing his practice for Making Tax Digital,
- how FreeAgent is helping him,
- how he transitions clients from other systems to FreeAgent,
- how he gets his clients excited about FreeAgent.
How are you preparing for Making Tax Digital?
I think that Making Tax Digital doesn’t have to be such a daunting task if the practice is ready for it and if if the clients are ready.
So the most important thing is to make sure that the records are kept digitally on the right platform, the right software and that the records are correct. So with the right amount of preparation and the software, it helps make that transition quite smooth.
How is FreeAgent helping you prepare for Making Tax Digital?
FreeAgent is a user software, a friendly software, and clients can learn the software very quickly, so they can make sure their records are kept properly. And FreeAgent allows you to do the checks on the client records in quite an easy way. And therefore it gives me the confidence that my clients are updating the records properly. By having that confidence, I know that the submission will be correct and that will make my practice and my clients MTD compliant.
How do you manage transitioning clients from other systems to FreeAgent?
The most important thing was to set a date. For each client there was a fixed date from which the new system —FreeAgent— was implemented and to that date all the old records were kept using the old ways, which mostly were spreadsheets.
Now one of the things that helped was using traditional periods and trial periods. Trial periods meant that clients could test the software and if they like it continue to use it. Or if they would like to reverse that decision they could go back to the old system, which actually didn’t happen that often!
Nevertheless, the other thing that was important was the introduction of simultaneous bookkeeping systems. From a set date that was arranged, clients were using the old system and FreeAgent at the same time. It seems like a doubling of work, but, by arranging a certain plan such as only inputting total figures from the spreadsheets onto FreeAgent, so then just to give the clients a feel how FreeAgent works, that helps me to convince the clients to move to the professional accountancy software.
What are your favourite FreeAgent features?
FreeAgent is an accountancy software so it does its job of storing the bookkeeping records, which is the most important feature. However it has lots of additional features, it helps automate certain tasks such as sending recurring invoices, such as sending reminders when the invoices aren’t paid.
It has lots of different types of reports that are easily accessible for the clients and can be easily understood. One of the most handy features is the statement of the accounts, which helps my clients track the payments from their clients to their businesses. It helps to identify the most paying customers. It allows for automatic bank feeds, so basically bank reconciliation is done much quicker and as an accountant I’m sure that the records are correct.
How do you encourage clients to try FreeAgent?
So with all those additional features and the fact that the accountancy software does its core job very well, those are the points that I present to my clients and they are quite keen on trying the software.
How do you position yourself differently from other accountants?
I try to educate my clients. I try to make sure that they understand the concepts of accountancy. Using simple language rather than professional language, I try to introduce them to basic accountancy concepts. This way it helps my clients to understand their businesses more and that helps them to grow their businesses.
How do you get your clients excited about FreeAgent?
By the fact that this is a cloud based accountancy software, I tell my clients that we can work on the software simultaneously at the same time. In case of any issue, I can login to the software — the same as my client can — and we can have a look at that problem together, regardless of where my client is.
So even if he travels and is abroad and there’s a certain important question, we can sort it out now and then without the need for a meeting.