Eric Cirulis, director of Lark Business Advisory in Melbourne, knew he wanted to transition his practice to cloud applications. But between client demands, lodgement deadlines and running the practice, he was at a loss as to where to start.
“We knew we needed to move with the times and grow the firm,” he says, adding he understood it would be a game changer, but was concerned the process would be challenging without the right support.
A mutual business partner introduced Cirulis to Clarity Street, specialists in cloud integration and business transformation for accounting practices. As well as providing training, Clarity Street was able to suggest changes to Lark’s business processes to align with the capabilities of the new software.
How do you feel about change?
Clarity Street conducted an onsite discovery and interviewed the Lark team – not just about technology but about culture, processes, and how they felt about change. It also reviewed the company’s current business applications so it could make recommendations that aligned with Lark’s strategic plan, designed with Trent Taylor of Teach It Forward.
Clarity Street then provided a project rollout plan. While the transition required big changes from Lark, Clarity Street provided constant support and monitoring.
Changing processes and procedures
One big change was switching to an upfront pricing model for the practice. Lark had previously billed on a work-in-progress basis and would bill on completion of a job.
“Now we proactively engage clients, scope out the work and provide a fee upfront for the job, which needs to be paid before work starts for the majority of our clients,” Cirulis says.
“This means we’re no longer spending hours at the end of the month in a mad rush to hit billing targets, as these are already achieved. Our focus is now on optimising our time on the job and getting it out the door.”
Another big change was moving to electronic signing of documents.
“I was excited about its potential, but nervous about what the client would actually think,” Cirulis says.
Clarity Street provided information and scripts for the Lark team to use to talk to clients. While there was some pushback from a few, Lark was prepared. Says Cirulis: “Not all clients receive e-signing but for the 95% that do, this is where the efficiencies have really been felt.”
I wish we had done it earlier
Twelve months and a lot of tough questions later, the team at Lark has built new processes for the entire client lifecycle.
“I wish we’d done it earlier,” admits Cirulis. “The team has adopted the new way of thinking and absolutely love the software and that they can work from anywhere, rather than being tied down to a desk.”
“I wish we’d done it earlier. The team has adopted the new way of thinking and absolutely love the software.”
Clarity Street’s Amy Holdsworth is thrilled with the outcome. “You can’t move forward doing things the same way they have always been done,” she says. “New technology creates a great opportunity to refocus and do things differently.
“We have the 90% rule at Clarity Street. If the software meets 90% of your client base’s needs and it will enhance the firm’s overall efficiency, then it should be implemented. The other 10% can be handled in the bespoke manner it has always been handled. When it comes to gaining efficiencies, it’s about the majority.”
Find out more:
Want to increase your apps’ efficiency by 20-30%? Book in a 15-minute connection call with Clarity Street to find out their seven tips for success. Go to claritystreet.com.au or call +61 437 101 152.