Date posted: 30/09/2022 5 min read

New ways to streamline client payments

Many accountants struggle to chase up late client payments or discuss increasing fees, but one solution is proving to be a game-changer. Brought to you by Ignition.

The rapidly evolving nature of accounting means that adopting smart automation is crucial to the success of practitioners and clients alike, according to Shannon Smit CA, director of accountancy practice, Smart Business Solutions.

“Technology is now an expectation of clients,” she says. “We take on a lot of clients from other, historically larger, well-respected practices who have not kept up with the pace of change.”

Client engagement software has been essential to Smart Business Solutions’ digital strategy since 2014 to streamline how it engages clients and automates payment collection, leaving its bookkeepers and accountants to focus on what they do best and provide an enhanced service.

“Gone are the days of only seeing a client once a year,” Smit adds. “Cloud- based real-time reporting has strengthened our relationship with them and increased the clients’ desire to understand more about their business and financials.

“This enables them to make quick decisions - something critical in these challenging economic times.”

“This enables them to make quick decisions - something critical in these challenging economic times.”
Shannon Smit, Smart Business Solutions

A better payments solution

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 39 percent of Australian businesses expect to increase their rates ‘more than usual’ this year, feeling the pressure from non-staff-related operating expenses.

Labour shortages, pay demands and the escalating cost of living are also heaping inflationary pressure on accountancy firms, with some of the additional expense inevitably being passed on to clients.

Traditionally, accountants don’t like talking about fees with clients, especially when they have to be revised upward. Many firms suffer losses from confusion around whether to charge an hourly rate or a fixed fee, as well as scope creep when the parameters of a job are exceeded.

“We use Ignition, which provides certainty on both sides. It’s been great to ensure we have a signed engagement letter up front, but it also means we are transparent with pricing,” Smit says.

At a time when many businesses are feeling the pinch, Ignition cuts down on admin, creates new efficiencies and offers clients the opportunity to pay upfront on accepting the proposal, as well as on a recurring payment schedule. Awkward conversations about fees are a thing of the past.

“Many clients have opted to prepay their accounting fees on a monthly basis as they prefer this than the lump sum bill at the end, which has assisted with their cash flow management,” Smit says. Ignition also gives tangible advice on framing difficult conversations, such as discussing ‘value-add propositions instead of price hikes.

With efficiency at its core, Ignition also seamlessly integrates with other key workplace apps, such as Xero, Xero Practice Manager and QuickBooks Online.

That means less admin, and ultimately more valuable time for clients.

Find out more:

CA ANZ has partnered with Ignition to help members streamline and stay compliant in their client engagements and eliminate debtors. You can access Ignition’s powerful features, as well as the latest CAANZ engagement letter template here: