Several years ago, SRJ Walker Wayland resolved to speed up its digital transformation journey. We’d done some research and found both our admin staff and accountants were spending a lot of time billing and re-engaging with clients.
Back then, there was some early LinkedIn buzz about Practice Ignition. I’d also been impressed when watching demos of their offerings at Xerocon. Nonetheless, it was early days and I was going on gut instinct when I took the decision in 2017 to start rolling out Practice Ignition’s billing and proposal-management software.
Since implementing Practice Ignition, we’ve seen a drastic decrease in our debtor days. We’ve also seen a huge reduction in our administrative burden when onboarding and re-engaging our clients. These processes now take staff minutes, not hours.
Picture: Jason Croston, SRJ Walker Wayland.
“Since implementing Practice Ignition, we’ve seen a drastic decrease in our debtor days.”
Time sheets, billing and invoicing used to chew up 1–2 days a month of a chargeable employee’s time. That’s 1–2 days just for the basics; it was even more when you factor in handling fee queries and dealing with collections.
Prior to Practice Ignition, the annual re-engagement process was tedious. We would send an engagement letter via Microsoft Word, request sign-off on the quoted fee then set up a direct debit, which also required sign-off from the client. Given around 80% of the firm’s revenue is recurring, doing all of that created a huge time sink.
Technology doesn’t mean everything can be automated. For instance, our staff still have at least one face-to-face meeting with their clients when re-engaging with them. But by automating the admin grunt work, Practice Ignition has allowed our staff to focus on delivering excellent service and strengthening client relationships.
Our payment process is now around 85% automated. This means our collections person now only needs to focus on legacy debtors and the other 15%. Most of the time, an invoice is generated then the fee is deducted from the client’s bank account (as previously agreed with the client).
“Our payment process is now around 85% automated. This means our collections person now only needs to focus on legacy debtors and the other 15%.”
Trust is key
Understandably, some clients are reluctant to hand over the keys to their account. But we encourage them to do that, especially if they are a new client or a poor payer. Implementing Practice Ignition has had an outstanding impact on our collections and payments process.
Our clients have generally been supportive of the new way of doing things, especially once they realise we are lightening their administrative load and providing them with better customer service.
SRJ Walker Wayland is currently a 60-person firm and plans to keep growing strongly. When automating processes, the goal wasn’t to reduce headcount and we haven’t done that. What we have done is freed up time that our staff now spend on high-value activities. Even better, with most of its administrative load automated, the firm is in a strong position to keep scaling up.
Find out more
Visit landing.practiceignition.com/caanz and start a free trial of Practice Ignition.