Key tax dates and deadlines for 2018/19
It is an inevitable reality that, for anyone earning a livin...
By Jonathan London on 30th May 2016
At Boox we believe in giving our clients a feel for who’s dealing with their accounts, after all, it’s your money. We like to take a personal approach with those who seek out our services and this month we’re interviewing one of our new accounting team leaders to give you a better idea of how we operate behind the scenes – so meet Kelly Jones.
It’s really good. The thing that I like most about our office is that it’s a hard working environment with the right amount of fun thrown in as well! It’s definitely a very modern accountants to work for, which is evident in the atmosphere and the way we work.
I’ve always been quite good at maths and I’ve always liked dealing with money as well. I even enjoy setting budgets for my friends as well as for myself.
Partly the online system that we use. I don’t think many of our competitors have the same kind of set up that we have. Plus the added bonus of our mobile app, which is designed specifically for smartphone use – it’s not just a website you can view on your mobile. We’ve had a lot of good feedback about it on social media which is nice.
Also, the way our accounting system works. Our clients have always got a payment breakdown available for each separate invoice. This means that they always know how much money they can take and it helps to stop errors or the client taking too much money out of their business.
Our clients also have a dedicated accountant available all the time and I think that’s a good selling point for our service as well. It means as you’re not just speaking to lots of different people who perhaps aren’t fully aware of certain details about your client.
I have regular contact with all of my clients, whether it’s for general questions about their business and operations or information regarding their health check.
My clients always have direct contact with me. Whether it’s through my contact telephone details or email address. If I’m not available there is a phone line where they can speak to any other accountant to get a message to me.
We also have an online chat facility, and a skype account, so that they can log on at any time and contact us. I think that’s quite important that they can speak to me whenever they need to as opposed to me contacting them, as our clients are obviously focused on running their own businesses.
Probably around 15 to 20 percent have problems with the initial sign up but I think that’s more because freelancing, in general, is daunting more than our actual system. Once we go through the whole process together they are actually quite shocked at how easy we make it for them.
As long as they enter the amount of information that we request they all find it quite easy actually once we have been through the process with them.
When dealing with someone who is new to freelancing, do you handle them differently to when you deal with an experienced freelancer who is switching accounting solutions? If so, what do you do differently?
Yes and no really. I start off the same way, going through the whole process of how our service works. Switchers tend to know a bit more about the background of accounting as opposed to someone who is new to contracting. I’ll go into a little more detail with somebody that’s new and they generally have more questions. Whereas a switcher will generally know what I mean by a certain term when I use it, someone new may need that term explaining in more detail.
When a client comes on board their expectations are understandably high. It is important to spend a lot of time with them at the beginning in order to ensure they fully understand the processes they need to follow and complete. There’s also certain information they need to provide me with in order for them to get the most out of our service, which can affect the work I do for them. Once they feel comfortable with everything it is then important to let them know to always get in contact when they need help or questions answered. This helps me to manage my time so they get a response within a reasonable timescale.
Because we are an online service, we don’t get to speak to our clients face to face as much, and sometimes it’s a challenge to get a gauge on how that person is and how much information they really need.
I think speaking to a client on the phone is very important because sometimes emails can confuse people, especially those who might be new to contracting. When I speak to a client on the phone I can tell that they are not understanding something. Over the phone I can gauge how much information they need and what sort of personality they are and I think that’s how I deal with the challenge.
I quite like managing the workload. I really like organising their accounts, meeting a client’s financial deadlines and getting it all done on time.
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