Moving to WorkflowMax for practice management.
Adelaide firm Dewings has started a blog covering its transition from a major accounting system to Xero and WorkflowMax. The blog, called Approaching Xero, was an entertaining, detailed account of a software migration from server software to cloud software.
“We’ve pledged to give you the straight dope – a warts and all account of our journey. And we know that you know that no system change is ever a worry-free frolic in the meadows,” wrote John Manning, Dewings’ managing director and the main contributor to the blog.
The firm gave itself a month to make the transition to running the practice on WorkflowMax, beginning on 1 July. “Overall it’s going well. We’re getting the bare bones functioning without having bedded down our training and procedures yet. It’s hard to give a definitive judgement on whether it’s a success but so far it’s definitely positive and exciting,” Manning told BoxFreeIT.
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“There are a number of motivations for the blog but at least one is just catharsis. When we’re going through the teething problems we can write about it and get it out,” Manning said.
Key stakeholders in the firm, such as the accounts manager and payroll manager, would also write posts to the blog about their experiences in using the Xero and WorkflowMax combination in their specific roles.
“They’re going to look at the different aspects of the product and enhancements of what they’d like to see,” Manning said.
The firm began looking for alternatives to its enterprise accounting system after the incumbent vendor told Dewings it had to upgrade its servers to run the next version which used a more powerful database, Manning said.
Dewings estimated the cost of replacing its two servers at $25,000 to $30,000. The vendor had also raised its annual software maintenance fees by nearly 20 percent in 12 months to $20,000.
The firm’s partners had been talking to accounting consultancy Focus Growth Strategies about cloud accounting vendor Xero for several months and the firm decided to look at whether it could use Xero’s free practice management software, WorkflowMax, instead. “With so many other alternatives out there do we need to be caught in the server upgrade cycle?” Manning said.
Dewings has moved some clients across to Xero but most are still using the incumbent accounting vendor.
One of the biggest changes was the level of feedback from Xero about how to use its software to fit the firm’s workflows and processes. Despite paying high annual maintenance fees, the previous vendor gave much less attention, Manning said.
“The previous vendor talks the talk about wanting to hear about enhancements but you never really see those and we were just dictated to. When you talk to Xero they’re really enthusiastic to take it onboard,” Manning said.