Firm: LWS Tax & Accounting
Firm size: 8 People, 2,000+ clients
Service Category: Tax, Payroll, Bookkeeping
Pain Points: Growing firm means additional due date tracking, and was manually updating spreadsheets (time-consuming) and was prone to letting client work fall through the cracks.
When we first started with Blake at LWS Tax, his system was cobbled together using spreadsheets (despite being entirely in the cloud for all other aspects of his business).
When we sat down with him, he told us about these three obstacles that blocked him in the past:
- Able to create a standardized process that recurred with each client engagement
- Be able to instantly see what was in danger of falling through the cracks, and track client updates and statuses.
- Finding a cloud-based solution that was simple for his team to use
Let’s break down the key components of each one:
Building out a high quality, standardized process is fundamental to any firm growth … in fact, the most profitable ones relentless look at their process and systems.
When building out a workflow system, we recommend looking at three things:
- How is the work assigned to the team
- How do you want to track, review, and measure the work (capacity, turnaround time, profitability)
- How do you manage client expectations and experiences (ie what do you need from the client, how is work billed, how do you update information/statuses based on the client actions)
And we review those against the specific steps, recurrences, and due dates you use internally to complete the job or engagement. This lays the foundation for the job.
Quickly track work in progress:
Next, is answering the question “What’s in trouble?” and “What needs my attention?”
It’s important to put these questions in categories, such as:
- Where is my team stuck?
- Where is a client waiting on information/job is bottleneck internal
- What is about to fall through the cracks, and who do I need to alert?
- Where am I stuck?
- If something is missing, how quickly can I alert the team or update the job?
These questions lie at the heart of what a typical firm goes through. And when you’re managing hundreds (or thousands) of clients, along with thousands (or tens of thousands) of tasks, due dates, and jobs, these are very daunting questions to ask.
Because of these, we built the Job tab so people like Blake at LWS Tax can easily track the recurring dates that are most important to him and his firm.
As you can see, some common reports firms can run include:
- Show me all work that is waiting on client information
- Show me everything overdue, organized by staff, then due date
- Show me job category (ie monthly financials) organized by due, then filter to show “in progress”
Because firm owners track so many due dates, tasks, and jobs, this view is completely flexible (and downloadable) for you and your team.
While endless features sound like a great idea when a new product meets the team, they typically care about one thing: how quickly can I learn and use this new tool?
When Blake was setting up his team, he was mindful that not every team member will adopt the tool at the same rate. This is why we focus on team members reviewing one (at most two) tabs in the system… Jobs & Tasks
For a micro “big picture” view of work assigned to a team member, the Jobs tab is the perfect place. Track work progress, so what’s getting stuck, or moving along at the right pace.
For the task tab is your automated to do list. Day in, day out, you check the task list. If you have task dependencies setup, this also means that you’ll only see tasks that are ready for you to work on.
As you can imagine, moving from a spreadsheet system can be a challenging feat, so I wanted to lay out the implementation path that he took.
- Using the Jetpack client importer, he moved his list of clients from spreadsheets into Jetpack (time commitment: Approx. 1-3 hours)
- He built out his workflow templates and began testing “assigning” work to clients (1-2 days)
- He invited his team on the platform to judge it’s usability, and to edit any existing templates (3-5 days)
And this was before we rolled out a complimentary “Done For You” program, which can dramatically reduce your time involvement, and we can jump straight to part 3.
Want to test drive Jetpack and see if it’s a good fit for your firm?
You can start a full 14 Day trial here: https://jetpackworkflow.com/freetrial