Clarity Street is a Melbourne-based cloud integrator. The team has extensive experience working in the accounting industry, and today consults with accounting firms and other clients to deliver end-to-end business transformations utilising cloud-based tech. Here, they’ve shared their insights on the value of using a cloud integrator with tools like AccountKit and Xero Practice Manager (XPM) to drive better outcomes for accounting firms.
For a lot of businesses, cloud integration lives in the too-hard basket because of concerns about moving on from legacy systems, retraining staff and a myriad of other perceived roadblocks. Despite predictions that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020, resistance to change still exists.
The reality is that many businesses have had poor experiences with failed “integration” efforts or just don’t see the value of moving to the cloud. That’s why, at Clarity Street, we take a holistic approach to managing the end-to-end client lifecycle, rather than simply applying cloud-based software as a band-aid fix and hoping for the best.
What’s involved in an end-to-end business transformation?
The term “cloud integrator” means different things to different businesses, but for us, it’s about helping our clients achieve operational excellence and deliver better service to their own clients.
With that in mind, we start by working with each business one on one to get to know their current workflows and identify their pain points. Common issues include:
Systems that don’t talk to each other
Processes that are inefficient and/or ineffective
Systems with outdated or inadequate functionality
Disconnects between teams
Once we understand the core issues at hand, we design a cloud-based solution that works within a broader business ecosystem. That means:
Providing support with implementation
Designing streamlined and efficient workflows
Providing ongoing training to ensure our solution works in practice
Change management isn’t always easy, nor is it instant, which is why we’re there to work through teething issues with people and processes, and make sure the “client lifecycle” is genuinely complete. Our goal is to ensure our clients have the right tools and systems in place to be agile, save time and work smarter.
Case in point: AccountKit & Xero Practice Manager
The accounting industry has seen a huge transformation in recent years thanks to the advent of cloud-based solutions like Xero and XPM. As cloud integrators with a background in the accounting industry, we’re constantly singing the praises of the Xero ecosystem to our accounting clients because it provides a single source of truth for data, and an open API that enables custom integrations to suit differing needs.
AccountKit is a brilliant example of a cloud-based solution that integrates beautifully with XPM to make accountants’ lives easier. What makes AccountKit great is it connects into the Xero ecosystem and extends upon XPM’s capabilities to help businesses better manage client groups and correspondence, alongside finance, loan, and super tools designed to automate admin tasks.
XPM and AccountKit working together hits the nail on the head for successful cloud integration – saving time by automating repetitive tasks, ensuring accuracy thanks to centralised data, providing more flexibility, and, ultimately, enabling accounting firms to provide exceptional service to clients. And that’s what cloud integration should be all about: making people’s lives easier while driving better business outcomes.