Roger Eddowes founded Essendon Accounts & Tax with the ambition to offer personalised accountancy services that went beyond traditional duties: “We wanted to form an accountancy practice that went the extra mile. Meaning, we wanted to be accountants that provided a service that extended past the typical compliance responsibilities, to work with our customers to help them make strategic business decisions.”
Roger gives us an insight into how a long-lasting partnership with Xledger has enabled Essendon to be a “trusted advisor” to their clients and how the software has helped to grow the business.
Initially, Essendon’s sweet spot was looking after family businesses, couples, and individuals, but they wanted to grow the firm by servicing bigger, more profitable clients. As larger clients have more complex requirements such as real-time reporting and superior insight and control, Essendon needed advanced mid-market software behind them to attract and subsequently support them.
Roger first met Xledger 10 years ago and has been in partnership ever since. He explained, “We were introduced by Xledger to a Scandinavian client who was setting up an entity in the UK. We created good relationships with our first Xledger clients, and the word has just spread!”
- Scalable, mid-market accounting software to support business growth
- Real-time reporting for live, multidimensional insights into clients’ financial position
- Complete visibility over workflows and approvals to provide customers with full control over data
- Common configuration across multiple clients for fast and cost-effective onboarding
- Automation of repetitive tasks to enable high volume management
Why was Xledger the right fit? Roger Eddowes, Director, Essendon Accounts & Tax
“Mid-market organisations need sophisticated insight into their financial position and control over their finances, and small enterprise packages can’t facilitate this. We knew that we needed a system that could cater to these clients if we wanted to achieve our growth plans.
The role of an accountant sitting in a corner with a pen, paper and calculator has been overtaken by the likes of Xledger software. The profession has got to change – so if firms like us can be ahead of the curve and provide advanced services now, then we’re at a real advantage.
What stood out to us initially at Xledger was that the consultants and support team are all qualified accountants, so they understood our unique challenges from the outset. Xledger are great at creating a relationship with partners, very proactive and supportive. We know we can call Xledger up whenever we need to. And we maintain a personal relationship over the years.”
Since providing the Xledger software as a service, Essendon’s offering has evolved to support more complex clients with their staple personalised approach. Roger said, “We really like the reporting functionalities in Xledger. The live, multidimensional reports give our clients full visibility of where they are. Xledger enables us to report by capita group, or geographical area, so we can identify what area of our client’s business is making the most profit.”
He added, “Our clients need to know what their cash flow is looking like to understand if they can afford to embark on new projects. Xledger provides our clients with accurate financial information in real-time to support informed financial decisions. Our clients can then walk into a bank, lay out the parameters of the proposed project and explain what financial support they will need to tie them over.”
Furthermore, Xledger has helped Essendon achieve its growth plans. As Roger explained, “What is great about Xledger is the common configuration we can use across multiple clients. Unlike traditional accounting software, where each client must be set up as an individual instance in the software, Xledger has an in-system hierarchical entity structure, enabling us to leverage economies of scale. This means we can onboard clients much faster keeping costs down while producing happy clients, as the system is there and ready for them to use in a timely fashion.”
As Roger summed up, “Xledger’s automation and common configuration allow us to manage more clients with the same resource. Our accountants can service twice the number of clients with the same overheads. It’s a truly scalable platform.”
The impact of COVID-19
The acceleration of digital adoption during the pandemic is widely acknowledged. 97% of accountants who responded to a CIMA poll in autumn 2020 said COVID-19 sped up digital transformation in their organisations, firms, and small businesses. This trend has likewise been on Roger’s radar, and as he sees it, “Covid has exposed people who have weak systems and are not getting the right information.”
He continued, “I’ve heard of people trundling on for years quite happily, always making a profit, without a cash flow forecast because there’s always been plenty of money in the bank. Now, Covid has exposed them, but people haven’t got the systems in place to provide the answers needed to react – they just have a nasty feeling that they’re going to run out of cash.” More than ever, clients need modern finance software at their disposal to understand the numbers.
How has Xledger improved your business? Roger Eddowes, Director, Essendon Accounts & Tax
“Xledger allows us to provide higher-value services to clients. With true-cloud technology behind us, the financial information is there, and we can remodel things at the press of a button all the time.
Xledger allows us to take a step forward as accountants where we can analyse the information and turn this into advice. Essentially, Xledger has helped us achieve our goal of being a trusted advisor to our clients who is there on the other end of the phone. When one of our clients called us their ‘Business Godparent’, it just stuck!
Not to mention that our work on Xledger is more lucrative. We can charge our Xledger clients more because of the superior financial information and premium service we can provide. From a business point of view, we always like to have more Xledger clients!”