Alexander Sloan wanted to add value for their clients, so they could see future projections of their figures. The firm aims to work in a way that’s best for their clients, so a flexible tool was crucial. They were forced to rely on reports that may be weeks or even months old which didn’t help to show their forward thinking.
The Alexander Sloan team wanted software that would align with their culture and way of working. Futrli provided the antidote to their problem. Focusing on the future, with forecasting and scenario planning, clients were able to digest their data in a way like never before. The team are now saving an unprecedented amount of time on reporting too, so are freed up to be advisors – not just accountants.
The whole team are helping clients deliver their ambitions. Futrli’s flexibility means it’s suitable for each and every business they work with. Clients are amazed at the insights they’re receiving which has helped hugely in retention and referrals. The firm is having fun again, able to form real relationships with their clients and help them achieve success.
Interview in full
For nearly one and a half centuries, Alexander Sloan has offered businesses, individuals and not for profit organisations across Scotland and the UK the very best specialist advisory accountancy services. Based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the firm combines a proud heritage stretching back to 1867 with a keen eye on the future. Always looking to make the most of the latest technical expertise and software tools, Alexander Sloan continually searches for new ways to exceed its clients’ expectations.
“Our culture at Alexander Sloan is very much about empowerment. This goes for our team and, most importantly, the clients that trust us with their business,” says Philip Morrice, Managing Partner at the firm. “Futrli aligns with our culture and how we work. We want our clients to know exactly how their businesses are doing effortlessly today, not yesterday or last month. In fact, it’s got to be on their time frame. Whatever is best for them, even if that means planning five years into the future.”
“Before Futrli, we were forced to rely on reports that may be weeks or even months old which didn’t help to differentiate that we’re forward thinking. We have always strived to provide a better service for clients, it was great before, but Futrli has taken it to another level. It came into our practice in the wave of a magic wand. We knew that clients would love the information it gave them and how easy it was to understand, but, when we calculated the time savings we’d gain in our team, we liked it even more.”
“For us, representing our client as their accountant is about more than making them compliant, adds Philip. “We are their source of the truth. Their advisor. We’re the one looking at their data and helping them to deliver their ambitions. In this business, the industries we work with is so varied, and that’s the fun of it!” states Philip.
“Futrli is the fastest way to certainty in the figures and client satisfaction,” explains Philip. “The numbers have to work for them. It’s about giving the client something tangible and meaningful that helps them run a better business. Futrli solves the issue of gathering data so we can use this time to do what we’re best at, understanding and interpreting the numbers and giving our client the information they need, at various complexity levels. With accurate intelligence, we can make informed decisions, identify trends and give our clients the best service.”
Once the reports are created, the data auto-updates so the team have seen huge time savings from not having to repeat a process every single month. It has also provided clients with direct access to performance dashboards because many of the firm’s clients work remotely or on the go, so having easy access to how they are trending and relevant KPIs in a simple to understand visual format makes business decisions easier and point-in-time when they matter.
“With Futrli it’s a much more open dialogue with our clients,” says Philip. “We have more time to analyse the figures and go to them with our suggestions and ideas.
“Similarly, when clients have access to dashboards that contain the numbers that matter most to them, they come to us with questions and ideas, meaning the bond and relationship between the both of us is stronger than ever and it’s a real two-way conversation.”
Alexander Sloan’s use of Futrli is also a useful differentiator for the firm in a competitive market – helping them to stand out and position themselves as a firm that is able to provide a lot more added value than traditional, non-cloud accountants are able to.
“With Futrli it’s very easy to demonstrate how we add value,” says Philip. “It helps shift the perception many business owners have that accountants are reactive, rather than proactive.
“We are no longer just the bearer of bad news about tax bills or cashflow concerns, we are constantly there helping, advising what the correlation between numbers means and guiding our clients to an outcome that they and the business needs. If you break it down, it’s software, but what it allows us to deliver is far greater, it is a personal experience, and one that drives more loyalty from our existing customers. The relationship is genuinely two-way and rock-solid. It’s a bonus that potential clients are more excited to work with us when they see it.”
Alexander Sloan has made full use of Futrli’s renowned onboarding process. From webinars to conference calls to one-to-one training, Philip’s team have been able to rely on the support they need to quickly become experts.
“Futrli isn’t just some faceless product we’ve had to figure out ourselves,” says Philip. “From day one the team at Futrli has been hugely supportive and helped us quickly become experts.
“We practice what we preach here at Alexander Sloan and use Futrli ourselves on a day-to-day basis. It’s a superb tool that really makes a difference.”