The Australian market is known for being a frontrunner in advisory. Katherine Haines runs a bookkeeping firm in Darwin and knew it was time to add more value to clients or risk being left behind by competitors. She knew it was the best decision for her firm and clients.
After a colleague shared their success with the Futrli platform and certification course, Katherine signed up to see what she could do with it. First piloting Futrli with her firm, she realised just how powerful the platform is. She has made headway with her first few clients and is eager to see how far this can grow.
Clients are very happy with the level of insight and value Katherine is providing. White labelling the platform means there’s no need to introduce clients to Futrli, rather help them see exactly how they’re performing. Certification was a great experience too, as Katherine has refreshed her skills and is ready to keep helping her clients be more successful.
Interview in full
Tell us a bit about KHB Darwin
I started KHB in 2013. My aim is to help small business owners gain control and understanding over their business cash flow. This allows them to focus on what they do best. We’ve niched into the trades and construction market. My husband is a ‘tradie’ [tradesman] and we’ve got loads of tradie mates, it was an easy fit. I’ve grown the practice to four staff, and we’re going stronger than ever. This year we launched nationally, being 100% cloud-based, we’re excited to see what’s going to come our way.
Futrli has allowed me to add another revenue stream into my business and stay ahead of my competition. Futrli is transforming my P&L and cashflow, and the return on my time is exponential. I’m so committed to making this work because I can see the benefits for myself and my clients – it’s perfect for the Darwin market. I’m well ahead of the game and it’s really changed my whole business structure.
What made you move into the advisory space?
I saw an opportunity to move into the advisory space. And I could see a lot of other bookkeeping firms around Australia were taking similar steps. I thought, ‘If I don’t do something about this I’m going to get left behind’.
I’m part of a group called the Revolutionary Firm here in Australia. We’re advisors and business coaches team up to share ideas and news. Someone started talking about Futrli and the certification process, how in-depth and technical they found it. I didn’t even do any other research, I didn’t look at any other advisory packages or software options out there, I just jumped in.
How has Futrli helped you adopt your new way of working?
My account manager has been fantastic, touching base regularly and answering any questions. I have identified some existing clients who I think could benefit from this additional advisory service. Already knowing the intimate ins and outs of our client’s business, makes calculating and interpreting the advisory data easier.
A big part of how I’ve been able to introduce advisory into my business is upskilling staff, so I’ve been able to reallocate 45% of my compliance work. That frees up time for me to be doing advisory, which has a much better return on my time, and it’s a real value-add to our clients.
Are you using Futrli to run your firm too?
Yes, I tested it on myself first! One of the core metrics I measure is day(s) to complete a job. Sending these reports to my staff has really brought everyone into line. Before, I knew when jobs were falling behind but now it’s very visual and I can get the team working more efficiently.
When I found out about white labelling, I was excited to know I would get Futrli in my colours and branding – I was sold!
Tell us about your experience with Futrli Advisory Certification
It was quite intense! I’ve got an accounting degree and started my career as an accountant, so doing certification was a great refresher from my university days. Certification gets you using all of the tools in Futrli. Having real-life example templates and dashboards is great to discover things you didn’t even know existed before. It’s all good making the calculations you need, but interpreting what that’s actually telling us is the challenge.
I got the most value from the Business Insights Dashboards. The cheat sheets in there for KPIs etc. are excellent and I’d love more of them! You can read them and really start interpreting the data in front of you.
How have you introduced clients to advisory?
Leading up to the end of the financial year it was easy. I called a couple of clients and started talking to them about their goals for the next financial year. I wanted to know if they’d thought about where they should be by this time in their business journey, did they have any financial or non-financial goals, were they just winging it? A lot of them are! Everyone was receptive to this new way of working.
I guess I had been one of those bookkeepers who hadn’t actually spoken to their clients in quite a long time. I got caught in the trap of just sending out their P&L at the end of every month. But having these conversations it has really put another spin on it and it makes them remember why they got into business, what they want to get out of business and gives them an option to set some goals. It’s got to be baby steps with wins along the way to achieving those goals.
And how are your clients benefitting from advisory?
Showing clients the software is the last thing I do because advisory is all about the proposition, value and discussion. I use it to backup my conversations with clients. A lot of trade companies like to see how they’re progressing against their sales forecast targets. For example, one might be 80% towards their target with 10 days left of the month – it drives them to achieve. It encourages my clients to invoice that last job or ring around cold calling and get that last job for the month. It’s pushing them harder.
These first few clients have been a total learning curve. What you can do with Futrli is pretty much limitless but you need to create it, invent it, and make it happen. The more I use the platform and the number of different clients I work with will help me become even more knowledgeable and confident with it.
We are using the platform to solve client problems, the metrics provide us with a clear understanding of how the business is performing. We then use this information to relay what’s working and what’s not working to the client. This leads to strategic planning conversations which empower the business owner to achieve their life and business goals.