Advisory Firm Drives Efficiency for Clients with FUTRLI’s White Labelling
Posted on 11th July 2017 in Customer Stories
Written by Freya Hughes
Blu Sky Chartered Accountants promise their clients a ‘no-jargon’ guarantee: “We are a people business, not a numbers business”. This is a firm who understands that every business is different, and aims to help each and every client succeed. We spoke to Sam Wood, Lead Client Account Manager, to find out why they partnered with FUTRLI and how they have completely transformed their client offering (and retention stats) by adding value as advisors and looking to the future.
Blu Sky was one of the first Xero partners in the UK and they’ve stayed ahead of the game ever since. Now with platinum status, they are obsessed with driving efficiency for their clients – whether than means helping with workflow, process, coaching or forecasting. “We need to help ambitious clients grow and succeed so there is no time for outdated software that works against those goals. We are a cloud-based practice because that is right for us and our clients. What’s exciting is the value that can be unlocked from having data in the cloud. Clients are not running their business by looking backwards so we can’t stop there either, we must help them learn from the past, react to risk or success today and plan a better future,” said Sam.
“FUTRLI is everything we wanted to do but we didn’t want to invest in building it ourselves. We need to focus on being better advisors, we’re not software engineers.”
Tell us why you’ve white labelled our platform?
As advisors we found pushing software packages to clients simply didn’t work. They care about their business and getting the right information at the right time. FUTRLI really excited us, it was a platform that we could make our own – it’s everything we wanted to do but we didn’t want to invest in building it ourselves. We need to focus on being better advisors, not software engineers.
We’re strive to stay ahead of the curve so partnering with FUTRLI is helping us to maintain our brand goal – to lead with innovation.We can focus on selling services that clients really need, all packaged up in the Blu Sky branding, which has been really beneficial for us. FUTRLI is the hub and it takes centre stage because it ties all of our services (and client conversations) together. However, it’s at the forefront of our client relationship but totally in the background because it is delivered in our branding – clients trust it more. It removes a barrier to shifting the conversation from the past to the present.
Has it helped you with customer retention?
Being a cloud advisor is no longer a USP for a firm, clients are looking for more. What makes us different? FUTRLI makes us unique because the software is branded as us and how we get the most of that platform is 100% down to us. It’s already helping our customer retention. Firstly, we are offering more than other accountants in the market – when we say we are proactive, we can back it up. Our clients also trust the information they see and that has had a knock on effect building our brand recognition and loyalty – they are logging into the platform so frequently and receiving emails from us telling them what is happening in their business – FUTRLI allows us to leave an impression and keep our brand, front and centre.
Has it had an impact on your team?
Yes and it’s predominantly changed the outlook of our team juniors as our old system had the partners or senior staff handling all of our advisory services. However, a brilliant benefit of the standardisation of our systems, and the training and support offered by the FUTRLI team, means that they can now get involved in the advisory work, such as producing a forecast for a client. FUTRLI allows our team to work in unity now and it really shows when we analyse how the firm is performing. White labelling the product has revolutionised the way we operate, as everything is cohesive and it has our name on it. We’re proud of the way it looks and love using it.
The whole team are now so eager to sell forecasting to clients because they understand the value of it for businesses across the board, not just larger companies.
How is this helping you lead the change in the business/accountant relationship in the UK?
White labelling means we’re delivering a service which no one else has. We’ve branded the platform “Blu Prints” and that is 100% ours. It’s changed the way both clients, but really importantly, our team view our business and what we can deliver. Our clients always look so impressed when they see how we present their data and our staff understand the importance of the move we’ve made to focus on delivering the best advice.
How have you positioned Blu Prints to new and existing clients?
We ensured the marketing backed up the great things we’ve already achieved, creating a running theme through that and this extension. We see it – and hope our clients see it – as an evolution of the services we already provide. Blu Prints is at to the forefront of our firm’s priority list. Initially, we launched it with a five-day email campaign through Mailchimp. As that’s all trackable, we’ve been able to gauge the response quite effectively and clients then got in touch to ask questions which was great.
Where do you predict the industry will be in 3 years time?
I think cloud accounting will be the norm. What’s going to make firms stand out is where they align themselves. Choosing software that suits your team and your business is vital. Look to create strategic partnerships with your key software providers and work closely together to get the most out of them. In a world of change, clients need to be guided through the changing accounting landscape by an advisor confident of their own offering with strong software partners behind them.
Blu Sky Co-Founder Jon Dudgeon discusses the benefits of cloud-based accounting