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30 Year Old Firm Moves Away from Spreadsheets for Forecasts and Reports

Posted on 23rd January 2017 in Customer Stories

Written by James Marren

Tom Paine, Director at Perks Integrated Business Services, joined us to talk about how and why Perks, a firm of 30 years experience, are committed to new technologies and supplying clients with innovative and robust financial solutions. He explains how FUTRLI is key in sparking conversations that build closer ties with clients and helping all parties think and act smarter. Perks prove that no matter how long you’ve been doing things a certain way, there’s great value in looking forwards and always being open to new ways of improving how you run your business.

Perks headquarters are in Adelaide, Australia, with several other offices across the country they employ over 130 staff. Perks combine a wealth of accounting expertise, built up over three decades of operation, with a passion for combining cloud accounting and new technologies to supply clients with innovative and robust financial solutions.

Long-term adherents of cloud accounting and expert Xero practitioners, Perks has been using FUTRLI for over two years. Utilising the platform to both improve communication with its clients and provide them with highly valuable and detailed advisory services.

How important is FUTRLI to your business?

“We even thought about building a service like FUTRLI ourselves. That’s how badly we needed it. What FUTRLI has done allows us to present our clients with a more comprehensive snapshot of their business than was ever before possible,” says Tom. “The smart way it integrates with Xero, operates in real-time and includes forecasting at its core, means the way we communicate with our customers has changed forever.”

How else has it helped?

Each month, Tom and his team easily share highly detailed, illustrated management reports that drill down into everything from direct wage performances to the key KPIs clients should be focusing on to boost their performance.

“One of the greatest things about FUTRLI is we’ve been able to move away from Excel,” says Tom. “We used to have to create this info in spreadsheets. This meant heavy-duty data entry and days or weeks of work. On top of that, the potential for things like formula errors was frustratingly high.

“Now we generate a report almost instantly as everything is fed straight from Xero and the formula error risk is removed. FUTRLI makes it easy to turn the figures into attractive and sharp visuals we can present to clients in a language or style they understand. We no longer have to bombard clients with numbers and devote time to simply explaining what the figures are meant to portray. Now it’s obvious and the benefit is that we can spend time brainstorming instead of explaining things.”

What difference does using live data make?

Tom and his team work heavily in the agricultural and hospitality sectors, where seasonal factors have a hugely significant impact on sales or results. Live data is invaluable to help respond to sudden changes or activity in the market.

FUTRLI enables Perks to continuously offer clients in these industries snapshots and overviews of their performance and cashflow status at any moment. Previously, it was based on out of date monthly or quarterly figures which weren’t impactful for the client.

“We are heavy users of the Boards that FUTRLI can create,” explains Tom. “Businesses in the hospitality industry struggle to find the time to carry out an accurate analysis of their finances that would help them make good planning decisions. Using Excel it would be incredibly hard, for example, to measure Wage Cost against sales made or try and identify the root cause of a drop in bookings. Not only can we do that easily in FUTRLI, but we are also doing it with today’s information, not out of date figures from weeks or months prior.”

The key thing we love about FUTRLI 

The ability to easily highlight such critical information and supply clients with highly relevant insights that can trigger a boost sales or growth, has cemented FUTRLI as a fundamental part of Perks’ offering.

“The key thing about FUTRLI,” says Tom. “Is that it constantly sparks conversations with your customers. You need to have a strong relationship with clients to have them trust you and listen to your advice. FUTRLI helps cement those relationships. It builds trust.

“It really does generate a lot of food for thought and helps make us better advisors and, ultimately, our clients become better decision makers. I can honestly say I’ve had nothing but positive feedback about FUTRLI from internal and external parties.”

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