How to Raise Efficiency in Your Firm with Dashboard Alerts

Posted on 26th September 2017 in Advisory

Written by Freya Hughes

Not everyone is the type to rise at the crack of dawn without the need for an alarm clock. Just as many of us are able to conveniently forget just how much cash we need to be saving, and not spending on yet another takeout dinner or lunch. While we’re not promising to get you up in the morning, we have introduced our alerts feature’s new integration with Xero HQ, so you’ll know if you’re ever about to run out of cash, or if you simply need to slow down the spending.

Efficiency is essential when you’re looking to perfect your advisory services. The automation of services which previously took up hours per day means you’ve freed up a lot of extra time already, but what if you could streamline your day and connect with your clients even further?

Shave minutes from each task

Your forecasting prowess has been wowing your clients for some time now, but having to check in with each account to ensure your clients are staying on track is fairly time-consuming. It would make much more sense to simply check your clients’ accounts when you need to, rather than as part of some kind of forecasting round robin, so with you in mind we have fully integrated our alerts notifications with Xero – and now Xero HQ too.

This is a sample image of our alerts dashboard. You can send alerts to your inbox or, our latest integration, direct into Xero HQ. As you can see, you can program it to give you the heads up when any of your organisations are nearing a limit. You can monitor your clients’ businesses without lifting a finger!

An app designed to unlock data and display it clearly, Xero HQ is a game changer in the industry. It brings you the finest tools on the market to manage your clients’ data, so as you can imagine we jumped at the chance to integrate with this exclusive platform. As the Xero team put it:

“Xero HQ’s vision of providing a one-stop hub for your accounting practice. Our Xero partners told us that these are the Xero HQ apps they already use in their practice, and having them integrate directly into Xero HQ really empowers our Xero partners to provide superior client services. It also makes the lives of accountants and bookkeepers much more efficient. Xero partners who use solutions like these have seen huge success in providing a sustainable practice in this new age of accounting.”

Saving precious time digging through historical data, this new platform allows you to do a whole lot, a whole lot faster. Centred around choice and collaboration, the aim here is to help you run your firm (and your clients’ businesses) the way that suits you without any limitations. Working alongside the best of the Xero Practice App Partners, connecting to Xero HQ will provide an integrated ecosystem of tools for the accounting and bookkeeping industry.

We aim to get as much feedback for you as we can, so take it from James Solomons, MD of Aptus Accounting & Advisory (Head of Accounting for Xero):

“If a client is moving into a red zone with cash flow we are alerted as it happens and can address the issue before it gets critical. We can react and that was simply impossible before. You’d find out at the end of a month or quarter when it was too late.”

 

Cause for alarm?

One of our aims when setting up the FUTRLI platform was to be able to monitor business activity 24/7. We understand that every business is unique and while some operate 9-5, others are buzzing all night across the world. With this in mind, we have worked hard to ensure our alerts system works constantly to let you know when various things happen.

As you can see from this screen grab, FUTRLI will show you which areas might need a bit of TLC. The colours in this example represent Safe, Warning and Attention (meaning you need to act, fast!).

Here’s a brief intro to the handy alerts you can use:

  • Set warning thresholds: get notified before alerts trigger with warning thresholds which inform when a limit or target is close to occurring.

This is going to save you from ever worrying about your/your clients’ cash position again. It’s as simple as editing your settings to let you know when you’re approaching a certain amount of money in your bank account, and will prevent you from overspending. For the more frivolous amongst us, we’d certainly recommend you use this!

  • KPI alerts: create formula and KPI alerts to stay abreast of changes in key metrics, such as Gross Profit or Wages to Sales.

Key performance indicators are the easiest way to divide up your/your clients’ business into bitesized portions. To care for your business as a whole can be overwhelming and sometimes issues will be overlooked as you’re stretching yourself so thin. If you’re new to these handy metrics, see our beginner’s guide to KPIs, visit the KPI Library and browse our industry-specific KPI lists. Remember: what’s measured is managed.

  • Predictive alerts: combine actual and forecast data to determine whether a trigger would be hit in the future based upon current performance.

This is a really useful tool, as you’re using your actuals and forecast to see where you’ll be down the line. A definite must-use!

Use of the alerts with your clients can be approached in different ways. Personal emails can be programmed to send directly to either you, so you can get in touch with your client and let them know they’re approaching the danger zone, or to your client so they have more independence with their figures. Or, of course, rely on the in-app notifications setting.

Your alerts are now in Xero HQ and much easier to find, and you can also get optional email alerts delivered to as many people as you like. It’s all been designed with the aim of saving you precious time in your day-to-day tasks.

You can build unlimited alerts to monitor changes in your clients’ financial and non-financial data. If you think about that for a minute, you could easily set it up to tell you when there’s a dip in customer satisfaction, which would then impact your clients customer retention. Following that, there could be a dip in sales. Using alerts is a proactive way of keeping your clients’ business safe, preventing situations from actually impacting the company itself.

Setting up an alerts dashboard

Easily manage the setup of alerts for multiple businesses in a clear and concise alerts dashboard. This is going to save you a massive amount of time, and allow you to wave goodbye to those excuses we mentioned earlier (ie your team moaning they don’t have time to keep checking each and every client account for warning thresholds and the like).

We know that sometimes it can be tricky to get a client on board with all the tech you’re using, especially those who are well and truly stuck in their ways. If that’s the case, simply link them up with FUTRLI and they’re ready for alerts. This approach will allow you to go into five clients’ sets of financials, which might take up to 15 minutes at a time. Instead, log each into your dashboard and be up to date in 5 minutes flat. It really is that simple: a single dashboard with your client’s key metrics to monitor, teamed up with alerts will see huge benefits for your clients and your firm alike.

Clients will…

  • Rest assured their business is being monitored as they sleep
  • Know they won’t overspend
  • Trust you and your firm more, because you’re calling to alert them to potential troubles

You and your firm will…

  • Be seen as the number one advisory firm, getting an edge over your competitors with your superior alerts
  • See an increase in referrals: when your clients are happy, more clients will gravitate towards you
  • Save a large amount of time per client, meaning you can focus your attention on strategy and growth.

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