So I met with an accountant who was a 1.5hr drive away from my town, but they came highly recommended. The services they were offering were twice the cost of my current accountant, but they sounded amazing. So I shook the guy's hand and expected to be able to sign up there and then... but I couldn't.
I still hadn't received a proposal by the time I'd gotten home, by which time I'd spoken to 2 other people who had talked me out of it, which was easy, because I wasn't armed with anything to defend my decision.
I eventually signed up to the firm (but for lower fees and some time later) but explained that I could help them to radically change their entire engagement experience.
You see, I'm not comparing them to other accountants, I'm comparing them to the fact that I can order an Uber on my phone and it's here in minutes, so why the hell should I wait 24 hours for a proposal?
I explained that prospects and clients want this NOW.... otherwise they will judge that you will be slow on delivering the actual service too.
What it does
GoProposal helps accountancy firms to improve their profitability, sign prospects up faster and easily sell more to existing clients.
It does this by allowing the accountant to easily agree fees with their clients, generate the proposal, produce the letter of engagement, get it digitally signed off, generate the invoice which triggers off the payment... IN UNDER 3 MINUTES.
This provides an amazing experience for their clients and staff.
How I built it
We built the technology to do this several years ago using PHP (I think, I'm not the techy one) for a marketing company I owned. When this then met with the My Accountancy Place's pricing methodology for a profitable accountancy firm.... BOOM.... we had ourselves party.
We then turned this into an app which could be rolled out and we're now impacting hundreds of accountancy firms across 6 countries around the world... in just 8 months, without investment, on a boot-string AND..... we;re in profit :)
Challenges I ran into
The main challenge was connecting our app to Xero. This was outside of our skillset and we had to outsource that aspect and the communication between them, ourselves and Xero became drawn out.
Xero were pushing us to deepen our integration with GoProposal in ways we had not considered. This made the whole process much longer, but ultimately led us to having a beautifully integrated and seamless system.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Our product can have accountants signing up new clients on the same day as signing up for our product and to be doubling or quadrupling fees. We also have our own accountancy firm and in the first 9 months of this year, we have used GoProposal to increase our monthly recurring revenue by 50%.
What excites me most about this, is that it means that THEIR clients are getting the value which they desperately need.
The integration with Xero just makes this whole experience better and totally wows clients and staff.
Accountancy firm think that we systemise to provide consistency and scaleability.... which we do, but the ultimate reason to systemise in this way is to provide incredible experiences.... which we do.
What I learned
I learned that you have to be patient and build in much more time into complex integrations like the one we have built..... but that the resulting system you then create is well worth that investment of time and money.
What's next for GoProposal Integration with Xero
The next goal is to look at how we can now educate our clients about best practice. We believe that our product is the best on the market at what it does. We don't want it to be a CRM, or a payment system or to be responsible for generating the invoice each month. We don;t want to encroach on systems which can be done by better than we can ever do it. We want to focus on what were great at and to work with other partners within the ecosystem who are the very best at what they do, to provide the strongest system, which is constantly evolving.