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“Once clients realised just how much time they saved, it was easy to encourage them to make the move to BankLink.”

07 June 2011

Accounting practice Sa & Birk were achieving dramatic efficiency gains from moving clients onto The BankLink Service. For the gains to continue, they needed to convince clients who had already invested in an electronic cashbook to make the switch to BankLink. No one likes change – but Sa & Birk had a plan.

Partner Satvir Birk says that after two years of using The BankLink Service, the efficiency gains his practice have made are easily quantifiable.

"For each client we have on BankLink, we save four to five hours per year. We used to assign three accountants to every 100 business clients. Now one accountant can comfortably handle those 100 clients. But our fees have stayed constant."

The working environment has also improved considerably.

"We're not stressed at the end of the year anymore," Satvir says. "Because we're doing the work on a monthly basis, there's no drama. We lodged all our company returns before Christmas last year, and we'll do the same this year."

The key to the efficiency gains was convincing change-resistant clients to switch to The BankLink Service.

"We decided we would offer BankLink for free to high-transaction clients using electronic cashbooks," Satvir explains. "We told them we were doing an experiment, and we kept printing out their general ledger as normal. After three months BankLink had memorised the codes for pretty much all their transactions. That gave us a silver bullet for getting them to change."

"The proof is in the pudding. We sent clients their completed financial statements before they had even entered any data like they normally would. Once clients realised just how much time they saved, it was easy to encourage them to make the move to BankLink."

The free trial period was well worth it for Sa & Birk.

"For clients who switch to BankLink, we reduce our input costs by 60 percent. And we don't lose any clients who sign onto BankLink. A doctor doesn't want to hire a bookkeeper, and a plasterer doesn't want to do his own data entry – they don't want to go back to the bad old days. Now everybody wins."

In addition to the savings that Sa & Birk have made with existing clients, Satvir says that the practice has been able to tap into new business opportunities.

"Our time has been freed up. BankLink Practice produces financial reports each month with just a few clicks – that's been great for our planning division. We've also expanded our work on payroll issues and provide financial advice."

Results

  • Switched 80 percent of clients over to The BankLink Service
  • Four to five hours saved per client per year
  • Input costs per client reduced by 60 percent
  • Decreased turnaround time by five weeks
  • Almost all transactions are automatically coded after three months
  • Receiving transaction data monthly: smoothes workload and reduces stress
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