Firm of the Future Profile: Moore Details Bookkeeping
This is the second in a series of profiles on the 2016 Firm of the Future finalists.
Danielle Ernst: Congratulations on being among the top four global finalists in the Firm of the Future contest! Tell us a bit more about yourself.
Jennifer Moore: I’m Jennifer Moore of Moore Details Bookkeeping, based in Ontario, Canada. We’ve been in business for 10 years and we run a virtual practice, meaning we don’t have employees that sit beside us. We have virtual team members throughout Canada.
DE: What makes your firm a Firm of the Future?
JM: First, we’re completely virtual, and second, we’re completely paperless. Clients do not send us paper and we don’t pick up paper – we deal with everything electronically. We also use solutions, such as GoToMeeting or Skype, to meet with our clients. We don’t typically go to them – we offer whatever works for them virtually.
DE: Given that you’re completely virtual and paperless, what’s your best advice about getting online today and adopting online technologies?
JM: Definitely, take it one step at a time. You can go in with both feet if you want, but just take one QuickBooks Online migration at a time, whether it’s your own company file, a demo file or a smaller company’s file. And, then take it one application at a time, solving for the most major pain points across your clientele.
DE: Speaking of apps, which apps do you use for your firm?
JM: We tend to work on apps collaboratively. We involve our clients in their bookkeeping story, so we work on collaborative apps together. If we’re using Hubdoc, we’re using it with our client, and the same is true for apps like Wagepoint, TSheets and Plooto (the Canadian version of Bill.com). It depends on what works for the client, and what they can understand.
DE: You’ve never met your assistant Tamara Riddell face to face. How do you ensure communication flows effectively?
JM: Since we are completely virtual, we use tools to help us any way we can. We can connect anytime from anywhere, using solutions such as Skype, Slack or GoToMeeting. The cloud gives us that freedom that we need to work in the way we want to work.
DE: Using QuickBooks Online has helped you provide what your clients want most: feedback. Tell us, how has being 100% cloud-based made you a trusted advisor to your clients?
JM: Being flexible has allowed us to be confident. Once you feel confident that you know your value, you can provide the best services for your clients.
DE: Tell us about Moore Details’ unique client vetting and onboarding process, and how this helps ensure they’re a good fit for your firm and vice versa.
JM: We focus on our ideal client and our workflow, and our vetting process is quite stringent. In my opinion, bookkeeping is a relationship like a marriage and it has to work collaboratively. When somebody comes to me, they are directed to my prospecting CRM. They have to fill out a brief lead form, and I do this to ensure they know I am a cloud accounting professional right off the bat. Then, they are given a longer questionnaire, and if they fill it out, I know they are cloud-minded and committed. We then arrange for a free one-hour consult to review the questionnaire. We have three different engagement scopes to determine if a client is the right fit for us.
DE: How do you use the ProAdvisor program, or social media channels, to connect with prospects and current clients?
JM: I would say they all work in harmony. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are my go to social media platforms, but if you really want to understand my personality, go to my blog. Leveraging all of those platforms is a way for me to leave breadcrumbs to eventually get referrals and grow my business.
DE: For accounting firms not yet using the ProAdvisor program or social media, what would your advice be for them to take that first step?
JM: I would say to get started with one platform. I would start with LinkedIn and really make it pop. When you’re ready for more open communication with people, start a Facebook group or page. Also, my advice is to use your Twitter handle like a business card – it is a great introductory tool.
DE: What future invention are you most looking forward to?
JM: I’m looking forward to a point of sale system up here in Canada. We don’t have Vend or Revel. Outside of accounting, I need something that automatically cleans my house so I can focus on my business!
DE: Any favorite client stories worth sharing?
JM: I have a story about a legacy client and moving them to the cloud. I work with a company, a long-standing client who makes log homes by hand. They were so old school. I would go to their office and work with them, and I would get frustrated using old solutions. I would urge them to start using QuickBooks Online because their idea of back up was keeping a memory stick in the back of their computer in their log home that contained flammable materials. Long story short, one day I got a call that their office burnt down – the computer and memory stick were melted. They were lucky that they were able to get back-up files off their charred hard drive. I took the electronic file and in one week got them on QuickBooks Online – they were up and running within the week. Now, they’re completely secure and I no longer nag them!
DE: What advice would you give to a firm trying to transition from their old ways to become a Firm of the Future?
JM: You have your old workflows and your old platform, but if you’re in the mindset to move in a different direction, it is a challenge. You need to explain the vision to your team and company, and explain where the industry is going. In order to stay relevant, you need to change. We’re not all driving around in horse and buggies anymore!