From XU Magazine, 
Issue 25

Taking control of your receivables when cash flow matters most

Learn how Jeffery Davidson & Associates dropped receivables by 80% and saved 30 hours per month with Practice Ignition

When Jeffery Davidson approached Practice Ignition, he was desperate for a solution that would “give his team their lives back.” Administrative tasks were killing the firm’s billable hours, and stealing time from team members who should have been focusing on client work or attracting and closing new leads.

Jeffery Davidson & Associates CPA, helps business owners, executives, and independent professionals in the agribusiness, construction, and energy sectors with a wide range of business, tax, and individual services.

The Challenge

Losing billable hours to administrative tasks

When Jeffery Davidson approached Practice Ignition, he was desperate for a solution that would “give his team their lives back.”

Administrative tasks were killing the firm’s billable hours, and stealing time from team members who should have been focusing on client work or attracting and closing new leads. The most egregious included...

Labor-intensive onboarding. Every engagement letter needed to be built from scratch in Word—a tedious and time-consuming process.

Lack of standardized rates. They billed by the hour on a bi-monthly schedule but lacked clear “rules of engagement.” Sometimes, they didn’t realize that engagements were unprofitable until they tallied up their hours during invoicing.

Cumbersome billing process. Manual billing was admin-intensive and took days. Even after invoices were sent the team would spend extra hours fielding questions (15–20 every month).

Jeff needed a change that would save time, reduce administrative headaches, and ultimately improve his business’s cash flow.

“The administrative burden of invoicing clients on an hourly basis was becoming very difficult. It would take literally four to five days. My billable time was suffering; it felt like I was spending more time on admin work than on meaningful billable work for my clients.”

“My only goal was to automate the billing. The return I got was far greater than I expected. Nobody manages engagement proposals better, or integrates with Xero as seamlessly.”

The Solution

Hassle-free engagement & billing processes

Jeff implemented Practice Ignition alongside Xero Practice Manager to improve his firm’s workflows. Getting up and running was “painless,” he says, thanks to the support and resources provided by both solutions.

He immediately noticed the difference.

Practice Ignition’s team helped him set up customized template proposals for new clients—and just like that, the engagement process that used to take hours for each new client could now be accomplished within minutes.

Proposals and engagement letters clearly lay out the terms of service. When a new client signs, they know exactly what they’re getting. This inspired Jeff to switch to fixed fees, which are easier for clients to understand and clearly delineate responsibilities for him and his team.

Better yet, Practice Ignition integrates with Xero to create a seamless end-to-end workflow. When clients sign a proposal in Practice Ignition, billing is entirely automated. If Jeff ever needs to add a service or adjust a proposal, those changes are automatically reflected in invoices.

“I was impressed with Practice Ignition’s ability to help us standardize and quickly assemble engagement letters. That led to us introducing fixed-fee billing, which sounded like an incredible idea compared to the nightmare I was going through every month.”

The Result

Improved cash flow & 30+ hours saved/month

Before Practice Ignition, it took two to three hours to create a single engagement letter. With Practice Ignition, it takes five minutes.

He’s now created over 700 engagement letters in Practice Ignition. With Xero giving him more visibility into fees, hours, and services provided, he generated a profitability report in order to ensure appropriate pricing.

Best of all, replacing the manual billing process with an automated system saves his team 30–40 hours every month. They’re no longer agonizing over time sheet inaccuracies or fielding endless phone calls; in fact, calls about billing have been “almost 100% eliminated,” Jeff says.

Even the firm’s cash flow has improved. With clients paying monthly through Practice Ignition, most invoices are now paid within two days instead of the 15 (or sometimes 30+) days it used to take. As a result, aged receivables have dropped by a stunning 80%.

“My clients love it. It’s made my services predictable. Walking into an engagement, they know how much it’s going to cost to get a return prepared or a compilation done.”


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