Over the past 18 months, Cornerstone Group Australasia Pty Ltd has gone through a significant amount of change. The business is now 8 years old, things that worked well 8 years ago were due for review to make sure we operating at 'best practice'. We have reviewed every piece of software that we use to ensure that it is the best in it's class, we have reviewed every process to ensure that it is both efficient and effective; we have assessed every team member for skills and competency and their passion to help the businesses that we work with.
The next step in this process of change is the name. The name Cornerstone Group Australasia says nothing about what we do (and the URL on our email is ridiculously long), so we have come up with the name iKeep.
We will formally be changing the business name on the 31st October 2019. Our ABN, and all other company details are remaining the same.
It can be viewed as a play on words: "I keep your books and records up to date", "I keep you compliant", or it can be viewed as a statement of what we do iKeep is short for "I do bookkeeping".
Our new icon has been designed to be a folded receipt, in the shape of a 'K'. You'll see this across our social media platforms and other locations where a square icon is appropriate to be displayed.
What's important in this journey of change is the lessons that we have learned along the way...
Understanding what matters to our customers
Our customers want a bookkeeper they can trust. Trust in our industry means that you can expect to be chased when a deadline is approaching, trust that transactions are recorded correctly, and financial reports that can be used to make decisions on.
Measure what matters
We needed to figure out what the key metrics for success were in our business. What were the things that we needed to do that would ensure our customers were always happy and our business was running smoothly. Some of the metrics we identified were:
% On-Time Lodgements. We have regular lodgement deadlines with BAS, IAS. Whilst there are a few of our customers that are hard to contact, for the most part we have control over this metric, and it's an important one. We can't lodge unless bank reconciliations are up to date and we are confident that the numbers in the reports are correct.
% Management Reports out by the 15th. Some of our clients have quarterly BAS lodgements - but it's our philosophy that management accounts should be circulated by the 15th of each month. Yes, we believe in the real-time dashboards in Xero, and all of our clients have their Receivables and Payables records updated daily, but the rigorous month end process is still necessary to ensure that all the accounts are showing the right numbers.
A sub-set of the above is being able to report on which of our customers have received their management report. Previously, the business was setup to use Asana for task management and this sort of report was not available. We made the move to KarbonHQ and this level of reporting is available at our finger-tips, and LIVE!
Figuring out how to deliver consistent quality product is fundamental in what we do. Quality of work has a large affect on reputation, which is directly correlated to our growth. Here are some insights that we learned along the way...
Automate anything that is repetitive. Most businesses have regular transactions every month, whether is rent, the phone bill, wages - all of these transactions should have a rule setup that codes them to the same account, with the same GST treatment every single month so that it takes no time to process.
Monthly two-step reviews. Before any reports are sent to our customers, they go through our two-step review process. This includes a peer review, because it's handy to have a fresh set of eyes review the work that you've been closely involved in, as well as a managerial review for the high-level assessment of "does this look right?"
If you have any questions about the change, don't hesitate to reach out and speak with us.