31st March, 2021
Efficient client tax processes are unlocking benefits for Vonder Accountants and its clients, as the team can offer more valued advice for the right price.
Bill Vonder worked for Inland Revenue for 30 years before going independent in a move to help small businesses get better tax advice.
That’s when, in 2008, Vonder Accountants Ltd was born.
“We went from no clients to having our first 50 in March of 2009, and it steadily increased from there — reaching about 400 within the first five years,” he recently told The Pulse.
“We’ve managed to scale at a rate of 20-30 percent each year since then, working with a wide variety of clients from Mum and Dad small rentals , all the trades through to large property developers.”
Today, Vonder Accountants are represented by a team of five, full-time employees, many of them with at least eight years with the company.
“Our success relies partly on our past experiences, but also in our ‘first mover’ attitude when it comes to new technologies and ways of doing things,” he explained. “We have so much experience in the use of tech that we even started a business to help train others with it.”
Due to its wealth of industry experience shared among staff, Vonder Accountants has a breadth and depth of insight into the field of tax compliance, which is used to help clients. But, rather than diversifying the offering into other accounting services, Bill’s firm delivers more services within the taxation category.
“In that sense, we’re a boutique tax accountancy,” said Vonder. “In a big firm, you’ll have a separate tax unit, and that means higher fees for clients.
“The clients I work with can’t afford to pay $500 per hour for decent tax advice.”
So how can Vonder Accountants offer great tax advice for a better price?
The answer’s simple: efficient tax compliance workflows that get the grunt work out of the way. In reality, there’s a lot that goes on to make that happen — particularly in a space complicated by legislation and a wide variety of tech options.
“That’s one of our main reasons for taking on new products like MYOB Practice Tax,” he explained. “New developments in the platform will make it even easier for us to process compliance-related work.”
MYOB Practice Tax is an upgrade that brings MYOB solutions like Accountants Office and Accountants Enterprise up-to-date with Inland Revenue’s tax filing gateway, allowing the lodgement of tax returns from within MYOB software and further streamlining workflows.
Bill Vonder and his team are used to putting in the time required to keep clients happy while also staying ahead of the curve when it comes to technology — he estimates Vonder Accountants has about a 30 percent charge out rate — but recent updates including MYOB Practice Tax indicates the best is yet to come.
Previously, Vonder Accountants had a fairly hefty process for client tax that would require multiple file downloads and uploads, but since the introduction of General Ledger to MYOB Client Accounting, Vonder said their workflows have taken a quantum leap in efficiency gains.
“Since MYOB introduced the new General Ledger, it’s just taken over.
“It’s given us at least a 20 percent time saving across those client accounts at tax time,” he said.
“As a matter of fact, a job I did recently that would have taken two hours only took half the time, a huge saving that will only increase as we really find out what the new technology can do.
“When you add in the switch from E-File to the new IR gateway, recent updates and improvements to MYOB’s Client Accounting offering has allowed us to stay out in front of the workload.
“We now find that the system, once set up, will save time for the 2021 year with a lot of the required information being migrated from 2020 to the 2021 tax returns.
“That will free up additional time for more of the advisory work with clients.”
The team at Vonder Accountants have also been starting to see the potential of MYOB Tax Manager, which allows advisors to see how much a given client owes in tax, file a return and more, all in the one place.
“Tax Manager has a lot of potential to simplify our ability to check a client’s tax position at-a-glance,” said Vonder.
While Bill is quick to applaud the efforts and experience of his staff and partners, it’s clear his attitude and theirs align when it comes to digital enablement.
And 2020 presents the perfect case example, where Bill found Vonder Accountants faced with pandemic lockdowns.
“We’ve always been able to work from home, so with the pandemic coming through it was just a case of guaranteeing access to systems at home.
“All the changes; understanding and communicating any claims or subsidies, communicating regularly with clients and creating a meaningful staff training schedule and one-on-one staff meetings — we were already pretty much set up from the off.”
It’s little wonder then that Bill is an enthusiastic advocate of engaging with early adopter programs, such as those offered by MYOB.
“Being an early adopter meant we had access to the new General Ledger since July last year, which has in turn allowed a more seamless flow of data between Accountants Office, AccountRight and Essentials.”
And with an increasing number of features now available online, accountants now have more flexibility than ever before.
“There’s a huge benefit in having the products online as we can work remotely without being chained to the desktop. In these changing days it has been a blessing.
“Over COVID-19 we were able to work remotely while maintaining the all-important bubble at no loss to our client relationships.”
Even better, enabling accountants to work on their clients files remote also creates more opportunities for value-added services.
“We’ve been embracing the tech and that means we have more enhancements, more of a relationship with the tech developers and more time to work on advising our valued clients.”
Does your practice use MYOB Accountants Office or Accountants Enterprise? If so, chances are you already have upgraded MYOB Practice Tax. If not, contact your sales specialist to book an upgrade ASAP.