Hogg Lawson is a vibrant and progressive accounting firm based in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Established in 1954, the firm offers a wide range of accounting and advisory services, with a unique focus on business software solutions.
We sat down with Alex Steele, one of the firm’s three directors, to talk tech, tech and more tech.
We were using another industry standard practice and document management system across the firm and had been for many years. It had a lot of the basic functionality we needed but we were finding more and more frustrations that annoyed us enough to start looking at other options.
We found the reporting to be cumbersome and difficult to get exactly the information we needed to run the business. As a consequence, we wrote a number of reports in-house to give us the information we wanted. The month end billing process was overly complicated and a significant time consumer for our admin team.
We recently went through the process of moving to WorkflowMax and integrated this with our current HowNow document management system.
There were a number of reasons for changing our Practice Management system but, “creating invoices in WorkflowMax is a damn sight easier and quicker than it was in the previous system.”
Ultimately however, we didn’t like paying for software that was inefficient and frustrating. As Xero Silver Partners, we have access to WorkflowMax for free. Once we had checked out the features and compared them to what we currently had, it was a ‘no-brainer’ to move to WorkflowMax.
We do have some issues with the reporting available in WorkflowMax and again we have written our own reports. It is my understanding that WorkflowMax is currently reviewing their reporting module.
From a client database point of view, there is no change for us. Our practice management system is always our ‘single point of truth’ and HowNow integrates perfectly with WorkflowMax. When we enter a new client into WorkflowMax or update an existing one, the changes flow automatically into HowNow.
This factor was also a major consideration for us in moving to WorkflowMax. We would get rid of a lot of software but we are unlikely to ever move from HowNow.
We also use “Jobs” and when a new job is set up in WorkflowMax, the job is automatically created in HowNow with the same job number. This was critical as we run a paperless office and want all workpapers and relevant correspondence linked to the appropriate job.
The Business Fitness team were very helpful in ensuring that the integration worked smoothly and with no worries.
There are many, many benefits to using the HowNow Document Management system, but I will focus on three;
1. The speed of the HowNow
The ability to find anything I need in HowNow is amazing. You can search in many different ways and it is always fast.
2. The ability to incorporate critical content, checklists and workpapers is vital.
We use a combination of HowNow content and our own and it works perfectly, every time.
3. Email integration at the click of a button means an end to the Outlook silo on each computer.
Knowledge is shared far easier and collaboration just happens.
We also run a Citrix terminal server, so when working remotely we simply log in and have the same access as if we were in the office, whether this is from a desktop or tablet device.
We’re quite literally living the anywhere, anytime, any device tech dream.
We run a paperless office at Hogg Lawson and have done so for some time. There are no physical client files, documents or workpapers stored in our office. This would not have been possible without HowNow. It’s impossible to achieve a paperless office without a great document management system.