About CP Waites
The firm of C P Waites Chartered Accountants is a technology pioneer in the truest sense of the word. Back in 2015, when mobile Apps were a long way from being mainstream, the practice asked MyFirmsApp to build an App that could be downloaded onto their clients phones so they could access useful tax tables, calculators and important dates. The firm was one of the first in the North East to respond to the growing use of mobile devices and look for a way of keeping their clients up to date with the latest news and useful tools directly from their phones.
The central role the App plays in adding value is visible to anyone looking at the firm’s website. It reads:
‘We wanted to develop a way to keep you up to date with the very latest news, views and tips. As well as providing you with key accounting data, in real time, at your fingertips. The CP Waites App will enable you to calculate the tax on certain company cars or check the amount of tax you might be paying. It will give you the power to check Stamp Duty costs or see how you might increase your profits as a business. You can also browse the library of tax tables, giving you the very latest tax rates 24/7 whenever you need them. From National Insurance and Inheritance tax to Income Tax and Tax Credits – it’s there for you’
News updates are a game-changer
As a long-term user of the App, Nick Waites, Proprietor, has seen the App develop in a number of ways over the course of the last six years but it is the addition of a news channel that he believes is the real game changer. He says it is one of the ‘great pluses’ saving his team both time and resource as they can be confident that clients are receiving a regular flow of news that does not have to be generated in-house. The journalists at MyFirmsApp deliver regular updates directly to their clients through the App, which Nick can follow up on with personal emails that provide a deeper insight into any announced changes.
He said: “This is one of the great pluses the App now offers and which we didn’t have previously. At the start of last year’s lockdown, we were all working stupid hours and we didn’t have either the resource or the time to keep our clients updated with all the changes being announced, on an almost daily basis. Knowing clients would receive these announcements as they happened, helped greatly. I was able to follow up with a ‘deeper’ dive into the matters that would most concern our clients so relieving some of the pressure. It’s a massive plus for anyone in business and for us, it’s a door opener. Clients can hear about changes to the Furlough Scheme, for example, and then ask us questions and it helps to lift engagement.”
Nick makes a point of telling his clients that they could have ‘got the news earlier’ if they had downloaded the App and this up-front approach is proving effective.
Relaunch of App raises number of downloads by 1200%
Nick is honest enough to say that when they first got their App, they didn’t ‘spend enough time on it’ and the connections it generated were limited.
All this changed when the firm went through a relaunch process with the help of their personal Customer Success manager and now c60% of the client base have downloaded it. This is all part of the service that MyFirmsApp offers its customers and for firms like CP Waites that may not have the time to commit to the project, it helps them connect with larger swathes of its customer base.
But the team has no intention of stopping at 60%, they are already looking at the clients who haven’t downloaded it and are now actively encouraging them to engage. When new clients come on board, they are told that it’s all part of the service the firm offers and adding value.
In recent months, Nick has run an evaluation project to check whether there has been any drop off with clients who have downloaded the App and is reassured to see that the numbers are slowly increasing.
When the country went into lockdown in March 2020, Nick and his team took a step back to look at ways of increasing efficiency. Nick explains: “I was conscious that as a firm we weren’t always operating in the most efficient way and it was obvious that the world is going digital. There won’t be a return to old ways that were more labour intensive so I looked at options for Cloud accounting and we have since become a Xero partner. Our App now links to Xero and because it provides a quick point of access, we believe it will help build clients loyalty.”
It’s all about the power of the phone
Nick sees the business world evolving rapidly and believes that the phone will become even more ‘powerful’. He cites the level of storage that is now possible with any standard mobile phone and how the App only adds to that power. “We believe that use of our App adds value to the service we offer. When we pitch to prospects, we always demonstrate the tools that we have available.”
It’s a win-win situation for everyone
Nick is honest enough to say that he doesn’t really want too many other firms in his area to get an App as he feels it is their USP.
He says: “It’s one of those products that is a great selling point for us. But, I would say to maximise its potential, you do need to engage with it as a practice. Put something in and you’ll get something out. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”