Behind the scenes of your app stack
Today, tech is fully integrated into just about everything we do, from how we take and share photographs, to how we listen to music, watch movies, and work. And apps have evolved into sophisticated networks that integrate with each other.
You might think of building an app stack the way you would consider the construction of a house: starting with a strong foundation and then building on top of that. But how often do you consider the ways in which these different elements work in conjunction with each other?
It’s great to have reliable accounting software like Xero, Sage Business Cloud Accounting, or QuickBooks Online, but what about a reporting app to integrate with that and assist you with client reporting? Or a client meeting app to set up crucial discussions about the data in those reports?
App stacks are strongest when the apps within them complement and speak to each other, enabling you to deliver maximum value.
The API – application programming interface – is what enables your different apps to speak to one another. Without an API, you wouldn’t be able to connect Syft to your accounting software and transfer data from one to the other.
APIs function a bit like contracts, with documentation to represent agreements between the various software components involved. They allow for access to resources across multiple software platforms while making sure that your data remains secure.
The API is the glue that holds your stack together.
Moving into the advisory space
Your tech stack should align with your practice’s goals. If you want to dedicate more time to advisory services, as many modern accounting firms are, you need to think about the best way to deliver those services. For one, this means finding a way to translate complex financial data into clear, understandable, and actionable insights. To provide clarity, you need:
- Clear reports with graphs and visualizations to make them more decipherable; and
- A clear strategy of how and when you will share and discuss these with your clients.
Using Syft to automate your report generation can save you time and energy, and lowers the cost to serve. Combine this with a user-friendly and customizable meeting platform like Connect4 and you have a recipe for success.
Behind the scenes of advisory and client reporting
To offer your clients the best service possible, you need to ensure that you have a clear means of communicating with them and a good platform on which to communicate.
Let’s consider the process of client reporting with an analogy: the theatre. Picture the entire process as the process of putting on a play. You are the lead actor and the client is your audience.
As with any play, it’s crucial to get the story across to the audience.
Your app of choice works as your support when you’re on stage. For instance, in the case of Syft:
The play has begun. Our protagonist (you) makes their move, an accountant delivering vital information and business advice to their (your) clients.
Far away from the luminescent stage lights are the crucial crew members, the people who ensure that the show will go on! They write the script that will be transformed into a showstopping reality. That’s right – the software engineers.
Syft has a team of hard-working engineers who are dedicated to finding solutions to your reporting and data analysis problems and to helping you provide greater insight to your clients. They labour long, highly-caffeinated hours to ensure that the props are in position, the actors know their lines, and that the stage is set for when the play begins.
In the wings
If any mishap befalls this play, the prompter sits just in the wings to remind the players of their lines. Our customer success team fulfills this function. Picking up on any errors or confusion, and being the go-to people between users and engineers. They make sure that the play runs smoothly.
In the dressing room
The design team prep the costumes and the props, constantly working to create beautiful, bespoke reports and themes for your practice or entities. They ensure that you have a coherent, visually appealing experience, helping translate the narrative into an emotional journey – i.e. translating data into decisions.
Prior to the big show, assistant directors and choreographers help you to make the most of the props and the lighting, everything that’s at your disposal. These are Syft’s account executives, making sure that you know all you need to know about the software and how to leverage it.
Putting on the show
Syft focuses heavily on collaboration and innovation, what the theatre world might call “workshopping” and “improv”. Like workshop actors, we experiment, we try new things, we iterate and reiterate. We see what works, what’s needed, what’s desired. We work together, bounce ideas off each other and off our users. So that the final product is never static, always evolving and improving.
To give our leading actor the best possible play to act out, we need all hands on deck from the designers in the dressing room to the prompters in the wings to the crew backstage, right back to the directors and choreographers in rehearsals.
We all work as a team, communicating with each other at the different stages of development, so that by the time the actor gets the script, which was developed in the darkness of backstage, it’s the best possible script for them to work with. And of course, the better the actor, the more they can do with the script they’ve been given.
The team behind the scenes of your meeting pod
A crafted workflow supports the team to deliver before stepping onto the stage of a client meeting. The Connect4 Prepare, Meet, Act workflow ensures every act in the live show (aka client meeting) is a smoothly orchestrated delivery. Let’s explore how!
You, the accountant, enter the client meeting. The stage has been set with a script (i.e. agenda) shared, the performers (participants) ready to engage upon entering the room (virtual or physical), and a backstory set by the pod’s meeting history.
The Connect4 pod’s supporting framework is the backstage crew of this performance. It ensures that everything will run smoothly on stage.The pod history provides actors with the backstory of past acts to help them perform more successfully. And, actions ensure that each performer takes accountability and ownership of their role in the play.
In the wings
The agenda provides both the melody to guide the conversations, and the harmony of smartly linked supporting resources to prompt those on stage. Meeting notes support key actors’ delivery. As the storyline ebbs and flows, the supporting crew note the agreed inputs to the script of the next act. All the while, actions are set for preparation to take into the next show’s delivery.
In the dressing room
After the show, the director (i.e. the accountant and team) takes stock of the performance. They carefully reviews the noted script (meeting notes), agreed actions, and plans for the next act (i.e. scheduled next meeting). After this review, the Act workflow offers an encore, a call for the other performers to repeat their roles in the next performance.
It’s about the combination
It’s all the same stage. Any good app stack has apps that work well together, not in isolation. By combining Syft’s data analytics, auditing, and reporting properties with Connect4’s meeting capabilities, you are able to deliver the most useful insights in the most effective way, adding value to your offering and helping your clients to make better decisions.
The same is true of any other apps you include in your app stack. This is why it’s good to re-evaluate your app stack every year to make sure that all the apps you have work well with each other and ultimately help you to reach your goals.