How the culture of continual improvement helped to streamline daily operations at Bentleys SA

4 min read

The SyncDirect solution from APS has helped Bentleys SA streamline their operations and get seamless access to their client data in a standardised, secure format.

​As a full-service firm, Bentleys has a history of more than 50 years in providing professional and dependable expertise across accounting, audit and assurance, business advisory, tax advisory, corporate recovery, wealth management, superannuation and R&D tax.

Bentleys SA have a strong culture of continual improvement. This culture encourages team members from across the business to look at better ways to achieve great outcomes in all areas. Sometimes this may mean a small tweak to process, and at another time it may mean improved technology to provide an opportunity that may not have existed before. It’s about having a mindset dedicated to client service and delivery that drives the desire to find ways to improve. This culture keeps Bentleys SA at the forefront of practice excellence and ensures they have more time to focus on adding value for their clients whilst minimising the effort necessary with high volume, low value tasks, such as collection of the data needed to begin to get a clear picture of where their clients are positioned.

Here’s how SyncDirect is helping Bentleys SA streamline their operations and get seamless access to their client data in a standardised, secure format.


Challenge: Centralising disparate accounting packages

Clients come to Bentleys SA because of the deep expertise and the first-hand experience across many sectors that makes the advisors approach to every client, on a level where they can truly connect to their clients. Their advisors work with SMEs, family businesses, listed entities, professionals, individuals and government. With specialist knowledge, skills and experience across a wide range of industries many advisors are sought after for their thought-leadership within the SA ecosystem.

While a more diverse knowledge base and team of skilled advisors is always good for business, it has been attracting a broad client base and brought about new operational challenges for the Bentleys SA team.

“As the client accounting landscape became more complex, there were many more options for our clients to use different accounting packages and this trend will continue in the future,” says Thomas Helliwell, Accountant at Bentleys SA.

Reckon, Sage, QBO, Xero, MYOB, Phoenix and many other industry packages are all being used in the Bentleys SA office depending on their clients’ individual preferences. Bentleys SA will always support a client’s need to choose their accounting software as they all have unique business requirements. However, the internal training required to understand the packages and the constant software updates can slow down the day-to-day processes.

“It is not uncommon to be dealing with a few different versions of some of these solutions,” Thomas says. “It meant that the data for the financial reporting, tax and analysis of our clients’ businesses were disparate, and getting everything into a standard format and process accurately and securely was a challenge. The team had to rekey data across systems, which is fraught with opportunities for error and also very inefficient.”

That’s when Bentleys SA identified that there must be a better way. The team reached out to APS who suggested they take a look at SyncDirect. Upon careful review and testing the Bentleys SA team felt it was a great solution, helping to solve many of these challenges while helping to transform the practice’s process.

“SyncDirect is highly efficient, accurate and can be used on a number of platforms, with speed and accuracy being the main drivers.”

Thomas Helliwell, Accountant at Bentleys SA

Solution: Appointing a SyncDirect champion

SyncDirect immediately provided a direct connection into the client ledger for greater overall accuracy. Bentleys SA no longer had to rekey the client data from the ledger to the financial reporting tools, and there was no need for a standard chart of accounts. Whether it lived in the cloud, on a desktop or in an Excel spreadsheet, using SyncDirect meant there was only one process to follow, which has reduced training hours and encouraged better knowledge retention across the entire team.

“SyncDirect is highly efficient, accurate and can be used on a number of platforms, with speed and accuracy being the main drivers,” Thomas says. “Once you set it up, the year-on-year benefits are seamless – just update a few accounts for each new period and you are ready to go.”

While Bentleys SA initially implemented SyncDirect back in 2015, they recently committed to leveraging its full powers by appointing Thomas as their SyncDirect Champion, where he supports the team with regular knowledge and training events.

About Bentleys SA

Bentleys SA is part of Bentleys, which is an international network of advisory and accounting firms. The network is made up of over 700 talented staff led by more than 70 partners delivering solutions from 17 locations across Australia, New Zealand and China. They work with aspirational businesses and entrepreneurial individuals to help them achieve their objectives and get where they want to be.

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