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Brendan Lucas can confidently offer a holistic accounting and advisory service using XBert

by XBert Team ~ 4 min read

Brendan Lucas uses XBert to improve work efficiencies, eliminate error and reduce rework within his practice.

Crunching numbers, being across the data and helping clients make informed decisions: that’s what Brendan and the team at Hopscotch Accounting pride themselves on doing really well. Taking the pressure off business owners so they can focus on customer service and growth is their goal.

We can add so much more value that way and really help our clients make informed decisions.

That’s why they’ve always been technology-focused. Brendan gained incredible experience in his nine years at Price Waterhouse Coopers, working his way from trainee through to manager. But six years ago and ready for a new challenge, he started Hopscotch Accounting with partner Matthew Knight.

Hopscotch is a Xero Gold Partner, a member of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and Tax Practitioners Board registered.

Apps like Xero and XBert have enabled them to boost efficiency, cut out the middleman and provide clients with real-time insights and smarter advice for their businesses. They can confidently offer a holistic accounting and advisory service.

We want to be involved in the whole process, know why our clients are doing what they’re doing and offer a full accounting and advisory service, rather than just come in over the top. We knew including task and process automation was the way to help us be more efficient and truly offer that all-round service for our clients.

What was needed?

Specialising in Not-For-Profit accounting but also with a healthy portfolio of business clients, Brendan and the team deal with a broad range of client files, many with differing deadlines, workflow processes and tasks. This means keeping on top of multiple client deadlines, keeping track of grant funding and reporting, as well as general tax and accounting figures and deadlines. According to Brendan, this can be ‘a nightmare’ without the right systems in place.

While he has always been system-focused as the business started to grow, it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain full visibility across all client files and team workflow. They were trialing other automation systems, but none had been quite ‘cutting the mustard’.

Brendan met XBert founders Aaron and Troy at a Xero Roadshow and liked what he heard – in particular around XBert’s artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.

After signing up to XBert CONNECT for managing multiple businesses and organisations and loading some client files, Brendan began to work closely with the XBert team to develop and create features specific to their practice. He saw the potential to boost productivity within their practice – not just by getting things right the first time but with the streamlining of their practice workflows and digital visibility.

What really set it apart for me was the time the team spent understanding what our practice needed, developing those features and giving us advice on how we could best streamline that with XBert. We gave loads of feedback and their response time to bring things into the system and reply well exceeded my expectations – that was when I realised we’ve partnered with the right team.

What XBert does for Hopscotch

One of the most powerful features of XBert for Brendan is the ability to have one, centraliszed workflow tool. At any given time Brendan has full visibility of the entire practice, can see what’s happening and what’s coming up as well as any issues that arise along the way. Using CONNECT's Template Task and AI process automation to standardise services and workflows and knowing these templates are in place and are followed, gives him peace of mind work is consistent across the practice – and the simple reallocation of tasks within the system is a game changer.

We are now managing our month-end checklists through XBert, with the helicopter view reporting so useful for me as a partner. We are now getting our staff to use this as their daily "hub" - from dealing with Xero coding issues to checking which Organisations have unreconciled items.

Having full visibility across their clients on the Process Status Dashboard has officially removed the need for individual spreadsheets for each client. Rather than spending time jumping in and out of each spreadsheet to manually check the numbers – all anomalies, errors or issues are flagged and able to be addressed in the one area.

For example, XBert flagged that an employee had same bank details as a supplier. The supplier had a totally different name. Brendan rang the client – fortunately it wasn't fraud, the supplier was the employee's husband – but the client wase very impressed they had asked the question.

Brendan says even across four client files, alerts like this could mean up to 12 hours a month saved. It also alleviates the time pressure, as they can address issues right away – rather than having to deal with them on deadlines when (and if) they’re discovered.

They’re also able to help their clients make informed decisions, knowing the data is correct at any given time.

We’ve always had great systems in place but with the sheer volume of transactions and clients we have, there’s always a possibility for human errors to slip through. Errors are a killer and rework is a pain. XBert is the Gatekeeper for us to ensure we don’t have either.

The future of Hopscotch Accounting + XBert

Brendan and his colleagues at Hopscotch have been incredible partners and consultants on the development of XBert's roadmap of business alerts, features and functionality.

According to Brendan, he loves working closely with the XBert team and is consistently impressed is by how efficiently XBert takes on feedback and implements changes.

With Brendan’s expertise and knowledge, and our other advisory partners sending us ideas, we'll continue to expand XBert so that businesses worldwide are alerted to financial risks before it’s too late, helping them succeed with accurate advice and smarter decisions.

Hopscotch Accounting

Discover what XBert can do for your business by starting a free trial now.

For advisors, we have a tailored onboarding program, called Step Ahead, where we help set up and implement XBert CONNECT for your practice. To request more information, please email us at and tell us a little about your practice, team and clients.