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Rainforest Bookkeeping ditched whiteboards and gives clients the cleanest books ever with XBert

by XBert Team ~ 5 min read

Michele Grisdale smiles at camera in front of her computer.

Many people claim to love what they do, but when you hear Michele Grisdale say it with such conviction, it's a declaration! So, what does she do?

Michele's the founder and director of Rainforest Bookkeeping, a staunch supporter of trades, small businesses, bookkeepers and BAS agents, and a committed mentor to business clients and peers.

Without apps like XBert and programs like Xero, Michele says there's no way she'd still be in bookkeeping with all the data entry, mountains of paperwork and walls of filing cabinets required.

She loves being an early adopter. Rainforest Bookkeeping is a 100% cloud-based, paperless practice and a Xero Silver Partner, which is no small feat for a sole practitioner.

Michele first heard about XBert in July 2019 on social and the plans to launch the Xero add-on to business owners. When she saw what XBert could do, she knew she had to speak up and push for a version tailored to busy bookkeepers and accountants.

I trust that XBert has my back so that I can better serve my clients. XBert eliminates the non-billable time I used to waste, and I know I'm providing the cleanest set of books. It's a really exciting app built for professionals. With Xero and Receipt Bank, I was able to go paperless, now with XBert CONNECT, I can manage work from anywhere.

Michele's goal has always been data integrity. XBert saves Michele so much time and helps her provide the cleanest set of books ever to clients. The AI audit and process automation finds issues, errors, anomalies and duplicates.

With XBert CONNECT's task and workflow features, Michele's been able to throw away her whiteboards and manage her practice from anywhere.

What was needed?

Technology, efficiency and smart processes drive Michele, and this is why she can offer such a range of services. Michele offers bookkeeping, BAS, payroll, systems and processes consultations, Xero migration, app integration, bookkeeper training and small business training.

She's always seeking new apps that benefit her practice and therefore, her clients. However, the app has to be something very special. In other words, app solutions need to go big or go home!

Although Rainforest Bookkeeping runs on apps delivering automation and efficiency, Michele hadn't found anything to beat her whiteboards for daily planning, managing and checking services and workflow.

She was searching for her Holy Grail - a whiteboard she could take with her at all times and access from her phone.

XBert CONNECT was the answer.

Michele Grisdale from Rainforest Bookkeeping used whiteboards before discovering XBert CONNECT's AI Audit and Process Automation Michele Grisdale had whiteboards to manage her Rainforest Bookkeeping clients and processes and now uses XBert CONNECT (whiteboard photos supplied).

Many of Michele's clients are tradies who frequently engage contractors and subcontractors. Michele would check the Australian Business Number (ABN) and GST (goods and service tax) registration status when she received the first invoice from a clients' supplier or contractor.

There aren't enough hours in the day to check the Australian Business Register (ABR) each time an invoice arrives. Without the checks, you won't know if that supplier or contractor has dropped below the GST threshold or deregistered their business.

When checks aren't done or a GST error is made, the GST paid or expense can't be claimed, Business Activity Statement (BAS) and Taxable Annual Payment Reports are incorrect, a client could risk a tax fine or could be the victim of fraud.

I can't imagine not having data capture and data integrity. XBert's like having an additional staff member to check our work. As my practice grows, it gets more difficult to double-check every transaction for every client. We've worked XBert into our workflow, so we have XBert, Xero and Receipt Bank open at the same time to make checks or adjustments on the fly, ensure subcontractors and supplier details are accurate before the invoices get processed, and set rules for suppliers to avoid errors in future invoices with GST setting. TPAR will be a breeze. Welcome to the team XBert!

XBert continually monitors the ABR, analyses Xero data multiple times a day, including the imported data from automated document readers like Hubdoc and Receipt Bank, and scans attachments in Xero to detect errors and anomalies. XBert also finds discrepancies with your Xero contact records and supplier, contractor and customer GST status, ABNs, business names and active or cancelled business registrations.

What XBert does for Rainforest Bookkeeping

To check out XBert, Michele initially loaded the Xero file of her husband's hairdressing business. She immediately saw value in XBert and decided to load a client file, when she did, XBert found GST risks and a cancelled business risk.

That was it, Michele was sold and knew XBert was going to change her business.

Michele wants to be as efficient as she can and hates 'unnecessary clicks'. Before XBert, she'd have to open every client file to check if there were any issues. Now she can work by exception with XBert alerting her to possible mistakes, anomalies or things that don't seem right.

XBert's automation of necessary manual checks and audits saves Michele hours.

Michele Grisdale from Rainforest Bookkeeping was able to throw away her whiteboards and move to XBert for process management. Michele Grisdale now uses her AI-powered XBert CONNECT dashboards for practice management (photo supplied).

XBert CONNECT's AI Process Status gives Michele the in-her-pocket, take-anywhere, visual representation of her whiteboards she always wanted. At a glance, she knows what needs to be done for each client and by when, and that she can take the weekend off when her dashboard is full of green ticks.

XBert's changed my business. What you think is a clean set of books isn't until you have XBert. Now I'm confident of what I'm presenting to clients. Seeing all of my clients on my XBERT CONNECT dashboards allows me to focus on the risks for each client. The Process Status dashboard is my take-anywhere whiteboard for practice management, and I have peace of mind that it's all under control.

Using XBert's Template Tasks, Michele can create standardised templates for common workflows and ensure consistency of service across her client base. She's currently moving away from her project management software to set up all her processes in XBert CONNECT.

The results – clean files, a pocket whiteboard and looking good!

Michele would rather add value for her existing 60 clients than take on more clients. XBert's given her the time, the data integrity and the tools to enable her to be more proactive and increase services.

Since XBert works on any device, she finally has her whiteboards in her pocket whenever she needs them.

Xero, XBert, Practic Ignition and Receipt Bank are Michele's perfect app stack. Data integrity is everything, and she's confident that the set of books she's providing to clients is the cleanest they've seen.

The future of Rainforest Bookkeeping + XBert

Currently, Michele includes XBert on engagement letters but uses it as an internal tool to power her to deliver the best service.

XBert gives her peace of mind and the efficiencies that allow her to continue doing what she loves – bookkeeping, mentorship and supporting clients to do more of what they love.

Michele appreciates XBert's amazing speed of adaptation and responsiveness and the founders' mission to create a solution that works for everyone - bookkeepers, accountants and business owners. She's one of XBert's most constructive consultants and will continue to provide feedback and suggestions for the development of new XBerts and features.

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.

XBert is an easy-to-use, powerful Xero add-on for business owners, finance teams, bookkeepers and accountants to stay a step ahead in business.

If you're serious about business success, sync your accounting data with XBert. In minutes, you'll know the amount of money at risk and how to prevent losing it.

You can book a demo or start your FREE trial now!

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