Brendan Lucas
Next Dimension Accounting

The gatekeeper of human error

Helping businesses and not-for-profit organisations focus on what matters: that’s what it’s all about for Brendan Lucas.

Crunching numbers, being across the data and helping clients make informed decisions: that’s what he and the team at NextDimension 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.

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

Next Dimension 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

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 systemfocused 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

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

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. 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 Next Dimension

One of the most powerful features of XBert for Brendan is the ability to have one, centralised 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.

Having full visibility across their clients on the Work board 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 was 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.

One of the most powerful features of XBert for Brendan is the ability to have one, centralised workflow tool.

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.

The future of Next Dimension Accounting + XBert

Brendan and his colleagues at Next Dimension 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.

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. XBert is another set of eyes looking over the numbers we might miss–things AI can identify above human error.

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