Home Headline Using SmartPractice to build a truly professional and profitable practice

Using SmartPractice to build a truly professional and profitable practice


Saiba members are signing up with SmartPractice in ever growing numbers for a good reason: it cuts down on wasteful admin time by up to 75% and makes sure clients receive the level of professionalism they expect.

Using SmartPractice to build a truly professional and profitable practice, Saiba members are signing up with this online practice management system in ever growing numbers for a good reason: It cuts down on wasteful administrative time by up to 75% and makes sure clients receive the level of professionalism they expect from accountants.

Some of the most common complaints from accounting clients are SA Revenue Services (Sars) penalties and interest, for which the accountant is often blamed. This usually occurs because the accountant just can’t keep up with the mounting admin burden that comes with the territory. With SmartPractice, that process is largely automated and “no client gets left behind.”

SmartPractice does not replace your existing accounting software such as Intuit QuickBooks or Xero, but streamlines your entire practice through better organisation of client data, deadlines and billing.

A service level agreement (SLA) between SmartPractice and Saiba was agreed upon to boost the standards of accounting practices in the Garden Route by establishing a Saiba region and ensuring that practices all over South Africa are run to the highest professional standards.

New training line-up

SmartPractice will also be part of the training module for new Saiba accounting members but more specific with the process of setting up a practice (this way they get to do it right from the get-go).

Specialised training to those already in established practice, to assist them in upskilling their practices and deliver a more professional service will also be part of the new agreement, together with a discount for all SAIBA members signing up with SmartPractice.

“We originally developed the system to solve problems we were facing as accountants – the problems of accurate billing, keeping track of client submissions during the tax season, targeted regular communication with clients and making sure we had all the information to provide them with a fully professional service. So, when SmartPractice solved these problems for us we naturally wanted to share it with other accountants.”

“A well-run accounting practice should be highly profitable,” says SmartPractice co-founder Ettean Smit.

Smit points out that accountants that don’t adopt online software and cloud-based systems are wasting an enormous amount of time on administrative duties, which includes billing. With SmartPractice for instance you can send out 50 invoices in 5 minutes.

New features

New features recently added to SmartPractice include an integration module for QuickBooks Online and other accounting software packages. We recently migrated to an enterprise server, which vastly increases the speed of accessing information on the 40,000-plus activated clients and more than 150 accounting practices in an extreme secure environment.

“Accountants are migrating to SmartPractice from other software providers, because we have deep understanding of the issues facing accountants today and we can help them run a smooth, profitable practice.  Every practice is unique and we take time to understand the need of every practice.” says Smit.

“Accountants come to us because they have lost control of their practices. They are over-burdened with admin work.”

“When your practice is running on SmartPractice, it will give you more time to be an advisor to your clients, which is what you should be doing rather than merely being a compliance officer.”

A look under the hood

As previously reported in Accounting Weekly, here are some of the modules that are offered by SmartPractice:

PlanSmart: A planning module specifically designed for the accountant in practice that lets you know when clients need a specific service, and who should deliver it. It gives monthly reports on completed (and incomplete) projects, which reduces the admin burden and translates into more revenue. PlanSmart allows you to have a bird’s eye view of what needs to be done, when it must be done and who within your practice is responsible for rendering that service.

DocShareSmart is really like a tidy, secure online filing cabinet that can be accessed by clients and their staff at any time. Uploading of documents, including key documents such as title deeds, wills and rental contracts as well as signed Financial Statements etc. Many of these may be confidential documents which will not be available to the accountant but can be accessed, in the case of death, by the executor of the estate.

It has a powerful reporting function by letting the accountant know if any or all services has been uploaded to the client’s portal and therefore the task been performed (VAT201, EMP201 etc).

It also reduces mundane and time-consuming correspondence with your clients by standardising communication, ensuring that a professional and accurate system generated-message reaches your clients. This saves time and money and prevents your clients feeling neglected.

TimeSmart: Capturing time spent on projects and ad-hoc items is critical for accurate and timely billing of clients and important to making informed strategic decisions. Implementing a single, intuitive time management tool that captures time and progress on any work item including non-project or operational work is essential for more accurate business results.

This tool allows you to create projects, budgets and allocate staff. Time management systems should not only capture time, but also track progress so project managers can gauge the overall effect that actual time has on their initiatives. A unique function is the ability to “create multiple client projects” which enables you to set up a project with multiple clients that share a common task like VAT, PAYE and EMP 201 submissions, amongst others.

Reporting: this is vital in any practice and eliminates administrative oversights and errors (such as late VAT submissions).

The reporting tool allows users to compile reports showing:

•             All SARS submissions not filed

•             Tax clearance applications not performed

•             Annual Financial Statements not signed off

•             CIPC annual reports not filed

•             Payroll, UIF and Workmen’s compensation not filed

•             Engagement letters not issued

•             Budget vs Actual

•             Staff Productivity

ClientSmart: A unique tool that allows you to communicate with specific groups of clients for example, it can isolate only those who are VAT payers in a certain industry or another group that are non-VAT payers. When it comes to communicating with clients, it is important to get the precise communication to the right client perhaps for EMP 501 deadlines or EMP 201 or VAT. You can easily segment these clients and push out communications that are relevant to them only.

TaxSmart: Direct SARS e-Filing integration with bulk submissions and bulk CRM options. Currently provisional tax compatible with IT14 and IT12 to follow. www.taxsmart.online   

SecSmart: An easy-to-use cloud-based Company Secretarial System. You can keep all company records up to date. It allows all authorised stakeholders to view the company’s status anytime anywhere through an access controlled online portal. It has all the functionality you will need in a secretarial system from issuing Share Certificates, transfers, allotments to buy backs. You can track and access all activity and all information pertaining to the share register and report on it when and where needed.

You can also manage all company meetings with this easy-to-use module, select a time and date and all invitees will automatically be notified of the particulars via an SMS and/or email. If you currently do not keep company records for your clients, why not use this system to create an extra income stream and keep your clients compliant.

“The set-up is everything,” says Smit. “Once this is done, only add new clients and remove the old ones. It can take time to set up but we do offer an installation option for bigger firms, but once this is done there are big savings. The system is browser-based so you can access your information from everywhere.”

For more information check out www.smartpractice.co.za.