Why we dreamed up App Advisory Plus, and how it’s going to empower Accountants and Bookkeepers

App Advisory Plus, tech, Xero

What if you could have access to a database that held information on all the xero integrated apps. What if each app in the database came with unbiased reviews from real accountants who had tried and tested them, and guides on how to implement them. Imagine how game changing that would be? 

Less time spent researching, hair pulling and mind changing. More time helping each individual client make an informed decision about how to improve their business. 

AAP was dreamed up as a solution to an industry-wide bugbear

Flash back to Accountex 2018, where Jonathan Fox, Will Farnell and I found ourselves asking ‘what if?’

We were having dinner together and moaning in tandem about how difficult it was to find the right apps, and comparing the various complications we were encountering. 

Why was there so little information available on how these apps really integrate with each other? 

What if we could collaborate on a joint central database where we could share our learnings and experiences?

As Ancient Greek philosopher Plato once said, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, and it was our own necessity for better information that caused us to make App Advisory Plus a reality. 

Cloud accounting has evolved fast in the last ten years and apps are dominating our conversations with clients. 

It has become the norm to advise our clients to extend their use of Xero out to include a number of different apps, in order to streamline their processes. We all know it’ll be game changing for our clients, because many of us have adopted apps into our own businesses, and we know the impact it has had.

The pro? There are a whole host of apps out there for you to choose from. 

The con? There are a whole host of apps out there for you to choose from.

app advisory plus, tech, app stack, xero

To lead our clients we must be able to make informed decisions about technology ourselves 

Having hundreds of apps at our fingertips can feel like a double-edged sword. Whilst we’re all excited about innovation in our industry, we can find ourselves stuck in the paradox of choice. Choosing and using the right apps can be a minefield for those who are just getting going with the Xero marketplace. 

There are:

  • Apps for all kinds of different industries
  • Apps that sound the same as other apps
  • Apps that integrate with other apps in the Xero marketplace

We know that as accountants and bookkeepers we have the ability to educate our clients in the technology that will transform their processes. But first, we have to know which apps (out of hundreds) to recommend, and how well they actually work. Although an app might say it integrates with Xero, often details are missing, and sometimes the devil is in the detail. 

What you get when you join the growing AAP community 

  • Decision making information on each app 

AAP is an independent database listing all the apps. You’ll have access to detailed integrations as well as advice from the AAP team, information from the apps themselves, and reviews from members. You’ll be able to leave your own reviews too, of course, so that other accountants and bookkeepers in the community are able to learn from your experience. 

  • Access to expertise when you need it 

If you’re a Professional Plan member, you’re able to access the AAP helpdesk whenever you need it. You’ll be a part of the community channel with a library of resources at your fingertips, but you’re also able to contact a real person to talk through any specific issues or burning questions. 

  • Whole firm empowerment 

Now that my whole team can access the database, it means some of the pressure is taken off of me as ‘the app advice’ person. We want to offer our clients the best possible service, which means empowering the whole team. Our staff at FF are really excited about being able to teach themselves the tech and get real information on it (not just a sales pitch from the company). 

  • Stronger relationships with your clients

When you’re given the know-how on all these apps and how they work, you can help each client find a truly unique solution to their business problems. You could also become a guru in a select few and create your own app stack, driving all your internal efforts towards training on your chosen ‘way’. When you help your clients unlock success and reach their potential in this way, your own firm has the potential to grow and increase revenue. 

  • To be a part of a connected future 

Our goal for the future is all about connecting people to the right people. The database will just keep growing as we are able to collate and share information for more and more apps. The community is growing along with it, and we’re excited to see that people are already sharing experiences and contacts. In the future, we see more potential for referrals and connections. If you have a huge project and you’d like to work with someone who has a specialism in one app, you’ll be able to find the perfect person in the AAP database.

App Advisory Plus, tech, app stack

Start levelling up your knowledge today

App Advisory Plus began as a plan to help us find and share the apps that would drive our client’s businesses forward. We soon realised that this would be an invaluable tool for all the accountants and bookkeepers in the same position. The apps we’ve listed already are thrilled to be a part of the journey and to see their communities grow too. 

If you’d like to empower your own firm with more inside knowledge about the apps, become a member today.