April 16, 2014

WorkflowMax adds productivity tracking dashboard

Tool to assist the shift away from timesheets.

Cloud accounting company Xero has updated its WorkflowMax Practice Manager software to measure productivity based on billable hours in accounting firms.

The live “capacity and productivity dashboard” combined data from staff timesheets with targets set by management to show team members how they were performing, the company wrote in a recent blog post. “The latest update is an enhancement for those using timesheets to measure productivity based on billable hours,” the blog said.

Xero has encouraged its accounting firm partners to restructure their billing based on bundles of services sold by monthly subscription rather than an hourly rate. The dashboard helped firms make the transition to value-based billing by measuring performance indicators for both approaches.

The dashboard used automated graphs to display targets on time spent or value provided. The dashboard could be used to measure performance based on efficiency using KPIs such as turnaround time or work in progress, or it could measure billable hours versus capacity.

A detailed account of how the dashboard could be used can be found on WorkflowMax’s blog here.

The upgrade also added the ability to write time against a client without having to set up a job first. At least one accounting firm moving to Practice Manager had complained that it was difficult to record time quickly for brief conversations with a client that fell outside jobs set up in the WorkflowMax.

Xero announced at its annual conference in Australia that accounting firms which have over 25 Xero clients (silver partners) or 100 Xero clients (gold partners) received WorkflowMax and recent acquisition Spotlight Workpapers for free.

New Zealand gold partners were also given free access to Spotlight Workpapers, and silver and bronze partners could also use it for free once they had committed to a business plan to increase their Xero customer base.

Existing subscribers could use the software at no cost from 1 August “with conditions yet to be finalised”, Spotlight said on its blog.

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