Professional services

We help professional services firms increase efficiencies, drive innovation and accelerate growth.

How our experience can help your business

As a professional services provider ourselves, we have a deep understanding of your pain points. We have spent years refining our internal processes and solutions to achieve high performance and maximise productivity and growth. And it’s this knowledge and expertise that your business will benefit from.

We work with a broad range of professional services businesses including law firms, public relations agencies and creative businesses.

Who we’ve helped

Executive summary

mi-fi began working with That Comms Co. in December 2017. mi-fi’s immediate objective was to takeover the management of That Comms Co.’s day-to-day finances, and its medium term objective was to implement streamlined systems and enhanced reporting capabilities to position the business for growth.

With mi-fi as a strategic partner, in just over a year, That Comms Co. near doubled its number of staff, dramatically increased the size of its client portfolio, and introduced a strategic advisory board of senior business leaders. The business today is well equipped to scale, and with mi-fi’s help continues to invest for growth.

About the client

That Communications Company (That Comms Co.) is a Melbourne-headquartered public relations agency with expertise in media relations, corporate communications, executive profiling, issue and crisis management and corporate and brand positioning.

That Comms Co. works with clients from a broad range of industries including professional services, finance, education, property, technology, pharmaceuticals, FMCG, sport and Not For Profit.

The challenges

As a boutique communications consultancy that was experiencing and seeking to prepare for growth, That Comms Co. understood that it needed an accounting partner who could quickly help it to streamline the business’s processes for scalability, introduce robust reporting practices, and provide ongoing financial advice and support.

The busines required an innovative, proactive and tech savvy partner who could suggest smart solutions appropriate to the needs and priorities of the business.

Outdated systems

That Comms Co.’s pre-existing bookkeeping systems left room for further integration and automation. As a result, there were sometimes payments that were overlooked and important deadlines missed.

Add to this, some of the systems were not easily accessed remotely. Therefore at a time when flexible working is king, the company’s managing director and bookkeeper were limited in the ways in which they could access accounting information, make payments, pay wages, etc.

Lack of sophisticated reporting

With access to only basic reporting, That Comms Co.’s management team had little insight into the amount of staff time that was being spent on client billable and non billable work, and also individual client service levels and profit margins.

This lack of visibility into the data meant that an everyday task like providing a quote to a potential client was a time-intensive process that relied on instinct and guesswork, and therefore lent itself to error.

Scalability

That Comms Co. needed effective financial and reporting systems in place that would position it for growth. Without these, its potential to scale would be severely hampered.

It required reporting that would give its management team sophisticated insight into the numbers, empower them to accurately review That Comms Co.’s client relationships and make informed decisions on this basis, and to equip the company’s new strategic advisory board with a regular and reliable account of the business.

Strategic advice

That Comms Co.’s managing director lacked a sounding board to discuss business owner initiatives like employee benefits with, and in particular the mechanics behind, and financial repercussions of their implementation.

Due to being stretched in her role working both in and on the business, she didn’t have the confidence in the detail to evolve her employee benefits offering as quickly as she would have liked to.

The solution

After appointing mi-fi in 2017, That Comms Co. met with their advisors who conducted an in-depth review of the systems the company had in place. It was here that mi-fi identified opportunities to create efficiencies, namely where process could be automated or streamlined in order for That Comms Co. to work more efficiently and help the business to scale.

Streamlining of bookkeeping systems

After analysing That Comms Co.'s existing systems, mi-fi identified that the agency’s bookkeeping 

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needs would be better serviced by Xero and within the first month of working together, smoothly transitioned That Comms Co.'s accounting software from MYOB. As a result, the agency’s bookkeeping systems are now all cloud-based and readily accessible, ensuring That Comms Co.'s managing director and wider team can readily access what they need to, when they want to. In addition to introducing Xero, from the outset mi-fi took over and advised on all bookkeeping aspects of the business, allowing the managing director to focus on what she did best while feeling confident the company’s financials were in good hands.

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Development of a business process improvement program

mi-fi developed and executed a plan that reflected best practice systems to support That Comms 

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Co. in its growth ambitions. This plan included the introduction of Workflow Max - a time and job management system - for all team members, providing transparency into where time and resources were being spent. mi-fi understood the importance of proper adoption of this software. They held the entire team’s hand through training and support. The successful introduction of Workflow Max paved the way for sophisticated monthly reporting and with it the introduction of, and adherence to budgets. The monthly reporting system proved so effective that the director felt confident to establish a board of senior business executives who would be privy to the reporting on a monthly basis, with its contents critical in informing the agenda for board meetings.

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Preparedness for increased growth

A significant part of mi-fi’s work in positioning That Comms Co. for growth has been helping it evolve 

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from small agency practices to that of a large agency. Today That Comms Co. punches above its weight as a result of the systems and technology mi-fi has implemented. Scaleability has already been tried and tested, with the number of staff close to doubling in just 14 months and the client portfolio having grown dramatically, yet a significant decrease in the time spent on administration and bookkeeping.

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Ongoing advice

 

In addition to advising on smart systems and technology, mi-fi has advised That Comms Co.'s 

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management on other business initiatives, such as increasing the company’s super contribution for employees, issuing bonuses and resource planning. mi-fi’s management team’s own experience of running a service business and the wisdom gained as a result, has proven incredibly helpful for That Comms Co.

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