Dennis pinged me the other day about a discussion taking place on AccountingWeb and it involved WinWeb. I think it would be a good idea for our clients in the UK to have a look at this website for “professionals” in the accounting arena. It will give you a idea of what accountants in the UK are talking about and also about the attitude towards very small business.
As most of my readers will be aware our aim is to provide a Small Business Infrastructure to the one to five people business in order to decrease to totally unacceptable mortality rate (business failures) in the first 12 month of business and beyond. Especially for this purpose we are giving away a complete accounting system or cashbook for free use to single users, so that you can get to work with your accountant online – one of the main causes of business failure is that many businesses get needed advice too late.
Example one, here is Martin Foley on AccountingWeb:
” ….. To give a micro example on topic ; I looked at Winweb say 12 months ago (not certain of exact timing – might have been longer) with the 100% intention to give it a whirl with a few “test” clients who would be keen to try it. One of the more unsatisfactory experiences of my life. I could not even easily ascertain their offering in terms of the basics of market interface and fees, and attempts to find out were like trying to nail jelly to the wall. OK, I was clearly not prepared to work hard enough at it, but it was indicative of a pretty fundamental issue. The technology may be good but their understanding of how to approach (or be appoached by) a market were woeful and a complete block to my transfer. Perhaps, with your input, they radically changed and are now accessible – the figures you quote would indicate they must have changed something !! Like many, I am working with software companies in the area, but of course when I have my next shot at using an off-the-peg solution, it is likely I will try someone else.
Strange how technology and marketing make awkward bed-fellows so often. But it provides great opportunities. …….”
Do we get everything we do right, no we don’t – but give me a break, Martin could not find the “Pricing” button on top of the page, nor could he find the 24/7 live online support button, right at the top of every page. Even if the online support could not have helped with any of his questions it would have automatically opened a ticket and we would have got back to him ASAP.
This guy was only thinking about himself, nobody else, certainly not any clients he had, who he could have serviced better and cheaper – incredible. Later Martin comes to the following conclusion:
“….. as it might be read as a comment that I failed to get a message across to them. Doh !! NOT a way to build a business. Their business (any business) is dependent on sucking the message in from the market and facilitating market feedback . The whole point about my experience was that it was just too much like hard work to get the basics !! Let alone then go on to find out a way to give ’em my fourpennyworth of feedback.
That’s not a good business model. The whole business point is that the developers have to find ways to extract the market feedback.
Perhaps that’s one reason they are crying out for professionals to pick up clients they already have? – please feed that back to them (with my name by all means!! ….”
Martin good news – we got the message, thank you. I will see if I can decipher your comments and make further improvements!
So here it is, Martin is happy to spend the time on AWeb in this fashion instead of having a discussion with us. I don’t know what his real issue is – but in this instant my website worked fine, it kept him away from my customers.
Example number two – jc! Don’t you hate that when people do that. If you can’t put your name to what you have to say, why bother? Anyway here it is:
“… Winweb nudge …
Perhaps someone could give the people at Winweb a nudge to respond to my previous WinWeb questions. ….”
This then leads to this:
– what database is used (if any)
– is there a separate database per client or does one database include many clients
– client data can be backed up to their local disk; is this a database backup or a text file (csv) approach
Does jc know what our website is, does AWeb technical support for us?
ANSWER: We use a SQL DB and you can do both backups, database and .csv. For the rest of this I refer to David Terrar’s comments on AWeb.
Dennis and others defended us and informed both people, and I am grateful for that, since my login has been deleted by AWeb again. I wonder what else I missed.
Here is the thing why you should care. Accounting rules are complex and vast, you need to be able to trust that the people you are dealing with are up to date and informed and also have an idea to whom they should talk if they need information. In this day and age it definitely involves online resources and the proper use of them.
We are working with a great bunch of accountants and bookkeepers, but be aware that not all accountants are the same. So next time you are looking for an accountant and don’t want to use one of our partners – and you know you should – have a look at AWeb to find out if they have made any comments here. It will help you to make up your mind – only if you know who jc is of-cause.
Remember wrong advice is often worse than no advice.
Tags: Accountants, Client Relations, Customer Service, Dennis Howlett, Entrepreneur, Micro Business, OnlineOffice, Outsourcing, AccountingWeb, SaaS, SBI, Selfemployed, Small Business Infrastructure, smb, sme, SOHO, Very Small Business, WinWeb, WinWeb AccountsOffice , WinWeb CashBook, WinWeb OnlineOffice