Chartered Accountants MCI & Associates have offices in Pahiatua and Dannevirke and, in line with their location, their customers have a wide range of occupations spread across an equally wide area.
MCI Associate Cheri Henricksen says their rural customer base includes a range of farming types, but they do share a common link.
“Our rural customers require a specialised farm management package and for me Cash Manager Focus (Focus) is one application that stands out. Unlike regular accounting software, Focus includes essential features designed specifically for farmers such as production analysis and a livestock inventory. Farmers can now forecast and model anticipated revenue using unique features such as the dairy forecaster.
“Focus software is also ever-evolving. The package has been designed and developed to meet local needs so the software can be tweaked and updated. It’s like a living document that can stand the test of time.”
Cheri says while Focus delivers a range of new features, for her the new invoice scanning capability is a standout – “it’s a game changer and customer feedback says they also love it!
“It takes time to set up but it’s well worth it. Having direct access to all the information you need in saved documents makes life much easier for all parties. From an accountant’s point of view, it is a time saver. No more time spent chasing pieces of paper or waiting for customers to get back to us.”
Cheri says customers have also seen the value in having their advisors linked directly into their business. “I call it a collaborative system because we’re working closely as a team and yet neither party has to leave their office.
“Focus is cloud based so more than one user can access the documents they need at any time. Again, no more sitting around waiting for someone to log out before I can get in – access is immediate for all parties.”
And Cheri says switching to Focus is quite straight forward – “the most difficult part is thinking about it!
“Focus software is user friendly so it’s simple to self-teach, plus the CRS Customer Support Team are there if you need advice and I have to say they’re great. The real beauty of having a help desk is being able to jump on the phone and talk to them – having that quick two-minute chat makes such a difference!”
Changing to any new tool or system brings a degree of apprehension and losing information is usually front of mind. Cheri says she reminds her customers that when they do move to Focus their information and their business history will automatically go with them.
“They don’t need to run two systems and keep referring to both. Their history is right there in one place and that’s a real advantage.”
Cheri says for her a switch to Focus makes sense and changing systems is no big deal – “it is just the click of a button and you’re supported all the way.”