Jamesons is a chartered accountants and business advisers based in Oxfordshire that has been running for over 30 years. Originally founded by partners who have since retired from active role in managing clients, it thrives thanks to a team of over 15 staff – from Directors through to trainees – who work diligently for its loyal clients. This is a team that is always growing; Jamesons has sought to take on one new member of staff a year to train up and, despite the pandemic, they even recruited a new trainee to the team in December 2020.
Director, Matthew Blow, started with Jamesons when he was just 18 and fresh out of school. He turned down university after receiving the job offer and has developed and grown alongside the practice. Some 14 years on, Matthew has seen the firm more than double in size and has played an important role in its progression. An impressive accolade, he was appointed a Director within Jamesons a few years after being qualified. He, along with this fellow directors, have made it a mission to harness digital solutions to help the practice succeed.
- IRIS Hosting
- IRIS Docs
- IRIS OpenSpace
- IRIS Practice Management
- IRIS Accounts Production
- IRIS Business Tax
- IRIS Personal Tax
- IRIS Practice Management
- IRIS Fees/Time
There are over 500 clients on Jamesons’ books and the core clientele are predominantly limited companies, owner managed firms, and family businesses around the £1 million turnover mark. The firm has a successful auditing department – supporting a range of interesting businesses from car dealerships to football clubs – and they also help firms from sole traders upwards.
A busy practice, all systems and processes must work efficiently and effectively. Matthew says, “We have a varied client base and cater for all their needs, as not every client requires the same services. For the most part, these are businesses that are profitable, and they need help to ensure they are structured in the correct way to minimise tax liabilities.
“Our systems were somewhat old school, so our first port of call was moving the accounts over to be electronic. The issue that quickly arose was that of server space and how slowly the system worked. We also had to manually update our own systems – on PCs and the server – which all took time and skills we lacked.” Changes were needed to help the practice move in the direction it wanted to head.
“The transition took place product by product”, says Matthew, who already successfully used various IRIS products and so knew there were further solutions that could support the practice.
Once they were on the digital journey, the team at Jamesons became aware of others software and services that could help make life even easier. “We had been IRIS customers for some time, using the software on a remote desktop. When our internal IT support was no longer available, IRIS Hosting was suggested – and it has been fantastic. Every little query has been dealt with quickly and efficiently by the friendly and helpful support team.”
Matthew acknowledges that it initially meant the team had to spend time to save time, but the rewards are paying off. “Moving to a fully digital platform meant investing time and effort into tidying files and scanning documents, but it has absolutely been worthwhile.”
“IRIS Docs was a great introduction and implemented at the best possible time. We can save our documents in one space where they can be viewed and worked on, safely and collaboratively. It brings everything into one place and allows us easy access to our client information.”
A blessing in disguise, Jamesons went into 2020 already working towards becoming a more digital firm. “When the pandemic hit, we had precisely the structure we needed to share files internally and move data easily with IRIS Docs. IRIS OpenSpace has also been helpful during lockdown; it gives a central space to aid communication and approval of documents which has made life easier.”
Reliability of service while working remotely has been absolutely crucial for practices, which is something Matthew feels has helped his team to cope in a challenging time. “We need our IT systems to be efficient at the best of times, but the past year has proven how crucial a dependable service is. We are all logging in remotely and have never had to worry about not being able to access the server.
“IRIS Hosting has made life easier working from home as we haven’t had to worry about being able to access all of the data required to be able to provide our service. Prior to IRIS Hosting, when the server was maintained in our office, remote working was much more difficult and having moved to hosting it has taken away this issue. We can now login and work from any location.”
In addition to being able to depend on the products they have, the talented team at Jamesons also recognises the importance of turning to experts to support them. “It is a huge comfort that our systems are taken care of by a skilled team now. There is next to no downtime – any updates are installed in a timely manner – and we know we are up to date with the latest technology. The ticketing system means we can see the job is being progressed… we have help on tap!”
The benefits Matthew has seen through embracing IRIS solutions go beyond simply how the practice functions and extends to the quality of service they now feel able to offer. “In moving to IRIS, we realised we can save time because it is easy to use and enabled us to streamline our systems and how we work. As a result, we can meet client expectations better and deliver the service we want to give them.
“Our IRIS Practice Management software is key to it all; allowing us to control workflow and job allocation, it gives us total transparency. We live in a very instant society, so this keeps us on track and we know exactly where we are at with all clients.”
IRIS has supported them while working from home. Matthew adds, “Previously, we would email back and forth, and go over to each other’s desks to discuss a document or work together on a task. Now it is quicker and easier to share information and collaborate on jobs, which helps us considerably. The solutions have changed how we work, enabling the team to do their work easier from home. It actually makes it easier to collaborate and less onerous than the more time-consuming ways we did things.”
The practice has achieved results that work well for them now and go a step further to help them futureproof the business. “IRIS Docs, IRIS OpenSpace and IRIS Hosting have been so important for us to ensure we can continue to provide the high service levels we want to offer. These solutions have really helped facilitate this during the last year, as they enable the transfer of electronic information between the team and clients, which has been even more important during lockdown.”
Matthew concludes, “We have learned a lot and benefited a great deal – and we want this to continue.”
To find out more about IRIS solutions, get in touch.