To celebrate reaching the milestone of supporting one million subscribers across Australia – the Xero team is turning a spotlight on some of the people who’ve made it all possible. From our earliest customers and advisors to the employees and app partners who’ve been there along the journey, we explore how they too have evolved and adapted over the years. And, in doing so, we uncover what truly makes them one in a million.
In this piece, we talk to Cassandra Scott, Founder of Laurus Bookkeeping. She explains how her bookkeeping firm has evolved from a part-time project to an international bookkeeping business.
When did you first hear about Xero?
The first time I heard about Xero was at an ABN conference, probably around 2009 or 2010.
We were struggling with some issues using our previous software and we had to make the decision to either invest more money into the server environment or look for an alternative solution. That was the catalyst for us reaching out to Xero. Within two weeks I got rid of the desktop software I was using. From that point onwards, I transitioned my client base to Xero and decided that ongoing, we would be a Xero firm.
How has Laurus Bookkeeping grown since that time?
Massively. In 2011 we did $59,000 worth of bookkeeping revenue. We’re coming close to cracking $300,000 this year. These days, I do very little hands-on bookkeeping; I do the strategic and specialised project work. We’ve changed and been able to work both nationally and internationally. That’s probably one of the biggest advantages of using Xero. We’re just not limited to a physical location within an hour’s drive in any direction. We’re global.
We also heavily use Xero Practice Manager and WorkflowMax and, through these tools, are able to work on more higher value projects.
What has been your biggest learning during this period?
I think one of the challenges a lot of bookkeepers face is imposter syndrome. We feel it in the context of our own peer group in relation to accountants: that bookkeepers and BAS agents feel they need to vocalise their strengths and value more than accountants might need to. But I’ve come to realise that each role has its own expertise and they complement each other.
I’ve also managed to develop strong skills using software and competence within the industry over the years, and now have the confidence to recognise it. I think this is something a lot of bookkeepers in the industry need to acknowledge: that they’re good at what they do and not to let people tell them otherwise.
What has been your biggest challenge?
In the early days, one of the big challenges we faced was determining the right add-on partners for our business. It was difficult trying to work out what would be best for the practice in an environment where there were such a variety of opinions.
Another challenge was finding good quality staff, which is still an ongoing issue that a lot of practices are dealing with at the moment.
What has been the most rewarding aspect?
One of the biggest rewards has been the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made in this community. I know that at any time, I can reach out to people that have the same values, ethos, and perspective that I have, and we can collaborate on providing solutions of excellence for both our clients businesses, and also our own. There is so much collaboration occurring and Xero has been a catalyst for this. I’ve made lifelong friends.
What makes Laurus Bookkeeping one in a million?
We want our clients, as business owners, to be as responsible as they can be for their own businesses, so we strike the right balance of not over servicing them but supporting them along the way.Read more ‘one in a million’ stories from people making a mark in their industries, including Aris Allegos – Moula, Guy Pearson of Practice Ignition, Andrew Cox of The Hope Factory and Cecile Boulter of Xero.