Inform Accounting and Dext: Real-Time Data and Solutions to Streamline Accounting

About Inform Accounting

Inform Accounting is a forward-thinking accounting firm based in Sutton Coldfield. Established around twelve years ago by Sian Kelly, the firm began its journey in the cloud, leveraging innovative technologies such as Xero and Dext. Starting with just Sian, the company has expanded to a dedicated team of thirty professionals. Today, Inform Accounting continues to embrace cloud technology, driving its growth and establishing its position in the industry.

Inform Accounting Office

The Challenge 

Sian’s challenges were not so much about implementing technology, but rather about using it to overcome the constraints of traditional office environments and practices. She was certain that she didn’t want the restriction of being tied to an office or a physical server. Instead, she desired the flexibility to work from anywhere.

I had young children so I wanted to have the flexibility to work from home or during school holidays, all while being able to travel.

Another challenge was educating and persuading new clients about the benefits of the cloud-based tools she was using.

“Ten or twelve years ago, our clients were reluctant to use software like Xero and Dext because they weren’t familiar with accounting automation tools. I would show them the benefits of it and why they needed to adapt.

This was an ongoing challenge that required significant efforts to convince clients to move from legacy desktop applications to cloud-based solutions.

Lastly, the diversity of clients and their industries posed a unique challenge for Inform Accounting. While the firm didn’t cater to a specific niche, its reputation for using advanced technology attracted a broad spectrum of small businesses and e-commerce clients. This range required the firm to continually adapt its services and technologies to meet the varying needs of its growing clientele.

The Solution

Drawing on her industry background, Sian Kelly recognised the pressing need among small businesses for comprehensive, outsourced financial solutions.

When I looked at small businesses and decided to set up on my own, I first thought I was going to focus on consultancy. Then I realised my clients really wanted a one-stop shop and outsourced finance department, which is what we now offer,” she explained. 

Since its beginnings, Inform Accounting has included Dext in its tech stack as a means of streamlining and future-proofing the business.  

I used to have to dial in to get access to work, but I wanted flexibility. As soon as I understood the principles and concepts of cloud-based software, I knew I was going to work with it. With Dext, you can log in from anywhere. There’s no other way to do it.

To ensure a high level of efficiency, Sian and her team have recently also adopted Dext Precision, a sophisticated tool aimed at checking the accuracy of financial records and providing valuable insights into the clients’ financial health. Although the implementation is recent and training is still ongoing, Sian was able to acknowledge “it’s a very good tool that serves as an extra control and saves time.”

While some clients were hesitant about the shift from traditional systems to digital ones, most found immense value in using the provided tools, especially with real-time information access. This allowed for a proactive approach to decision-making and potential problem-solving. Sian stated, “It’s great that we have information in real-time, it allows us to help all our clients.

The decision to adopt Dext and Precision was a strategic one that allowed Inform Accounting to provide services to clients across the UK efficiently. The use of these tools saved substantial time and improved accuracy in their work.

The Impact 

Sian’s implementation of Dext from the beginning has empowered her team to fully meet customers’ needs and improve the firm’s efficiency, focusing on more valuable work than just compliance.

I very much wanted the real-time data, I wasn’t interested in having a bag of receipts at the end of the year and doing stat accounts for clients, that wasn’t where I saw the real value.

She went on to illustrate the flexibility and variety in client service her team is able to provide due to implementing tools like Dext and adding Precision:

For some clients, having access to Xero and our suite of tools is all they require. They value the ability to reach out to us with questions whenever they need. If an unexpected financial situation arises, such as needing a loan or navigating a difficult period, we’re ready to provide the support they need. We can even estimate their future tax bill in advance. Our services cater to these diverse needs, making us a reliable financial ally for them.

The tools have not only saved considerable time but also improved the accuracy and reliability of the firm’s work. Through these digital platforms, Sian’s vision of efficient, real-time and flexible financial service delivery has become a reality.

A Note From Dext

Rather than waiting for financial complexities to surface, Sian Kelly and her team at Inform Accounting have welcomed our cutting-edge solutions — Dext and the extra functionalities of Precision — into their daily routines. It’s an approach that not only smooths out internal operations but crucially delivers a richer, more comprehensive service to Inform Accounting’s clients.

The adoption of our tools by Inform Accounting isn’t just about problem-solving, it’s about problem prevention. It’s about anticipating the needs of clients, harnessing financial data with laser-precise accuracy and translating those insights into real-time, actionable strategies. This, to us, encapsulates the very spirit of what Dext is all about — empowering businesses to excel and save time.

We’ve always believed in the power of foresight – the ability to transition from constantly putting out fires to preventing them from happening in the first place. The philosophy of turning insights into action is deeply embedded in our ethos, and seeing it in practice at Inform Accounting reaffirms our mission. The firm’s journey serves as an inspiring story, and we’re eager to keep nurturing this partnership. 


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