TW Bowler approached LWA to help them with their finance and accounting needs back in 2015. Since being appointed, LWA has helped the haulage business grow from strength to strength with better bookkeeping, analytics and management reporting tools. This included the use of Dext Prepare – and the results have exceeded all expectations.
To learn more, we had the pleasure of speaking with Matthew Jones, Audit & Accounts Manager at LWA, and Lavinia Bellis, the experienced Bookkeeper at TW Bowler who works alongside Lyndsey Bowler managing the accounts department in the family business. Here’s how investing in business accounting automation is helping both the small business and the accounting firm to achieve more.
About LWA and TW Bowler
Leavitt Walmsley Associates (LWA) is an award-winning accountancy and business advisory firm based in Manchester and Warrington, United Kingdom. With a team of 15 dedicated professionals, LWA has been providing expert financial services to clients across various industries, including construction, healthcare and retail. They pride themselves on offering personalised, client-centric and innovative solutions that cater to the unique needs of each business.
One of these businesses is TW Bowler. A reputable fifth-generation family-owned and operated heavy haulage and equestrian outfitters/animal feed merchants company, TW Bowler was founded in 1950. Based in Stockport, the company has successfully grown over the years, earning a solid reputation for its professional services and commitment to customer satisfaction.
But how do both companies fit into the same picture? Well, through accounting!
Before implementing Dext Prepare, TW Bowler faced challenges streamlining their accounting processes. With a focus on adopting new technologies to benefit not only the firm but also its clients, LWA has been recommending Dext Prepare for its clients for years. However, TW Bowler’s accounting practices still relied on outdated methods, causing issues with maintaining up-to-date records.
“There was no real-time data or anything like that. TW Bowler was pretty good at keeping paper records, thankfully. But when you try and catch up with at least a year’s worth of records, it’s very difficult if it’s all manual. We were getting a lot of requests from banks asking for management accounts, which we just couldn’t produce because the information was so far out of date,” explains Matt.
Recognising the need for a change, LWA suggested introducing more efficient technology into the processes at TW Bowler.
“We’ve had some really great feedback about Dext Prepare from our clients, and actual Google reviews we’ve received specifically mention the use of Dext as well.” – Matthew Jones, Audit & Accounts Manager at LWA
The opportunity to transform TW Bowler’s accounting practices was evident, and the senior management team at the company was open to adopting new processes, driven by the support and insights provided by its partnership with LWA.
LWA made a commitment to support TW Bowler by introducing more efficient technology into their processes in order to improve workflow and save time. This had started with the implementation of Xero, and now the team was ready to take it to the next level.
Back at the company, Lavinia was initially sceptical about using Dext Prepare: “I didn’t quite trust it at first. The fact that I could take a photo of our paperwork and the software would automatically process it made me think it was too good to be true. I didn’t want to make mistakes.”
However, upon trying the software, her impressions quickly changed.
“I’ve got to say I’m very impressed. It blew my mind how Dext Prepare picks up patterns and learns quickly from each interaction.” – Lavinia Bellis, Bookkeeper at TW Bowler
At TW Bowler, Dext Prepare was integrated with Xero, allowing for seamless data entry and streamlined accounting processes. This not only made it easier for Lavinia, Lyndsey and the team to work remotely but also facilitated better collaboration and communication between LWA and TW Bowler.
“Because the app has an in-app communication channel, you can communicate through Dext Prepare. If you need something, you can just send a message, and Lavinia and her team can act on it”, says Matt. This works both ways, as Lavinia adds that she found this tool quite useful to be able to ask Matt questions whilst using Prepare.
The impact of implementing Dext Prepare has been significant for both LWA and TW Bowler. Lavinia mentions that working with Prepare has made it easier for her to handle day-to-day tasks.
“I’m more relaxed now because I know I’m dealing with it on a day-to-day basis just by rolling the emails on.“
The new system not only saves time but also allows both companies to focus on more important aspects of TW Bowler’s business, such as cash flow and growth.
“A few years ago, it was all about ‘Where’s this invoice? Why isn’t the bank reconciled?’… But now it’s about where we’re at and where’s the cash flow,” highlight Matt.
The ease of use and integration with other accounting apps have made the process smoother for both LWA and TW Bowler.
“Integration is very important. For me, as a user of both Xero and Dext, the way they connect is brilliant.”
The implementation of Dext Prepare has been a great example of how family-owned businesses and those in traditionally change-resistant sectors can adapt to new technology and streamline their processes.
Looking ahead, both Matt and Lavinia express the importance of staying open to new technological advancements. “I think the next thing for us will be AI. I know Dext Prepare has some AI components, it’ll be interesting to see how they evolve“, shares Matt.
This curiosity and hunger for innovation have been brought about on the basis of trust. After a successful experience implementing Dext Prepare, Lavinia feels more comfortable experimenting with new tools.
“I’ll always be guided by Matt and LWA. I’m really happy with Dext Prepare and how this partnership has resulted, so I put all my confidence in Matt,” she says.
As a bonus, Lavinia adds they’re now also using Dext Precision to help with TW Bowler’s financial operations. More specifically, they employ the software to identify duplicate transactions and maintain healthy data.
“I couldn’t imagine going back, the thought of it is terrifying. In all honesty, it’s amazing how Dext Prepare picks up information. It still shocks me now“, she says, grateful for the technology that has changed the way she works.
“Lavinia is always thanking me, but I should be thanking her. I couldn’t do my job for TW Bowler without her. At first, I saw Dext Prepare as a bridge between us, but now it’s the glue. Without it, I don’t think we would be able to work as effectively. The amount of time and effort things would take would be considerably more. We would both need more staff!“, concludes Matthew.
Both LWA and TW Bowler agree that investing in the right technology is crucial – not only it saves time and improves workflows but, ultimately, helps businesses grow. With the help of Dext Prepare, they created their own finance super team.
Check how Dext Prepare can take your digital transformation to the next level: start a free trial today!