Dext Transforms Accounting Processes for Maximum Efficiency

About Transforming Homes & Gardens

Transforming Homes & Gardens is a premier landscaping company based in Perth, Western Australia, that specializes in high-end landscaping in the Northern suburbs of Perth.

Graham Sweeney, owner and director, and Angela Sweeney, co-owner and office manager, take the idea of a family-run business to the next level. “It’s part of the appeal”, Graham says. “A lot of people like our family approach where every person receives a tailored method to everything we do.” 

They established Transforming Homes & Gardens in 2006, with the aim of enhancing outdoor landscapes to reflect their client’s unique lifestyle needs. In serving their community, they’ve achieved this and beyond. We caught up with Graham and Angela about how they discovered Dext Prepare and how it helps their business thrive.

The team at Transforming Homes and Garden in action, and a project finalised.

The Opportunity

In the beginning, handling bookkeeping and expenses was kind of a nightmare for the company. Workers would go to different shops to buy the wide range of materials needed for the jobs they were assigned to. Then they would get to their sites and start working straight away, rather than stop by a centralised location to pick up tools and supplies. This meant there was no easy way for Graham and Angela to gather all the necessary receipts or invoices from their purchases – which often were lost. 

“I couldn’t do my side of the business without getting important expense documents”, Angela records. “I was always waiting in limbo.”

While the bookkeeping waited to be done, receipts would often be forgotten on vehicle’s dashboards, getting bleached by the sun, making them difficult to read.

“Then I would end up with all these receipts and no idea of who purchased what, and I was unable to ask questions about certain expenses. It was a very lengthy and painful process.”

Meanwhile on job sites, Graham noticed the disorganisation and lack of processes for the admin part of the business was making him spend too much time on unproductive work. He also didn’t have an easy way to monitor how much money the organisation was bringing in.

“It was important for us to be able to track the business better to work out how much money we’re making on each job”, he says. “To do that, we obviously needed to know what our expenses were.”

The Solution

Transforming Homes & Gardens knew it was time for a change, which is when they discovered Dext Prepare. They hired a new accountant who got them to switch accounting packages from MYOB to Xero. With this change, having Dext as an add-on to their accounting solution was a no-brainer.

As with any changes, there was a short period of adjustment to their new tech stack, but it didn’t take too long for the processes to feel like second nature. They’ve now been using Dext Prepare for four years and haven’t looked back.

“Expenses are put on a job number, and you can see how many hours and how much money we spent. It’s much easier to work out what the material cost is versus what amount we’re making”, Graham says.

“Dext is much easier to use because it’s instant.”

The team at Transforming Homes and Garden in action, and a project finalised.

The Impact 

Now Dext Prepare helps them deal with suppliers, easily manage last-minute purchases of materials for projects and have team members submit expenses on the go without having to physically bring a paper version. It also enables them to search for past costs on Dext’s library so they can check that their finances are in order for each project and compare price fluctuations.

“With Dext, you simply take a picture, throw the receipt in the bin and you’re good to go. Your focus is back on the job, not on paperwork.”

“They’re not bookkeepers”, Angela adds with a laugh. “So this really makes it all so much easier for everyone.”

Graham and Angela now have a much more detailed picture of their finances, which helps with future planning as well as team management. With Dext Prepare, Graham sets his team up for success by allowing them to focus on the projects instead of spending time on admin – so they can continue to provide the highest quality of work for Transforming Homes & Garden’s clients.

“I trust them explicitly with what they’re doing, and they do a great job. In return, I want to make their lives as simple as possible so they can do what they’re meant to do, which is landscape, not paperwork.”

According to Graham and Angela, Dext Prepare saves their team members at least three hours a week – and a lot of headache. 

“It’s worth its money”, Graham adds. “In an industry like ours, it’s all about systems and efficiency. I like the speed at which I can take a photo of a receipt and get on with work. It’s simple.”

“I’m not a technology person, I’m more interested in doing what I do well. With Dext, I don’t have to worry about that part of the business.”

A finalised project by Transforming Homes and Garden.

Moving Forward

As Transforming Homes & Gardens continues to create beautiful landscapes for their clients, they plan to keep Dext Prepare with them every step of the way. What once was a blooming relationship is now a fully grown partnership that will scale as the company expands. 

Want to improve your bookkeeping and financial documentation to be more productive and efficient? Check out Dext Prepare and see why this is a must-have for any business.

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