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What's in your AppStack?



This week, I enrolled on a trial of yet more software.

Yes, more


Why?


It was recommended by a friend.

She recommended it because she's used it in her accountancy practice, and thought that it would be a good fit for me too.

I never question her judgement (she's totally the queen of the appstack), but this time I didn't quite understand the benefit, if any, that the shiny new software would bring.

Nevertheless, I duly signed up, received my sign in credentials and started to poke around.


In fairness, there wasn't much poking around to be done. All it does is collect bank statements.


I know.

It just collects bank statements.

It barely links to anything, hardly any integrations at all.


Is that it?


Again, I asked myself the question. Why would I pay £X per month for this? It's the equivalent of a client walking into my office and handing me the bank statements in a beautifully labelled folder.

But wait.


Clients don't.

They forget

And if they do remember, they generally omit the one statement that I actually need.


This then results in a huge time lag between when I request the relevant statement, the client responding with 'but I sent you everything', to finally sidling up and silently providing the document.

By which time the job has stalled. By the time you pick it up again, you have review your notes and have a quick refresh of where you were up to. The whole thing can be quite time consuming and mentally draining.


So what's the benefit?


So whilst the software collects the bank statements, that isn't actually the benefit.

The benefit is the reduction of the the above process, the dance that we do to actually get the information that we need.


It's the avoidance of the metaphorical packing away the toolbox and driving off site.

And it's the streamlining of another teeny bit of the process.

Small actions leading to long term gains.


How does this affect business owners?


We've all taken out subscriptions for softwares that we think are the absolute best way to move forward, only to discover further down the line that they're not actually the right thing after all.

Meanwhile, we've spent potentially thousands on the damn thing, plus all the time in setting it up.

I've done it myself, setting up the software that I never understood fully in the first place. It was never quite right, they increased their subscription price and I stayed for a while, until I woke up, smelt the coffee and took my loyalty elsewhere.


How do I know which software is right for me?


You don't, initially.

You have to be very clear on which problems you need solving, and do some due diligence.

  • Will this solve X issue?

  • Or is it just really pretty with lots of graphs?

  • Will it do 'for now', or will it stay with me for a decent period of time?

  • And do I actually understand it? Can I use all of the bits and bobs?


My problem and solution?


My issue was the provision of bank statements from clients.

They're busy people, and the last thing that they want to do when they come home is to start finding bank statements. They've lost their bank log in details, and the laptop isn't charged up.

The software that I'm looking at will take away that pain, and I won't even have to ask them for their statements, they'll be right there in front of me.



So bearing all of that in mind, yes, there's a every chance that I'll be signing up.

Because £X per month is an absolute steal when you look at the bigger picture.


What are you signing up for?

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