Automation Award Winner 2018 – JDH

'The JDH Group' [Left to Right] Higher Resolution[1]

The Automation Award – A practice that’s scalable, consistently delivering to high standards even when you’re relaxing on holidays. 

Quick read… 13 may be unlucky for some, but for JDH, this magic number represents the amount of systems they’ve created and software they use to revolutionise their firm, its unstoppable growth and the ability to take a well-earned break 


One A switch in software 

By upgrading their software to more licenses and more users, JDH boosted productivity and efficiency.   


Two – A link between Go Cardless and Sage 

No more cheques – and changing from standing orders to direct debits handed JDH more cash flow control. On the client side, this also created clarity that fees flex as according to the service delivered. 


Three – Auto Text overcomes paper chasing 

For MDH, Auto Text cut down the time taken for chasing paperwork, and made deadline chasing easier. It was cheap, easy and fast to set up. 


Four – Out with ACT! In with Sage 50 

ACT! had been used by JDH, but this expensive option often conflicted with their IT systems. So they switched to Sage 50. Every member of the team was set up with an account. Now everything is in a single place – no work is duplicated and everyone can update client details without delay. 


Five – No more payslip re-print requests 

Previously client payslip re-print requests were gobbling up time. In response, JDH made all of their payslips available online. 


Six – Sage 50 Bureaux Manager for fast responses 

Responding to client enquiries quickly is key for JDH, which is why they use Sage 50 Bureaux Manager, which allows for toggling back and forth between clients, without logging in and out (and in and out!) of Sage 50 Payroll.   


Seven – Sage Pensions Exchange – Terminal efficiency  

A new tool in the JDH tool box, Sage Pensions Exchange uploads pension data quickly and efficiently.  


Eight – Sage One Cloud – Getting set for Making Tax Digital 

Like all accountancies, JDH are gearing up for Making Tax Digital. As part of this preparation, they’ve moved smaller clients onto Sage One Cloud – a solution that their client base see as cost-effective. Bank feeds were set up en masse, and their clients received hands-on training.  


Nine – Nominal Link – Making posting payroll simpler 

JDH have cut the time and complexity from posting payroll to accounts by using Nominal Link – which easily copes with even the more involved of postings, which might include multiple departments and costing centres. 


Ten – Sage Drive – No more hanging around 

Sage Drive is making live, online client collaboration possible for JDH. No longer must the client wait for the team to complete their work – access is available 24/7 no matter what. 


Eleven – Iris Open Space – Client approval, from wherever they are in the world 

JDH now upload documents awaiting a signature of approval to Iris Open Space. Clients too busy to pop by can now approve on the go, saving time and inconvenience all round. 


Twelve – Mail Chimp – Staying top of Mind 

Mail Chimp allows JDH to communicate key information to their clients instantly. It was also via Mail Chimp that JDH made use of the AVN GDPR brochure, which they shared with their contact list.  


Thirteen – A Masterclass in GDPR 

For many, if not all, accountancy firms, GDPR would have been more aptly named GDP-Argh by the time they’d finished ensuring they were compliant. Nevertheless, with steely determination, the JDH team went full-throttle with their GDPR overhaul. Here’s what they put in place… 

  • Bit Locker Drive Encryption is now used on all portable storage devices  
  • Dashlane for Business is installed on each PC – along with a cast-iron password policy 
  • JDH thoroughly vet the businesses they use and their GDPR compliance – including sub-contract bookkeepers and storage facilities 
  • A business mobile phone is kept in the office, with clients set up with HMRC log ins using the mobile for the access codes 
  • A new GDPR email opt-in form features on the JDH website 
  • A GDPR audit was completed – leading to improvements in systems, processes and security 
  • A client data cleanse was undertaken  
  • MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) continues to add an extra layer of security to the JDH email system 
  • Clients now receive either password protected payslips via email or use online payslips 
  • Reports are uploaded to Iris Open Space, rather than sent by email  
  • Name’s home office has become part of the main office network – to bolster system security 
  • The team are on track to get the Cyber Essentials Plus certificate – a yearly audit that confirms a firm is fully secure and compliant 
  • JDH continue to invest in Cyber Insurance, despite being advised that their security is among the most stringent of all accountancy firms 

From improving security to optimising efficiency and client communication, the multiple systems JDH have persevered to put in place have saved many man-hours and boosted client satisfaction. Combined, their business is stronger, and more prepared for the future ahead. And that is why JDH lift the Automation Award in 2018.