December 2015 included a pretty big milestone for Glide, namely the decision to build a timesheet and billing module which would become known as Glide Time. Up until this point our focus had solely been on our workflow management tool.
What is surprising today is that the firms most keen to use it are totally different from those that were requesting it back in 2015….!
The Glide management team started Glide in 2010 arriving from a mid tier practice background. A regional office with c. 30 staff which was of course already well equipped with a timesheet/billing solution from a large suite provider. The obvious gap in the market was for a dedicated workflow solution that actually worked, hence why we built Glide workflow.
Through 2013-2015 we found a lot of smaller Glide customers (e.g. single owner, single location w/ 1-5 staff) were asking about time recording. This market segment had never really adopted the larger suite tools and so often recorded time in Excel 😯. They were keen for a simple way to record time against jobs to compare to the fee.
Fast forward to 2019 and the timesheet add on we built is being adopted by much larger firms, e.g. those with multiple offices, departments, partners and say 50-100 staff members recording time. I believe there are two main factors which have contributed to this accidental success:
- Drawing upon personal experience we made a comprehensive time recording app with all the features a larger firm needs (e.g. detailed WIP, advance time, multiple charge rates etc)
- More importantly though we fully integrated the solution with the Xero Accounting system.
The latter really does seem to be key. There is very little stopping even a large Accounting firm from adopting Xero. The business model does not really necessitate a mid market Accounting solution unless you have specific needs or complexities. Combine this with the fact that the client facing staff are busy recommending cloud Accounting to vast swathes of their client base, there clearly comes a time when the internal Accountants question why they too can not benefit from cloud Accounting such as Xero.
One key sticking point would tend to be the lack of integration offered by their timesheet/billing system. Typically hosted on-site and offering no links to modern cloud services, if they did adopt Xero this would leave the internal Accounting staff making duplicate invoice entries in 2 systems.
Glide Time fully resolves this issue and I believe this has been key to growth.
With Glide Time firms can now do all of the following:
- Record time and monitor WIP in Glide in the cloud.
- Have Glide linked to certain on-site suite providers (CCH, Digita etc) to keep a single point of client data entry.
- Benefit from the best workflow management system for Accountants.
- Raise bills in Glide and have them instantly appear in Xero, now including line item detail.
- Maintain recurring bills in Xero and have them automatically pulled into Glide as advance time (negative WIP).
I believe this perfect storm has led to a significant rise in larger Accounting firms looking to benefit from cloud based and highly integrated services for their internal timesheet and billing requirements.
As a result we shall be investing more in this product in the coming months to ensure we fully cater for the larger firms looking to use Glide Time, look out for announcements soon on even more Xero integration, the potential to link to multiple Xero accounts and another boost to dashboards and reporting for Glide Time.