Life-Changing Collaboration

Close collaboration between DFK member firms in Ireland and Australia on practice management software has led to a transformational change.

  • DFK news
  • 25 November 2020

Close collaboration between DFK member firms in Ireland and Australia on practice management software has led to a transformational change.

Crowleys DFK was looking into updating its practice management software and managing partner James O’Conner contacted Paul Fiumara, partner at DFK Hirn Newey, for his firm’s experience of using Xero Practice Manager.

The contact over several months led to James, partner Eddie Murphy and project manager Karen Murphy having a face-to-face meeting with Paul at the DFK EMEA Annual and Young Professionals Conference in Madrid in March this year.

The meeting gave Crowleys DFK the confidence to go ahead with Xero Practice Manager and following evaluation and testing, the firm implemented the new cloud-based system as a trial before successfully rolling it out across the business.

James said: “Our friendship and relationship with Paul has been there for years and has always been very positive, and the sharing of his firm’s experience of using Xero Practice Manager was no exception.

“The fact that he was so willing to sit with us for a whole afternoon at the conference in Madrid and open up his laptop to bring us right into the heart of his business so he could show us exactly how it worked.

“He was totally open and honest, and that blew me away in terms of his willingness to share so much with us.”

Karen said: “The practice management system is the backbone of our business and Paul gave us the confidence to go with Xero Practice Manager.  His insight was essential in us being able to make the right decision.”

Karen led on the implementation of the new system and the switchover took place over the summer, with most of the firm’s 120 staff working remotely due to Covid-19 restrictions.    

James said: “The remote working forced us to move in this direction more quickly.  If we did not have Xero Practice Manager, we would probably not have survived without everybody being back in the office.  It’s changed our lives.

“We were struggling to maintain productivity in the first few months of lockdown because we were working remotely.  This new system has given us the tools so that our management teams can more efficiently manage their staff and can identify problems immediately.  It has given everybody at all levels within the business a clearer focus.”

The long-standing relationship between the two firms has also recently resulted in Crowleys DFK referring business to DFK Hirn Newey, a further example of the benefits of close collaboration among DFK members.

Martin Sharp, executive director of DFK International, said the experience highlighted DFK’s strong partnership with Xero and the benefits of close communication and collaboration.

He said: “It highlights how valuable communication and collaboration is within DFK member firms.”


DFK International