JCM Fine Joinery uses LiveCosts to:

Watch: Video Testimonial

JCM Fine Joinery

Nat Macauley, Managing Director of JCM Fine Joinery, speaks to LiveCosts about the benefits that using LiveCosts has brought to her business, and shares advice on how to get the most out of LiveCosts.

Based in the West Midlands, JCM Fine Joinery have been a commercial joinery manufacturing business for over 30 years.

To learn more about JCM Fine Joinery, visit their website here.


What problem were you trying to solve?

What I wanted to know was, by project, is this project profitable?

That sounded like such an easy and perhaps naive question and… Oh boy.

We knew there were some big systems out there, but we couldn’t afford them. And typically their functionality was way more than we really wanted.

And then the other thing we found was there were smaller systems available, but they didn’t quite fit the bill.

And then I saw LiveCosts and started digging.

And literally as I dug, it was looking more and more like what we needed. And then the cherry on the cake was making that phone call to the team, getting a human being, having a conversation, them totally listening to us and understanding that we were a small business whilst we’re part of the construction sector.

We are this tiny little cog and they listened and let us do a trial.

And again, I really respond to that because if you’re confident in your product, you’re going to let people try it because you’ll be confident it will sell itself.

But the guys listened, they heard us, they let us try it. And we are going into our second year of running LiveCosts.

I can’t speak more highly about it. It’s absolutely brilliant.

“What I wanted to know was, by project, is this project profitable? “


What are some of the main benefits of using LiveCosts?

I can give you a tangible benefit that’s just come to the fore because we’ve been revising our bookkeeping costs. We’re very self sufficient, we’re a very commercial outfit, so that’s why we like access to data at our fingertips – data that we can interpret and will give us really good information.

That’s why Xero works for us and that’s why LiveCosts works for us, because we do not rely on our accountants or our bookkeeper to tell us how our business is performing.

So the immediate benefit is, in terms of our accountant looking at renewing their proposal with us, they were quoting us a three figure sum to be able to do reconciliation in Xero of the invoices which they don’t need to do because LiveCosts is handling it.

And we drive LiveCosts in the office because we’re driving the projects.

But there’s a tangible benefit – it’s helped save us accountancy costs, which is really good. But buried in that is the fact that I haven’t then got to wait for an accountant to tell me how my business is doing.

I know in the moment how it’s performing, my project, so it helps us course correct if something’s going wrong.

Which LiveCosts feature did you find most beneficial to your business?

That’s an easy one, because it’s the thing that drove me to LiveCosts in the first place – cost control.

So we used to use the Purchase Order function in Xero. So issuing the authority to purchase, LiveCosts does it in the moment and you get the visual on the screen.

So when the supplier invoice comes in, it’s also reading that invoice, it’s matching it to the purchase order and if the numbers don’t add up, it’s flagging it to you immediately.

If it’s invalid, then we’re picking up the phone and we’re having a conversation with the supplier as to why they’ve charged more than we’ve authorised.

So it’s just incredibly powerful and helps us manage cost control.

How much time does LiveCosts save your business?

It will have saved us probably at least a day a month.

The time that we are spending in LiveCosts now is way more valuable. We get better bang for our buck in terms of interacting on a daily basis because it’s giving us information ahead of an issue, versus a day a month reconciling macro spreadsheets where it’s too late, the situation has already happened and trying to unravel that can then be difficult.

So to be sort of tangible about it, at least a day a month.

What measurable benefits have you seen?

Just complete control of the process. If I’m honest, the system is really slick.

So the way that it sends out the information, the way it brings the information in – really slick.

And then I’ve got to be honest, we’ve got some really big suppliers, and when I explain that we’ve got this sort of invoice matching system it probably makes us sound really much bigger and much more sophisticated than perhaps we are!

“There’s a tangible benefit – it’s helped save us accountancy costs, which is really good.” 

“I haven’t got to wait for an accountant to tell me how my business is doing.”


What would you say to other people considering LiveCosts?

Be really clear what the system needs to do for you.

But it’s based on really good accounting principles, and the fundamentals of credit control.

But what I would advise is that you absolutely leverage the training and set up support from LiveCosts on the front end. Because if you do that and you spend that time to get it set up for your business, it will pay dividends, obviously, in terms of the workflow.

And I am the worst for not reading instruction manuals on anything new I buy. I think, “I’ll just figure it out.”

But there was just something about the humanity of your team and the way they wanted to spend human contact time with us to do that.

Not “Here’s an FAQ” or “Here’s some videos you can watch.”

I mean, yes, those things are available, but they spend quality face time with us as well doing that.

That’s becoming a rare commodity today, so I found that exceptionally useful.

“I would advise that you absolutely leverage the training.”