One of the best ways to provide better client services is to engage your practice management systems to track client workflow details. Not just tax and accounting info but all related information. This is what Customer Relationship Management software can do for firms. I define “workflow” in this context as tracking all client related events whether it is an appointment, phone call, email or the actual documents and processes while performing client services.
When all members of the firm can quickly know who is working on what client and where the related information is, we empower the firm to perform higher quality client service. It helps us work as a team. When the client calls or emails we know exactly what is going on and what to tell the client or at least who to go to if we need help. The same is true when we can track the last time we called the client and know what was said. This too, is empowering. Instead of struggling to remember the details of the last call or information discussed with a client, any team member can simply look it up.
New systems must go a step further when quickly logging and retrieving client information. We need our client emails, from all firm members in one place. We also need documents available when meeting with or talking to our clients. Systems today can embed documents in our appointments, call tracking and automatically store our emails from Outlook in an organized fashion in our document management section of our practice management systems. The alternative is to go to each staffs computer and review their emails. This is ineffective as well as unlikely that we would take the time to do this. The “new breed” of practice management software must incorporate these things.
CRM systems are now being considered for firms wanting to grow. Firms are looking to hire a marketing person, even an intern to bring in new business. Using CRM systems is imperative for any firms marketing initiative. We need the ability to sort, organize and communicate with prospects through a CRM system. CRM systems should have the ability to create unlimited groupings and be able to track when we last communicated, when and how we next communicate with prospects.
It doesn’t make sense to implement another program and database when marketing duties can now be accomplished in the new Practice Management offerings.
Compliance Tracking and Due Diligence
It is important from compliance and due diligence perspective, that we track details about client transactions. Practice Management systems must support the logging of what was said on the phone call with our clients and in support of performing services like IRS correspondence and audits support. It is also really helpful to know what discussions are going on about the processing of tax returns and monthly accounting services.
This article continues online. Please go to www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/10772482 to continue reading about how practice management systems can help professional firms.