Skip to main content

Firm Management

Practice Management: Retaining Clients for Life

practice engine

The modern age of the practice management system is here, and it’s offering accounting firms more efficiencies than they have ever had in the past. A practice management system goes beyond time entry into managing the complete life cycle that is your client relationship.

This is the driving factor behind Practice Engine, along with the fact that the single system can replace up to six applications that the firm is currently running. Practice Engine is comprised of Time and Expense Entry/Billing, CRM, Project Management (Workflow), Scheduling, Collections, and Reporting functionalities.

Practice Engine polled over 250 accounting firms and uncovered some key issues regarding the firms’ existing legacy practice management systems. A major concern heard from accounting firms is related to a lack of integration between their practice management systems and their other existing applications. This results in the need for dual entry, a greater possibility of errors in recording data multiple times, and a concern that the information might not be completely up-to-date across all platforms.

In addition, accounting firms noted issues surrounding reporting, or, more precisely, the lack thereof. Reporting has been an Achilles heel for many firms due to the inability to customize reports to fill the firms’ and their clients’ needs. Most firms mentioned that their existing system provides some ready-made reports, but often the report data isn’t relevant to running a business.

Finally, firms voiced a concern around accessibility. Today’s accountants need the ability to work from anywhere, on any device. In other words, they need to be fully mobile.

Practice Engine was designed to address all of these issues, and the result is a practice management system created specifically for professional service firms and their client relationships.

Client Life Cycle

To appreciate the strength of Practice Engine, once must examine the typical client life cycle. This consists of several steps:

  • Opportunity
  • Onboarding
  • Time Spent
  • Related Expenses
  • Scheduling
  • Billing
  • Collections
  • Reporting

Often we think of these as unique steps, independent of one another. As we head down the path of finding appropriate technology solutions to handle each of these steps, our process can become disjointed and we collide with the first of the issues mentioned above, integration. As we build our practices and add a variety of software programs and apps, we often duplicate efforts when client information has to be input repeatedly across the applications. Furthermore, we need connectivity among the solutions in order to produce a cohesive project from start to finish. Practice Engine solves this problem by offering an open API (application programming interface) which allows for a rich integration of external applications so that data is shared across platforms and management of projects can occur within Practice Engine from start to finish.

While the integration is superior in Practice Engine, you actually can take care of those life cycle tasks right within the program. Managing your pipeline, recording time, simple expense recording by clicking a picture of your receipts, scheduling staff, billing clients, and collection – all of this can be accomplished within the Practice Engine platform.

And when it comes to reporting, not only does Practice Engine contain a useful collection of standard reports, the ability to export data to numerous other reporting tools allows you to use any reporting tools you like, according to Mike Francis, founder of The Practice Engine Group Ltd. “There is a plethora of reporting about all clients going through the various phases of the life cycle. In addition to standard reports, most firms want fairly specific reports; we can assist with that,” said Francis.

Practice Engine is cloud-based and can be run on “any device, at any time, from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection,” continued Francis. “It is a completely mobile application – it’s not limited to any technology other than there must be a compliant browser.”

So the major issues of integration, reporting, accessibility – these are all solved, along with so much more, by using Practice Engine as your practice management solution. Contact us for a demo and more information



See inside May 2019

4 Tips to Overcome Hiring Challenges

Recent research shows many organizations are already flexible with their hiring demands. In a Robert Half survey, 84 percent of human resources managers said they are at least somewhat open to hiring and training an employee who doesn't meet the ...