What is Practice Management Software and Why Your Small Accountancy Firm Needs It ASAP
Organisation, time-management, tracking and progress is the backbone of any successful accountancy firm. Are you looking to make your practice more successful by increasing productivity and streamlining your essential processes? I don’t think anyone would say no to that question, so under that assumption, here is an introduction to practice management software for accountants and why it’s beneficial to you and your firm.
What is Practice Management Software for Accountants?
Practice management is where you manage your clients and where you produce, collaborate, and track the progress of both upcoming and past work. Put simply, it is the management of daily operations to run your practice more efficiently.
Practice management software for accountants then is the piece of software that enables you to do this. Think of it as your administrative hub where you can:
- store and manage your client data
- manage your workflow
- manage your documents
- manage your sales
- facilitate accounting, reporting, regulatory training and competence logs
- track your progress of both upcoming and previous work
- streamline your schedule for the whole firm
- communicate with your clients
- perform a plethora of other tasks
As you can see, accounting practice management software is where you manage the “back-office” of your accountancy practice in its entirety. If executed well in your practice, it can easily become a highly effective and integrated one-stop resource where you can take complete control of what needs to be done and by whom. Imagine never having a task slip your mind or never missing another client deadline again? This is what practice management software does: it allows you to take everything out of your head and organise it all in one place ready to delegate, manage, and actually get them done.
Essential note! There are 6 things you need to do BEFORE you invest in Practice Management Software for your firm. Check out our blog here to find out what they are (or risk wasting time and money)
Why your firm needs Practice Management Software for Accountants (the benefits!)
What is the benefit that always comes with getting organised, mapping out workflow, and automation? You guessed it, it saves you valuable time. It’s the same for practice management software too. A firm that has implemented this software, where all tasks are managed on one system, they will be spending far less time on administrative tasks and more time on tasks of higher value than a firm who hasn’t. Which do you think is getting more bang for their buck?
As well as gaining time, removing many of the manual processes in your firm gives you many other benefits too such as:
Enhanced practice efficiency
Accounting workflow software eliminates several office tasks such as manual billing and a plethora of paperwork which increases efficiencies and improves processes that are essential to the running of the firm.
Practice efficiency is greatly enhanced as the software streamlines three key areas:
- It highlights your upcoming client tasks, deadlines, and general workload at a glance;
- It provides you with an overview of all the services you provide for each client;
- It breaks down client jobs into manageable chunks which you can then delegate to different team members.
Having one central system, where workflow is managed and all documents and data can be accessed by the team, is an extremely powerful productivity tool. Why? The answer is two-fold:
- Information can be shared easily among staff and in real-time which significantly improves communication, and;
- Operations are streamlined so that staff can carry out tasks more efficiently and effectively.
If you have great practice management, you will be able to work efficiently and more productively which means bigger margins and a healthier cash flow for your practice.
The bottom line is that efficiency gains and process improvement result in less time being spent on administrative tasks and more time on high-value tasks such as bringing in new business. What are the tasks that you know you should be spending more time on?
Scaling your business is hard without great practice management because you can’t improve and grow if you don’t know what mistakes you are making. Only when you know what areas are particularly wasteful when it comes to your time can you make the improvements that will enable your practice to grow and develop.
Scalability is greatly enhanced as the software allows you to:
- Measure key performance indicators such as financial and operational performance,
- Gain actionable insights and opportunities related to profitability, revenue cycle, costs or productivity from reports,
- Better understand, track, and improve the performance of your practice over time,
- Use the data to help grow your practice in a sustainable way.
One accountant can’t produce a “better” tax return than the person down the road so how do accountants and bookkeepers compete? It’s all about the quality of service, relationships and expertise.
With great practice management, accountants can differentiate themselves; they can organise their workflow, increase their efficiency, and better manage their clients which are all needed to be able to deliver exceptional client service.
If we haven’t highlighted the need for practice management software enough, find out what caused us to put in place a new practice management system in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis.
Propel your practice forward
As we said at the beginning of this article, organisation, time-management, tracking and progress is key to growing a sustainable accountancy practice. Hopefully, from the list of key benefits listed here, you can see that practice management software can help you do just that.
Practice management for accountants not only allows you to organise your workflow to run your practice efficiently, but it also allows you to scale your practice too. So ask yourself – if having a simple software that will save you time, help you manage all your clients, and increase your profits, all of which can propel your practice forward – wouldn’t you say this was worth it?
Ideally, practice management software should integrate seamlessly within your practice, be easy to navigate, and not cost a fortune, but that’s not always the case… Read our blog to choose the right software for your practice: Which is best for a small accountancy firm? Best of breed vs ‘does everything’ Practice Management Software