Project Management Software and Your Firm’s Needs
“Practice management” can be a pretty broad term. As the owner of a CPA firm, you know the myriad processes and responsibilities that go into practice management. How can all of those tasks be distilled into one product that does it all? That’s what practice management software aims to be. In his new article for Accounting Today, Ted Needleman explains, “At its most basic, anything that’s related to effectively running an accounting or consulting practice is a facet of practice management.”
Practice management software is meant to streamline these processes and help your firm to run more efficiently. Since not all firms have the same needs, there are different options available in various software products. Needleman’s article has a helpful chart that compares software programs and their capabilities. Here are some features you will find, depending on which project management software you choose:
• Several billing functions – value billing, work in progress billing, retainer billing
• Integration with other functions – tax prep, client write-up, external workflow management, external document management, external expense management
• CPE tracking – one central location with reminders of which staff members need to complete CPE
Last, but certainly not least, is a customer relationship management (CRM) functionality. You know how important it is to maintain the client relationships you’ve built and how vital that is to your firm’s success. It’s worth investing in a CRM product that will help you stay in contact with those clients, whether it’s to send them updates on their engagements or to write a quick email with a tax article they might appreciate.
One CRM we are excited about is called ABLE. It gives everyone in your firm a way to effectively manage the relationships that matter most. ABLE gives you the tools to measure client loyalty and build your brand by sending thought leadership. ABLE’s extensive content library has something for every client. See an article for a niche pertaining to your client? Email it to them with a quick note. That adds to the value of your relationship and helps keep you top of mind. Want to give it a try? Contact Lindy Spurgeon, Director of User Experience at ABLE.
To read more about practice management software, and to view Needleman’s comparison chart, see his article from Accounting Today.