As the new owner of an accounting firm, you’ve probably focused more on internal administration. Perhaps you have a defined business plan with a solid online presence. However, there’s a possibility that you haven’t thought about customer service.
Industry leaders believe that one of the biggest mistakes made by novice accounting firms is not prioritizing client relationships. Without it, your business won’t grow, and you cannot develop lasting associations. That means you will fail to foster loyalty or enhance client retention. Hence, your accounting firm might not get repeat business or referrals.
Needless to say, your firm’s success relies heavily on building long-lasting and trustworthy client relationships. One way to do that is by investing in client-specific tools or software. With them, you can streamline client data, increase business profitability, and offer exceptional customer service.
In this blog, we will list three such tools that every accounting firm should invest in.
1. Collaboration Tool for Seamless Cooperation
Usually known as accounting client collaboration software, this tool helps accounting firms understand and enhance client interactions. With it, you can create a frictionless client experience and focus on long-term success.
It has secure client portals that simplify or streamline end-to-end financial management processes. You will also find built-in file-sharing and electronic signature features suitable for seamless interactions between your firm and clients.
According to Mango Practice Management, an innovative collaboration tool has a friendly user interface for large and small accounting firms. The software can cost as little as USD 35 per month for a basic plan. Hence, it is perfect for businesses that are new to the industry.
Your business can gain the following benefits from collaboration tools:
- Streamline, store, and share your client information
- Handle, receive, and share accounting data securely
- Capture legally binding e-signatures with ease
- Easily accessible client portal to track project updates
Moreover, file sharing will become easy, secure, and fast, reducing the time taken to finish projects. This tool will also allow clients to sign documents electronically, simplifying the process of obtaining signatures. In short, this software can help modernize your firm so that you can stop chasing after clients.
2. Billing Tool to Streamline Invoices and Payments
Cash flow management is an issue every startup faces, irrespective of the industry they serve. On average, 82% of the time, a poor understanding of cash flow leads to business failures. Even with vast accounting knowledge, you might not be able to manage this.
Industry leaders believe this issue arises from poor financial forecasting, reporting, and billing practices. Novice accounting firm founders might fail to implement software that supports and helps overcome cash flow issues.
That is where billing software comes into the picture. With it, your accounting business can gain flexibility in cash flow management.
In turn, it makes the payment process easy and seamless for your clients. These robust tools help your firm and clients save time while creating accurate invoices and streamlining billing workflows.
Check out the benefits of using a billing tool for your accounting firm:
- Access precise, robust, and real-time data from this software
- Use client portals to track time, expenses, and invoices efficiently
- Manage due dates and make it easy for clients to pay pending bills
- Easy access to billing-related documents and secure file sharing
- Track time, ask for updates, send invoices, and receive payments
Investing in a billing tool means you can say goodbye to manual labor. Hence, there won’t be any confusing spreadsheets, cabinets filled with bills, or handwritten documents. As a result, it makes the billing process easier for your clients.
3. CRM Software for Fostering Good Relationships
Statistics suggest that 62% of accounting firms have implemented customer relationship management (CRM) software. As a new owner, you might think that CRM tools are only for data organization and are not suitable for your business’s workflow.
That’s why you must invest in a CRM tool with specific accounting features. An accounting CRM influences, monitors, and nurtures your firm’s client relations.
Usually, the tool comes with features like data storage, opportunity management, financial dashboards, a time tracker, self-service for clients, etc. Your firm will need this tool to streamline business operations while communicating with your clients.
Accounting CRM tools can also assist you in providing services like auditing, tax planning, bookkeeping, etc. Hence, it can improve profitability along with customer satisfaction.
The benefits of using an accounting CRM solution are:
- Easily access data analytics and share it with clients
- Automate workflows and integrate other software into the CRM
- Streamline client onboarding and gain an overview of the customer lifecycle
- Automate time-consuming and error-prone administrative duties
According to Forbes, CRM software helps you centralize client data, convert leads, and increase customer retention. With it, your accounting firm can make client-centric, data-driven decisions.
The Bottom Line
The accounting industry is continuously evolving and is expected to grow at a 5.4% CAGR. That’s why you need proper customer-specific tools to stand out among the 88,364 accounting businesses in America.
You can anticipate customer needs, collect feedback, be accessible, and offer proactive customer service with these tools. With collaboration, CRM, or billing tools, your accounting business can create a customer-centric experience.
While using these tools, you can also leverage attentiveness, speed, transparency, and generosity. It can also help you create a community that encourages customer advocacy.
Think of it as a long-term investment for your accounting startup’s future. In short, client-specific tools will help you build a company culture that values customer experience and relationships.
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