Today’s accounting firms have a slew of different options available for making work more efficient and precise. Accounting is a field where even a small mistake can be costly, so the more you can reduce human error and other issues, the more revenue your firm can bring in over the long run.
Accounting practice management software will not only help increase your revenue but also improve your bottom-line profits at the end of each month and quarter. Before we dive into an explanation of how this happens, let’s offer a quick definition of accounting practice management software.
What is accounting practice management software?
Accounting practice management software typically describes a comprehensive software suite that offers a number of different accounting functions in a single platform. It’s a broad term by nature – just as there are many different kinds of accounting firms, you can also find a significant variety of accounting practice management software tools.
Some may focus more on the sales and marketing side of your business, offering customer relationship management (CRM) and email nurturing features. Others may focus more on the operations side of your business, providing time-tracking features for your team to log hours worked on certain accounts. Each of these different types comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. One is not more “right” than the other – a certain kind of practice management software simply may be more appropriate for one particular firm but not necessary for another.
How does accounting practice management software boost profits?
Now that you have a better understanding of what this software is and how it works, you may be wondering how it can improve your bottom line. This is especially true when you consider that there’s usually an initial investment of some sort to get started with a new software tool. In some cases, you may need specialized assistance to get the systems implemented so that your team is able to function normally with them.
Don’t worry – if you decide on the right kind of software to use, the short-term investment will get made back multiple times over in the long run. Here are a few examples:
More efficient client interactions
Remember the old days of collecting signatures or client approvals? You’d have to wait days or even weeks for a client to print something out, sign it, and then return it via mail. If you were lucky, the client might have been able to use a fax machine to send it over more quickly.
Thanks to accounting practice management software, these situations are a thing of the past. Clients can now instantly sign and approve digital documents with technology like PDF readers and e-signatures. Through the self-service portals available on the best software suites, clients will be able to find their own answers to questions that, in the past, would have required a phone call or email to your team – likely interrupting them from handling a more critical task.
Flexible, accurate employee time tracking
Having your team keep track of their hours worked based on their memory and best guesses is a recipe for inefficient billing that ends up costing your firm time and money – especially if team members have to go back and dig into old records to figure out where errors happened.
With sophisticated accounting practice management software, your team can track hours and associate them with specific client accounts, even if they are traveling or in a location where they can’t access a computer. More accurate time tracking ultimately means fewer resources wasted because of mistakes or discrepancies in employee time logs.
Better communication among employees
More efficient communication among team members working on the same project at an accounting firm prevents double work or questions about things that have already been resolved. With a good practice management software tool, accounting teams can exchange messages and status updates from any location. Some even allow teams to send notifications to particular team members when a certain milestone is completed or their input is required on a particular element of the project.
The bottom line on accounting practice management software to maximize profits
Accounting is a field where eliminating mistakes and increasing efficiency are paramount to earning more and spending less as a business. By the same token, accounting firms – like every other business – are run by people, and human error is always a factor when working with people.
You can think of accounting practice management software as a guardrail that helps reduce mistakes and improve accuracy for internal processes. From timekeeping to document management and access to keeping track of critical deadlines across different projects, your practice management platform will serve as a home base to simplify many different elements of your work.
And while it’s impossible to completely eliminate human error – until AI does the work for us – it is possible to implement tools and processes that make accurate work easier and more enjoyable for your team. Pick the right accounting practice management software and you’ll be well on the way to maximizing profits within your firm.