Increasing Productivity in Accounting Firms Across the Client Lifecycle
To increase productivity in your accounting firm, bring your conflicts and acceptance process upstream into the marketing and business development and CRM process. This way, if conflicts arise, you can either address them and resolve them early or decide to not pursue the business.
Running the conflicts check earlier prevents your professionals from wasting their valuable time pursuing engagements that they would only be conflicted out of downstream. Having a more automated accounting workflow management system in place can help.
Start with Engagement Transparency
To ensure client success, firms need to adhere to the agreed-up list of client terms, not only at the outset but throughout the lifecycle of the engagement. These requirements can range from only having certain levels of professionals work on an engagement or specific guidelines around what type of billing the client will and will not accept. It’s important to have the proper technology solution to capture these client requirements, ensuring that, as services are delivered and the professional’s time is captured, these actions are checked for violations. This ensures productivity in your accounting firm’s process by alerting the timekeeper that they’re potentially outside the client’s guard rails. This gives professionals a chance to fix violations and make course corrections or adjustments before the client is notified.
The software can also help the firm highlight where vulnerabilities exist in their internal service delivery system, and allow resolution outside of the client’s view, and therefore gain the trust of the client through proper adherence to their specified requirements.
Leverage Data to Perfect Professional Utilization and Engagement Pricing
Simplifying adherence to client billing terms is just one way to collect actionable insights and improve productivity in accounting via your professionals’ timesheets. Another benefit is automating and streamlining the capture and entry of your professionals’ billable time. This, in turn, lets your firm harness real-time data to understand the true amount of time being spent on each engagement and evaluate where there’s opportunity to capture more billable time, improve resource utilization, and ultimately optimize your fixed-fee pricing to remain competitive while ensuring profitability.
Purpose-built accounting workflow management software — like OnePlace Operations & Finance — can offer deep integrations with your existing systems to automate time capture and simplify time entry for your professionals. Firms can finally derive actionable insights from often-overlooked data to make meaningful decisions that impact firm efficiency and, ultimately, profitability.
Manage Risk and Compliance Throughout the Transaction
Risk management should never be viewed as a single point in time, but needs to be a holistic process that happens continuously from the first interaction with a potential client through the end of the engagement lifecycle. OnePlace Risk & Compliance help firms identify the right entity during the business development phase, pulling in relevant third-party data (such as corporate tree information) to identify the client and build a picture of its risk profile. This profile should be viewed from a financial, regulatory, and other various risk perspectives to create a complete, 360-degree view of the client.
Using OnePlace Risk & Compliance can help your firm surface all relevant data — whether from external data providers or internal firm repositories like practice management systems, financial management systems, or a database of clients and engagements — and incorporate that data into your risk assessment workflow. Your professionals no longer need to comb through multiple databases for this information, thereby leaving more time for client-focused work and increasing the productivity in your accounting firm.
With accounting workflow management software like OnePlace Risk & Compliance, your risk process continually runs in the background throughout the engagement lifecycle. When changes happen or work crosses predetermined thresholds and risk metrics, the software can automatically trigger workflows that let the firm properly address the underlying issues.
Prioritize Productivity in Accounting
Accounting firms find themselves at various stages along their technology journey: Some have fully migrated to the cloud, some continue to deploy on-premises software, and others have taken a hybrid path. Consequently, a few firms maintain robust automated acceptance and continuance and complex clearance process while others still use spreadsheets or a manual, email-based approach.
Using powerful, robust technology that can quickly elevate a firm from behind the curve to highly productive. OnePlace Risk & Compliance uses flexible technology that grows along with your firm’s needs and supports a more mature process. Your professionals can spend more of their valuable time working on engagements because they’re no longer burdened with manual risk management tasks. The software provides a seamless, fully integrated, cloud-based risk management solution that serves your clients’ needs and protects your firm’s reputation.
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