Selection criteria - what are your needs?Time & fees and billingIntegrationReporting capabilitiesClient relationship managementWeb functionalityDocument managementWorkflow
Key issuesDatabase transitionCustomer service
Software optionsBig firm specialistsMid-market in
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Try looking at the nonchargeable time posted by senior Team Members
Headings like "Practice Admin", "General", "Practice Development", "Internal" etc
Then value the time at charge rate..(Actually, don't. Unless you have a strong stomach or a good sense of humour.)
So what's the answer?1)Getting the right people at the right level to do the right work. 2)Automation
So, there's another selection-requirement...look at the level of automation offered and being used by the various products
key question is, is there any value in measuring it. I once worked for a guy whose mantra was "you can't change it unless you can measure it". He had a point, but I tend to agree with Demming - much of what you should change cannot be measured.
My own view is that if you are going to measure it you should make sure you know what its value is. Many partners spend a lot of time on client development, but do they really test the value of that time or the benefit they get from it?
I would question how many practices really need a time recording system that accounts for all professional staff time, and I would also question how effective that is given my assumption that on balance staff record a 37.5 hour week, regardless of how many hours they actually put in, and in many cases the client is on a fixed fee for compliance work.
I too have been using ACCA practise manager and it is Excellent.
Not only that but their service is fantastic. They can add on just about anything to tailor it to individual user needs.
How come this was missed out here?
surely you can have too much management?
1)They all do time-and-fees, but many of the vendors listed try to differentiate themselves by offering a variety of features. In many firms these features are simply not being used. Some of the vendors listed have very few (if any) users of these "advanced" features.
So, when selecting a product, don't just tick the boxes. Make sure the reference sites you visit are actually using the features you're interested in.
2)Is Practice Management the same as CRM?No. CRM is a subset of Practice Management, along with Team-management knowledge-managementdocument-managementbudget-managementand financial management(and probably a load of others...but it's been a long day...)We need them all...
You have overlooked this fab bit of kit that does all that its big name rivals does for about a tenth of the price.
I have used this for about two years and wonder how I survived before!
A great roundup John - congratulations on a serious piece of work. But...I'm not seeing anything fresh or innovative here from the vendors' perspective.
You say the market is pretty stagnant. Is there any real understanding why that might be? Have any of the practices and vendors you've approached attempted to understand what's holding the market back? Is it that case that the whole CRM thing is a bit of a dirty acronym? Or is it the case that professionals struggle with the core issue of client relationships?
I'm raising the same questions at my place.
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