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CRM for Sole Practitioner

Looking for recommendations for CRM for Sole practitioner practice

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Hi all, 

Another January self-assessment deadline over!  We've always managed (only just) by monitoring our WIP through spreadsheets / Outlook tasks etc but has anyone had a good experience of moving across to a dedicated CRM system?  HQ for Accountants?  Accountancymanager?

Thanks for the help!

 

Replies (14)

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By Maslins
01st Feb 2019 12:17

A couple of years ago we had a few Google docs to track where various jobs were. It kinda worked, but was scarily easy for someone to inadvertently delete a line/similar.

We now use Senta, which we'd recommend. Firstly you can set up your own "jobs" to track progress. Independently of that you can run reports that pull data directly from Companies House. This can be handy to check for freak situations like accounts submissions not going right through, or possible slip up our end ticking we'd submitted accounts but was never done.

I believe in the not too distant future it may be possible to do the same thing with HMRC...but that's reliant on their work on an API which seems a big, long project for them. However, when that comes into play, will be a game changer!

Thanks (1)
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By Monsoon
01st Feb 2019 13:03

I use Capsule CRM and have for about 6+ years now. You need to tweak it for your own needs, but I find it really useful and comprehensive. It's scalable and well priced.

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By daniel_
01st Feb 2019 13:13

We've used Accountancymanager for a little over a year now.

We don't use all of the functionality of it, e.g. invoicing and automatic reminders, client portal. We're trying to use more to see if it works for us (timesheets module).

The Companies House API is very useful, it knows when confirmation statements and accounts are due for every company.
Tasks are automatically created and can be updated with progress. It knows the deadlines based on information from Companies House.

The time recording is quite good. It can keep a log of chargeable time based on an hourly rate and show you the value of the WIP on each client. We don't use this bit at the moment.

I think it's software that will get better with time. Some parts of it can be quite slow or clunky.

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Replying to daniel_:
By djn24
07th Feb 2019 10:35

I've looked at accountancy manager but find the lack of integration with cch a right pain as it will mean duplicating data entry.

How have you found the duplication?

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By marks
02nd Feb 2019 10:51

Depends what you are looking for it too do. The usual suspects to look at are; Senta, AccountancyManager, Glide, Karbon.

Our set up;

Glide - to monitor different jobs and where they are at eg accounts, tax returns, bookkeeping, VAT returns, payroll etc. We also use it to record time and send automated emails/text to chase client for records for accounts, tax and VAT.

Inform Direct - Company secretarial eg changes to companies house, setting up new Ltd companies and dividend minutes and vouchers. We also use it to track when accounts and Confirmation Statements are due and use it to submit confirmation statements.

Hellosign - To send documents to be electronically approved, eg accounts, tax returns, VAT returns.

Docusoft - to store documents eg emails, Working papers, correspondence (all letters get scanned in and saved to the relevant client

Taxcalc - to prepare and submit accounts, CT returns, PT returns, Partnership Returns and VAT returns (need to thing what do with MTD coming). We will probably just push them directly through from Xero.

Infusionsoft - marketing to new and existing clients. We have campaigns set up to do certain things when job complete eg send emails confirming, send our B1G1 certificate and send customer survey. Going to look at using this more to send reminder re CT due near due date, send SA reminders near due date. For tracking prospects and onboarding clients.

Sharefile - sharing documents safely with clients. Dont tend to use this other than to save signed documents so clients can access. Should use to send attachments securely by email but client usually just asks us to send normally to save them having to log in to access.

We have effectively got 4 databases of clients info; Taxcalc, Glide, Infusionsoft, Xero. Just need to decide what we are going to use each application (this is where i need to sit down and map out what we want to use each for this month given this is our quiet month) for as not necessary to include all information in each eg we need clients address in Taxcalc for accounts and tax return purposes but we dont need it in Glide or Infusionsoft (unless we start using it to automate letters which we might do)

Thanks (1)
Replying to marks:
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By noggsy
04th Feb 2019 09:14

Hi Marks,
Thanks for the detailed reply. We're really looking to do what you described you use Glide for - keeping a track of jobs and work progress, so we'll have a look at this - many thanks!

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Replying to marks:
By Charlie Carne
07th Feb 2019 11:58

Thanks, Marks; that's helpful. But, if you are using one of the CRM tools you mention (Senta, Accountancy Manager, Glide, Karbon), why do you also need Hellosign and Sharefile? Surely products like Senta have secure portals in which you can share docs with clients (replaces Sharefile) and have them sign online (replaces Hellosign)? And is there not a large overlap with Docusoft and Infusionsoft, too? If Glide does not provide most of that, why not use Senta or Accountancy Manager?

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By paulcolman
07th Feb 2019 12:29

Centre CRM works well for us: https://centrecrm.com/

Thanks (1)
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By usepixie
07th Feb 2019 13:55

If you're looking for something that doesn't feel overwhelming for a solo practitioner and can be more structured if and as you grow your practice, Pixie (https://www.usepixie.com) may be right up your alley. Email me if you want to get into the free early access programme.

-Celso

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By North East Accountant
08th Feb 2019 09:20

Are Xero HQ or Xero Practice Manager any good for this?

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Replying to North East Accountant:
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By MissAccounting
08th Feb 2019 10:31

North East Accountant wrote:

Are Xero HQ or Xero Practice Manager any good for this?

Not unless you wear chinos and round neck t-shirts to the office, care more about awards than quality of work and want to be part of a cult, then no.

Thanks (3)
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By lh3f9764bg1g
27th Feb 2019 08:47

We are looking for a CRM package that includes a mail-merge function. Yes, we still have to write some actual letters!
Any ideas?

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Replying to lh3f9764bg1g:
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By PERMON
27th Feb 2019 11:39

You could look at Logical Offices Evolution Lite. I think Senta can also download what would otherwise be an email in Word Format.
I agree about writing letters - I think this is a weak point with the online PM software in that they assume all client correspondence will be by email. Sure email is quicker and more efficient but no use where the client doesn't use email - for me it is about a 50/50 split , lots of older clients etc simply don't use email .

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Replying to PERMON:
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By lh3f9764bg1g
27th Feb 2019 11:56

Thanks Permon! I'll have a look at Logical Offices Evolution Lite. Fingers crossed!

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