What is practice management?

Everyone has a view on this! To explain my own view, I'll start with what it isn't. It's not JUST workflow and it's not JUST software. To me...

Practice management is the art of running a successful accounting or bookkeeping business.

accountants and bookkeepers conduct an orchestra

Workflow and software come later - they're things you do and tools you use. Common adages like productivity, efficiency, value-added etc. all come later as well. They're the benefits of good practice management but not its raison d'etre.

I say this because I started onkho by asking a simple question: what is it that accountants and bookkeepers actually do? Again, I start with what it isn't. Its not payroll, tax, accounts etc. To me...

Accountants and bookkeepers deliver services to clients.

If they have great practice manegement, they'll do that at great margins and make money. If they do it badly, they'll probably still make money but at lower margins. Notice I don't talk about growth. That's an entirely different proposition. Where the growth story does play into this is that scaling the business is hard without great practice management.

To complete the picture, let's take a look at how accountants and bookkeepers compete with each other. For the most part, there is little difference in the products produced or their quality...one accountant can't produce a "better" tax return than the guy down the road. So competion is (and always has been...and long before so many experts pronounced on it) about quality of service, relationships and expertise. That's how accountants and bookkeepers differentiate themselves.

So with all of that, what then is practice management software? To me...

Practice management software is the suite of tools accountants or bookkeepers need to deliver an exceptional service to their clients.

This in my opinion is distinct to the tools needed to produce the outputs e.g. tax returns, accounts production, payroll etc. rather it's the business management tools needed to manage the delivery of services, from prospecting to onboarding through to ensuring retention through an exceptional client experience...

...and assembling and conducting that suite of tools to the sweet tune of success is of course, practice management!

About emanur

Emanur Rahman CEO at ONKHO

CIMA finalist Emanur left accountancy for investment banking technology over 20 years ago. But being married to sole practitioner Susan Rahman of KWSR & Co meant he had to keep his hand in....firstly as free IT support (!) and then as co-founder and CEO of onkho, the practice management solution that integrates email, CRM and workflow.

Before founding onkho, Emanur was a Chief Technology Officer at The London Stock Exchange Group and held various senior technology, change and transformation roles across top tier financial institutions. He brings a unique perspective to onkho and practice technology, combining in-depth knowledge of accounting, running a practice, technology and change.

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