How to manage your practice in challenging times
Senior partners and practice owners currently face a perfect storm of challenging operating conditions. Clients’ businesses and budgets are under immense pressure and they need you, their accountant, to deliver more value for the same cost. At the same time, working practices have been transformed - remote working is the new normal for all of your team for the foreseeable future.
The question is how to keep everyone in a dispersed team on track and working efficiently, so they are well placed to steer clients through uncertain times.
Our focus on customer success is at the centre of everything we do. During this time, we are working to do our part at Wolters Kluwer. Part of that commitment is to better connect you with all the guidance and advice about our solutions and services, like CCH KPI Monitoring software, which comes into its own at times like these.
Measure what matters
In an uncertain period, when you have no control over external political and economic circumstances, real-time information on your key performance indicators is essential. You need to know what’s happening in your firm this morning, not last week.
CCH KPI Monitoring automatically reports on what’s important to the senior management team, reducing overheads around the distribution of internal periodic and ad-hoc reports. It’s like having a virtual assistant tirelessly keeping a vigilant eye on the business, day in and day out.
You can set up predefined alerts and reports against any field in your CCH Central database. Once installed, these will run on an ongoing basis, sending out critical information by email or text message to whomever you have granted access.
CCH KPI Monitoring can analyse timesheets to see where time is being utilised (and under-utilised), round up clients won and lost, and report on losses over a certain threshold last month, to give just a few examples from the hundreds possible – all without the intervention of any member of staff. You don’t have to go searching; the information comes to you automatically.
Retain control of your dispersed team
With clients scrutinising the bill more than ever, you need to streamline internal, often manual, processes that don’t make money.
Take chasing timesheets - CCH KPI Monitoring works alongside your team, prompting and reminding them to complete their timesheets. It handles exceptions exactly how you specify. Typically, it will send two reminders before escalating to a manager, but it’s up to you. Requests for updates from your team can be handled in the same way.
Tasks like this are all in a day’s work for CCH KPI Monitoring, allowing managers to stay focused on billable client work, rather than being constantly distracted with routine tasks. Think how useful this would be now, when face-to-face contact is limited or impossible and nudging team members requires the effort of a phone call or email.
When teams are scattered, it’s harder to maintain compliance with your practice rules and check that staff are performing well against their personal KPIs. CCH KPI Monitoring helps you to effortlessly enforce standards and timescales, whether it’s ensuring that the letter of engagement goes out promptly, flagging non-receipt of a client’s information or highlighting missing information on a client record.
Alert and avert
CCH KPI Monitoring helps you to retain control, even when events are moving at a faster pace than usual. When you're working flat out to support your clients, it’s all too easy to take your eye off internal processes. In the race to complete client work, your team may exceed the time allocated and you can’t recover all of your costs.
CCH KPI Monitoring minimises risk by giving you time to deal with emerging situations, rather than firefighting after the event. So, in this instance, a standard predefined alert will signal when WIP has reached 80% of the billable amount, allowing the right course of action to be taken.
This not only protects your own profitability, of course. Your clients will be expecting you to keep a close eye on the costs you are incurring on their behalf.
Once the work is out of the door, you need to be paid promptly. The software can also monitor debtor days, providing visibility of outstanding payments and equipping you to minimise the risk of bad debt.
For example, if we were to calculate that on a client base of 100, there are over £500 worth of savings in staff time to be made every year by letting the software monitor aged WIP and debt. An ROI calculator* on our Support website for existing CCH Central users gives more examples of typical time and cost savings. If you are a new customer to Wolters Kluwer without access to the support site, we can make those calculations for you.
Be on the front foot
Against a backdrop of rapidly changing operating conditions, CCH KPI Monitoring puts you in control. It provides real-time business insight and eliminates the manual processes that can erode profitability. And those are invaluable capabilities, even at the best of times.
* Disclaimer: The ROI Calculator is made available on an 'as is' basis without warranty of any kind. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we, other members of our group of companies and third parties connected to us expressly exclude any and all liability to you in connection with your use, inability to use or results from the use of the ROI Calculator. The information and results displayed are estimates of potential costs and/or savings achieved when using our CCH KPI Monitoring software and you understand and agree that actual results may vary.
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Wolters Kluwer provides software to tax and accounting professionals.