Of the 100 accounting firms surveyed, the majority reported a positive return on investments in technology with the highest adoption levels of technology limited to mobile and document automation solutions.
While it’s positive to see the industry investing in technology that improves automation and mobility, the report showed some serious gaps in adoption of the next generation of Client Relationship Management (CRM) platforms that are driving business growth and higher client satisfaction outcomes.
For firms of the future, the conversation around technology investment should include a well-executed strategy that focuses on prospecting, lead generation and relationship management to deliver better processes that create stronger relationships with client, and change the way financial services are delivered and consumed.
To avoid losing revenue, accounting firms need to move forward and provide more value-adding advisory services that leverage technology and outsourcing of non-core functions. Understanding your clients is therefore the most important stage of the advisory process, which includes tracking all contact interactions with clients and prospects, including meetings, conversation notes, action items and correspondence.
CRM software and enterprise social media platforms provide efficient mechanisms for advisors to track client analytics that can identify and segment the “ideal” client. By setting defined criteria for the “ideal” client, accountants can allocate their time and resources more effectively.
We believe that firms should provide the client with an experience and insight. Firms should understand that the client is going to want tailored experiences, and that they will want to participate in the services they’re actually going to get.
Accounting firms need to leverage technology to become more competitive. Technologies are a powerful investment that will have a game-changing impact on a firm by reducing capital costs and improving the client experience and employee productivity.
No doubt there are significant challenges that lie ahead, but at Prime, we believe firms that will thrive in the digital landscape are those that view innovation as an opportunity, not as a threat, and are willing to integrate technology throughout their business and client journey process.