As accounting businesses gear up to become more efficient, investing in the right software is the need of the hour which in the long run will pay off rich dividends, enhancing productivity and accuracy of output, while shrinking delivery times.
Check out Sage’s Practice Management Software Buyer Guide which advises you to look beyond the obvious product information. Delve into your own business, identify strengths and weaknesses of your current system and your vision for the future.
What the right practice management software can do for your firm
- Data Analytics: Business software systems are now collecting huge amounts of data pertaining to everyday transactions, costs and performance. Accounting practices need to develop an efficient and effective way of turning this mass of raw data into practical, usable business insights. Practice management software can play an important role by generating meaningful, customisable reports to illustrate business performance trends and KPIs via data analytics. Equipped with these meaningful insights, a savvy accountant will be able to introduce cost-saving measures and implement revenue-generating initiatives.
- Business Advisory Services: According to IBISWorld, an increasing number of accounting firms are shifting from a compliance-based business model to offering business advisory and outsourced CFO services, leading to an additional income stream and better profit margins. It is important to have a practice management system that can help you manage the complexities of the changing business needs.
- Value-based vs time-based pricing: Accountants are under pressure to move away from time-based billing to a more fixed price model. Investing in a practice management software that can manage these multiple billing options while still capturing and reporting critical business analytics would help get your business future-ready.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing enables you and your clients to collaborate and remotely access data, no matter where you are, provided you have internet connectivity. A good practice management software can provide you with a comprehensive solution, with no compromise.
- Data security: If client data is stored overseas, there are risks around legal jurisdiction as well as data security, both in terms of who can access potentially sensitive information, and what backups are in place in case of an outage. However, if you choose to store your data with an Australian-based practice management software provider, you can reduce the cost of managing internal software systems onsite and eliminate data recovery concerns in the event of an outage. This also means you can access your software systems securely from any internet connection and that you will likely enjoy comprehensive local support.
- The Paperless Office: The push for a paperless office is not only about the environment, but also about improving efficiency and reducing costs. Scanning and digitally storing client records enables firms to get rid of redundant filing cabinets and replace them with workpapers. With workpaper modules now being commonly integrated into practice management software, high-performing firms manage their year-end accounting jobs completely online. The paperless office also creates data points, so digitised documents can be part of digital reporting. You can analyse this data to identify trends both within your own practice as well as your clients’ businesses.
There’s no doubt that technology is spurring change in the way that accounting firms operate. It is important these firms take into account the future direction and demands of accounting practice management. Make your Practice Management Software work for you - enhance your firm’s productivity, broaden your service offering, slash delivery times and go paperless all of which will ultimately lead to happier and more loyal clients.
When purchasing or considering switching Practice Management Software, make sure you have all the information you need by subscribing to our Sage Practice Management Buyer Guide series.