CPA firms do not always have the best culture suited for quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The accounting industry differentiates from other industries when it comes to sales and client services, but servicing clients is the game they are in. Having a superior CRM can be essential for the success of a firm. Formal business enhancement in the form of CRM will set apart a firm from its competitors.
For the most part standard CPA culture has not focused on solid customer relations and that needs to change. Traditionally, the more seasoned partners go out and do acquire clients and then feed the masses, however today that is not good enough. Keeping track of clients and prospective clients in a messy Excel sheet, disguised as a pipeline report is not the way to expand client relationships. Shifting that energy into a useful CRM system, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, is.
Also, using CRM is good but the key is to use it consistently. It makes data entry easier and more manageable. Over time a firm will depend on this system and it can come to entirely manage a firm. “It’s about understanding what you have, in addition to understanding what you don’t,” says Jean Frohman, marketing manager at CPA and business advisory firm Citrin Cooperman & Co. in New York.
A CRM can help delegate where efforts need to be going and can help forecast the strategies of the company, attain and retain clients, while the accountants can still focus on crunching numbers. The benefits of a quality CRM system are insurmountable but just to touch on a few:
- Better money management
- Delegation of efforts
- Monitor clients vs. potential clients
- Sharing secure information
Accounting firms that are worried about the ROI from CRM systems or do not believe there is much of one, need to consider the simple fact that elements within CRM can help drive new business and increase client loyalty. Taking advantage of these tools, like CRM data automation, can help minimize data entry and improve ROI. If management can better allocate client needs, this can only benefit a firm.