In an accounting firm, the main focus is on providing accounting services. Client management and client-related procedures are essential but take the focus away from the tasks that accountants do best. In this article, I will explain what CRM offers to accountants and how to take advantage of it.
CRM for accountants. Why should you start using CRM?
- All of your client data is in one place.
- Save time by automating emails.
- Your clients feel valued.
- You can see exactly whether the actual volume of work corresponds to the contract concluded with the client.
What is CRM?
CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management. Companies primarily use it to improve customer experience and increase sales. CRM helps the company to be more organized and efficient, manage working time, and serve customers more conveniently.
Most CRM programs offer the ability to differentiate between clients and potential clients or leads, organize client communication (calls, agreements, emails), automate recurring tasks, and analyze collected data. Many businesses use spreadsheets, databases, and apps when instead, they could be using CRM software.
Who uses CRM?
Customer relationship management software is primarily intended for companies that offer business-to-business (B2B) services with a long sales process, such as real estate or accounting firms. A collective client base is also suitable for companies offering remote work opportunities.
CRM functions offer the most value to the sales department in a business. For example, you can monitor how far along the client is in the sales process and when and what actions to take to move forward. However, the software is helpful for other employees as well.
CEO or manager
The duties of a manager are wide-ranging. However, being a specialist in every field is challenging. This is where various software comes in handy, which helps the manager manage his company and employees better. CRM software with a convenient and practical design helps explain its content with visuals created from data, providing an overview of the team's work.
As mentioned, CRM is a handy tool for a salesperson. But other company employees can also use CRM. For example, accountants can add specific data to each client, such as which bank the client uses or who to contact if documents are missing.
You can add all kinds of information to the client profile, which helps communicate with the client. For example, mark down the birthday of the client in their profile. In this way, the accountant never forgets a client's personal information, and the client feels like a king when talking to the accountant.
Why does an accountant need CRM?
The complexity of customer management depends on the size of the company. A small business with five clients can keep its client data in a notebook and easily find it there when needed. When it comes to large companies, the matter is much more complicated. The data of several hundred or even thousands of clients would require a library to store the data, and finding the correct data is a lot of work. A client database is why every company should use CRM.
Keeping client data in one system when working with a team is very practical. This way, everyone can access essential data, even if an employee serving a specific customer goes on vacation or is not at the office. With the help of CRM, all the data is available at all times, and the puzzle part is eliminated.
With the help of CRM, employees can spend valuable time working rather than on customer management. Saving time comes from automating recurring tasks. With the help of recurring tasks, you can create a workflow for client communication. Avoiding human errors is also a bonus of the software. If the recurring task is well planned, it starts an efficient process. The correct recurring task will reappear on the desktop every month.
How to use CRM as an accountant?
CRM software provides value to accountants in several different ways. Client management starts even before the contract is signed. The first step is to win over the client. For this, it is necessary to carry out several processes, like negotiating with the client and conducting a background investigation.
Once you have entered existing and potential clients in the system, you can gather all their information in the CRM software. This way, when employees get ill or go on vacation, a situation where an employee does not have information about a specific client will not arise. Using all the data, the accountant leaves the client feeling like they are their only client. A personalized approach is the basis of a long-term customer relationship.
Is it necessary to use separate CRM software in accounting?
One of the most popular CRM software is Pipedrive. This software lets you manage all client communication from one place, monitor how many letters sent have been opened, how far a client is in the sales process, and much more. Here are a few more CRM programs for accountants: Zoho CRM, Freshsales, HubSpot CRM, Bitrix24, and Capsule CRM.
The more advanced the software, the longer it will take to set up and deploy. At this point, it is worth thoroughly evaluating whether the time spent learning new software is worth it. If the accounting office plans to take over the markets of the wide world, it is okay to introduce a new separate CRM software.
CRM capabilities are also often added to work management software. For example, work management software Uku. It has a simple, convenient design and includes CRM, task management, and invoicing automation.
How to use Uku as CRM software?
When you add clients to Uku, you have already started the process. Add all necessary information about the customer to the client profile and do it thoroughly. In Uku, in addition to the mandatory fields, you can create custom fields based on your needs and add attachments, notes, and correspondence. We recommend taking advantage of all possibilities to prevent employees from having to look for information about the client elsewhere than in the software.
In Uku, we recommend the following process for potential customers or leads to becoming real customers.
- Add all potential clients to Uku and create a client profile.
- Create a "Leads" client group of potential clients.
- Create a template with the tasks you do as a sales process.
- Since winning over clients is often not a linear process, it is good to use the option of dependent tasks. You create a smooth workflow with them - when one task is marked as done, the next appears on the desktop.
- If you have signed a contract with a client, move them to the client group of active clients.
The majority of customer communication is generally done by email. It is also possible to send emails from Uku. Letters are often recurring - both in terms of time and clients. Email templates are a great way to make client communication more efficient. Compose the letters you frequently use and automate sending them. To make the process even more convenient, we have written 11 must-have email templates for accounting practices, which you can adapt according to the data of your accounting firm.
To reduce manual work, Uku has integrations with several accounting programs. Instead of manually collecting data about clients, entries, records, documents, etc., conveniently import the data into Uku. You can also import members added to the client with permissions and much more.
The Monitoring feature in Uku shows whether the work employees have done corresponds to the amount of work agreed upon by the client. This way, you can continuously monitor the fulfillment of the workload and inform the client before the workload has increased.
The Report feature turns Uku from ordinary work management software to accountants' best work management software. Why track time, mark a topic for a task, and collect information about clients if you can't analyze it? The report shows how efficiently your team works, how much time they spend on clients, and how well the firm is doing. Uku even automatically creates invoices based on the data from the report.