Document management: Many accounting practices still hold spreadsheets and documents in file shares along with copies in various systems leading to duplication, inefficient searching, poor (if any) version control and risk to the business. Issues may increase across offices whilst lockdown has just added a further layer of complexity. Document management tools significantly reduce these issues, providing efficiency gains for individuals and teams. However, these tools are not a panacea for all organisational or process challenges and will require a change culture to maximise the ROI… but the prize is there for those firms willing to invest time, effort and money in the right solution.
Master data management (MDM): Most practices will have a collection of business-supporting systems that have evolved over time and which are largely unintegrated. The same data can be input into multiple systems, leading to inconsistency and doubt as to which system is right and a number of firms are now looking to resolve this. An MDM initiative will identify the firm’s key data records, where these are stored and which systems hold the primary record that should update all other references – we refer to this approach as the ‘single version of the truth’. Without it, firms cannot be sure of the accuracy of their data.
Client relationship management: Firms are looking to adopt a more formalised approach to the management of client information, reducing duplication of effort, providing consistency of approach and ensuring that cross-selling opportunities are maximised. Systems can assist in this area, although they require significant business buy-in to succeed. However, with this buy-in, firms should be in a position to improve the effectiveness of their client marketing initiatives.