Going paperless, adopting cloud tools or creating a client portal are all major technology initiatives that make a huge improvement to efficiency within your practice. However, one routine activity with a corrosive effect on your efficiency is manual data (re)entry. Tackle that and you’ll make huge time-savings as well as improving data accuracy.
Release time for higher value work
Take one small routine task, such as an address change. If you are not currently using a fully integrated suite of practice software, something as simple as this will take a member of your team anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes to propagate throughout your array of software packages.
How many different software products do you use today where you would have to update a client’s address? On the accounts, the tax return, Companies House forms, payslips, a covering letter, your invoice…
Do all those products keep a record of historic addresses and when those addresses changed? Multiply those 10 to 20 minutes by the size of your client base and what might seem a simple admin task in isolation suddenly becomes a big drain on your resources.
By unlocking that time, firms can take on higher value work or spend more time with clients. Those at the helm can expand their client base without growing their team, enabling them to keep fees competitive. That same team has more time to perform the professional roles they trained for and can focus on analysing and interpreting data, rather than collating and entering it.
Ensure data accuracy
We have seen a trend of successful firms and practices using integrated solutions, rather than separate packages for different areas of compliance work. They know from long experience that transposing data from one software solution to another is not only time-consuming, it’s error-prone and introduces risk.
HFM Tax & Accounts Ltd is one firm that has eliminated multiple data entry by using integrated practice software. For Managing Director Ian Marlow, the increased data accuracy this brings is essential to the team’s day-to-day work for clients, who are mainly City of London professionals.
“Compliance is our bread and butter – producing annual accounts and tax returns is a major component of our work. It’s crucial that we get it right. Using integrated software, we are saved from having to enter data more than once and can rely on the information we see on-screen to be accurate.”
Why make the move to an integrated suite?
Time saved means you can redeploy staff who previously spent time managing different software systems to higher value tasks. The training overheads on an integrated suite are less, too, with only a single centralised suite to master. That equates to less dead time learning how to use standalone software and rekeying in data.
With an integrated suite you will gain:
- Better planning and greater foresight
- Elimination of wasted effort and errors
- Unlocked time and greater efficiency
- Improved collaboration, with secure messaging tools
- Enhanced client service