Understanding the Role of CRM for Accounting firms

Posted by Angelica Garcia
May 13, 2024
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Understanding and managing a high volume of financial information and client interactions daily can be challenging and tedious for many accounting firms. Plus, this is particularly true when there are no structured systems in place to handle the given information and nurture these relationships at the same time. 

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Thankfully, many modern accounting firms are now using customer relationship management (CRM) software. The common reason is that they have seen the value that they can get from having these technologies in their processes. As a result, they are able to manage their client relationships more effectively and enhance their operations as well. 


In this article, we will talk about and understand the role of CRM and how to improve customer relationship within the organisation. 


What is CRM? 

CRM, or customer relationship management, is a system that centralises customer information, records interactions with clients, and streamlines processes to ensure that every client receives exceptional care. 


In essence, CRM is a tool that empowers firms to better understand their clients. It ensures that they are always one step ahead in meeting their clients' needs, enhancing overall satisfaction and loyalty. 


Understanding the role of CRM for accounting firms 

Here are the some of the roles of CRM solutions for accounting firms: 


Centralising Client Information 


One of the primary roles of a CRM system is to store and manage client information in a centralised location. This includes contact details, client service histories, preferences, and past interactions.  


For accounting firms, this aspect of CRM is so valuable, as it ensures that firms do have accessibility and have a 360-degree view of their client's data, allowing them to tailor their service offerings as needed 


Streamlining Communication 


For accounting firms, staying connected with timely and impactful communication is key.


CRM systems simplify this through automated responses, reminders, and alerts, a feature that makes sure every client question is addressed. Such a proactive approach in communication garners trust and dependability among clients. 


CRM systems are also equipped with built-in features and integration capabilities that are designed to enhance client communication, which saves significant time and allows firms to focus on more strategic activities. 


 Related: 7 Ways to Increase Client Satisfaction in Your Accounting Firm 


Marketing and Cross-Selling Opportunities 


Understanding clients to such an extent that their needs are anticipated before they even ask — this is the power and role of a CRM system. CRM system segments clients based on various criteria, enabling targeted marketing efforts into the right target audience. 


Additionally, this strategic approach not only increases revenue but also adds value to client relationships by offering relevant and thoughtful solutions they need. 


Gathering Feedback for Service Refinement 


Staying competitive requires continuous enhancement, anchored in understanding client feedback. CRM tools offer a way to collect and analyze this feedback, turning it into useful insights for improving services. This process ensures firms stay aligned with client needs and industry shifts. 


Interaction Tracking 


CRM systems meticulously log every interaction with clients, from emails and phone calls to meetings and proposals. This level of detail provides a holistic view of the client journey, allowing firms to tailor their services and communications to meet individual client needs more effectively. 


Performance Analysis 


CRMs are not just client-facing tools; they also provide valuable back-end insights. They enable firms to track key performance indicators, such as client acquisition rates, service popularity, or client satisfaction levels, offering actionable data to guide business strategies. 



How to improve customer relationship management

Now that we understand the role of a CRM system, here are some of the ways accounting firms can improve their customer relationship: 


Be Consistent 

Consistency is the cornerstone of trust. Firms must strive to provide consistent quality across all touchpoints, from the initial consultation to the final report delivery. This consistency not only builds a strong brand reputation but also reassures clients that they can depend on your firm for their accounting needs. 


Manage Customer Expectations 

Setting and managing customer expectations right from the onset of your relationship can prevent misunderstandings and dissatisfaction.  


Make sure to clearly communicate everything about what your services include, the timelines involved, and the outcomes clients can expect, as it will help in aligning your firm's deliverables with client expectations, thereby minimising client discontent. 


Read: How Technology Can Help You Meet Your Clients' Expectations 


Use CRM Software 

As mentioned above, to make things easier, organise and track every client interaction, you need to have a good CRM tool in place to make sure it can provide you with a clear picture of how your firm is performing. It also helps in identifying trends and patterns that may be affecting the way the firms run. 


Ask for Customer Feedback 

Feedback goes a long way. It does not only provide you with direct insights into what your clients expect from your firm but also offers an opportunity to address any concerns before they escalate into bigger issues. Doing this only shows that the client's opinions and feedback are valued and considered, enhancing their sense of loyalty to your firm. 


Create Personalized Experiences 

Every client yearns for recognition. They want to feel like they are important and that their needs are being met.    


Accounting firms can stand out by demonstrating a consistent commitment to personalised client engagement. Here's what you can implement for a professional yet personal approach: 


  • Celebrate Milestones: Acknowledging important dates like birthdays and anniversaries with a tasteful card or a select gift can resonate with the personal side of professional relationships. 


  • Show Appreciation: A professionally crafted thank-you note after meetings expresses sincere gratitude and reinforces the value you place on their business. 


  • Encourage Feedback: Proactively seek your clients' insights with carefully designed feedback surveys. This not only provides invaluable information but also conveys a dedication to service excellence. 


A delicately balanced approach of professional and personal interaction will not only enhance the client experience but also fortify the foundation of trust and loyalty in your business relationships. 



Be Available Around the Clock 

If you are thinking about how to make your firm different from your competitor, then make sure to offer constant support such as being available 24/7 to your clients. To do so, you can explore alternative options such as outsourcing.  


Outsourcing is about handing over some of your business activities, like finance and accounting tasks to third service providers.  


Here’s a closer look at how outsourcing can help enhance your firm's availability: 


  • Round-the-Clock Service: By outsourcing certain operations, especially to different time zones, your firm can offer 24/7 client support. This advantage means clients can get help whenever they need it, which is a strong selling point. 


  • Faster Turnaround: With dedicated teams handling routine accounting tasks, reports can be prepared within shorter time frames, queries can be addressed promptly, and financial statements can be finalised without delay. This responsiveness is so important for client satisfaction, particularly during peak periods like tax season or year-end reports. 


  • Tailored Solutions: Outsourcing companies also allow you to choose customized services packages that meet your firm's and clients' specific needs. This ability to offer tailored solutions not only adds value for your clients but also reinforces the perception of your firm as a versatile and client-centric organisation. 


  Read Next: Outsourcing to the Philippines: Benefits & Tips to Consider 


The Bottom Line 


Improving customer relationship management in an accounting firm environment involves a multifaceted approach, blending technology with personalised, consistent service delivery.  


By leveraging the power of outsourcing, your firm not only extends its capabilities and efficiency but also offers a level of service and accessibility that can significantly improve your client service and set you apart from competitors. 


In need of a reliable partner to handle your numbers? 

D&V Philippines brings you more than just accounting excellence. We offer solutions to keep your client data organised and relationships strong, all while taking care of the numbers. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn more about our services. 


You can also visit our website to find out what our clients say about us and download our Outsourcing: How to Make it Work guide today to give you an idea of how we can make finance and accounting easier for you. 

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Our Outsourcing: How to Make it Work guide explores how you can utilize accounting and finance outsourcing to drive growth to your business and add value to your processes.