Some software discovery meetings become free-for-all sessions
where IT asks for server upgrades, marketing asks for a fully functional CRM
with marketing automation, several partners want real-time business analytics
on their projects and the billing manager wants to automate billings and have
it synchronized with the firm’s overall database.
With so many voices in the room, it’s no wonder the firms we
come across have expressed a distinct fear of failure when it comes to
implementing a system to meet all these needs (and then some). It is also why many firms settle for disparate
systems, making marketers rely on Excel spreadsheets for prospect lists and
tax software for current client addresses.
Billers are stuck in a rut with tedious billing periods, and IT makes
sure it maintains the patchwork.
Does life in 2013 need to be this difficult? There is good news: the alternative to
disparate software programs is not a failed CRM implementation. By combining these programs on a single
platform, such as Microsoft Dynamics, firms can begin to consolidate their
A big concern with consolidation is privacy of
contacts. There are systems that allow
for control mechanisms and put restrictions on who can view what in a
We at Templeton Solutions have devised the "Crawl, Walk,
Run” approach for our clients’ implementations.
By helping with identifying the most pressing need (usually aggregating
data into a single location), and developing an efficient, phased approach, we
have helped our clients realize a 100% CRM implementation success rate. Each phase is closed out with
train-the-trainer sessions to make sure there is firm buy-in every step of the
After a complete review and holistic assessment, we devise
the phased approach. There are software and user-testing metrics each step of the way to ensure a successful launch.
When you are ready to start crawling, here is a list of
questions to ask your potential software provider:
the provider have knowledge of and experience in the CPA industry?
- Does the product provide information that leads
to insights for managing a successful practice?
- Does the product include a business intelligence
environment for managers to senior partners to customize dashboards?
- Does the product include project and resource
planning capabilities along with forecasts for firm revenues, realizations and
- Is the product capable of showing ROI of marketing
- Is the product capable of tracking relationships
and efforts starting with Marketing through to Invoicing?
- Does the product have the capability to be offered
on-premise or in the cloud with full functionality?
- Does the product fully integrate with Microsoft
Sarah Parker serves as Client Services Director for Templeton Solutions and
manages all aspects involving supporting client engagement service and
deliverables. Working in the professional services industry for more than 10
years, Sarah brings passion, keen insight, and experience to each project