Every CPA firm is different, which is why it’s impossible to give one simple answer to the common question — “How can I increase the overall value of my firm?” Before looking for an answer it’s important to identify the value drivers for your firm. Of the many ways to drive the overall value of your firm, we will be discussing five along with the tools that can help. Those five areas are: are productivity, employee engagement, remote work flexibility, customer satisfaction, and the hiring process. So what changes are needed to improve each one of these drivers? We asked ourselves the same question and began looking into technology investments. We know the impact new technology has on CPA firms as well. Although new technology can be expensive, the platforms we recommend will provide 10x the return on investment, and we know this from experience. So, let’s dive into each one of these drivers and look at a technological solution for each one of them.
Increase Collaboration & Productivity – monday.com
During the busy season, productivity will inevitably decide your firm’s success. The amount of collaborating and sharing of information during the busy season is absurd for CPAs, which is why using a platform like monday.com is essential. It’s always intimidating to begin learning a new platform, but monday.com is growing rapidly because of how powerful, yet simple it really is. monday.com is a team collaboration and workflow software that allows you to create a custom workflow with all of your projects and tasks in one place. It simplifies your objectives by putting them into what we call “boards” and with these boards, you can create an entire agenda with just a few clicks. There are hundreds of integrations that allow you to bring your files in one place. Taking advantage of these integrations will allow to create automations, such as an email automation. For example, let’s say you just finished a tax return, and you need to send an email to that client. Setting up an automation will allow you to simply click one button, and BOOM! your client will receive an automated message with the necessary documents attached. There’s a reason why over 4,000 CPA firms are already using monday.com, it’s that good! (Read more about monday.com in our blog post).
Increase Employee Engagement – Lattice
Let’s not forget about the importance of checking in on your team to ensure that everyone is happy, healthy, and achieving their goals. Lattice (which was developed by Slack), is a simple-to-use platform that brings your entire team together. Everyone in the company is given weekly updates to fill out to show overall progress. Pulse surveys are commonly used as well – they’re short and sweet and allow employees to express how they’re doing in terms of bandwidth, satisfaction, etc. Lattice then takes this information and creates insightful dashboards that display the overall progress and health of your firm at a glance.
Increase Remote Work Flexibility – Microsoft SharePoint
We’ve migrated our entire team to Microsoft SharePoint and have helped many CPA firms get there as well. We even wrote this blog, because SharePoint is truly the perfect solution for remote work flexibility. So, what is SharePoint? It’s essentially your new “server” that is entirely in the cloud. That’s right, no more file servers to rely on, and no more maintenance. SharePoint stores all of your precious files in the cloud and it brings them to life. You can open any file from any device and begin editing it without ever having to worry about saving it. SharePoint autosaves all of your files and allows you to collaborate with others on the same file in real-time.
Customer satisfaction – Simplesat
Understanding your clients and their needs is important for keeping them long-term and client relationships are especially important for CPA firms. Using software like Simplesat will help you better understand how satisfied your clients are with your services. Simplesat allows you to send short and simple surveys to your clients, occasionally. It then collects the information from each client and displays your KPI’s in the form of a dashboard. It’s effective and simple at the same time.
Streamline your Hiring Process – Gusto
If you’re looking to eliminate paperwork and the tedious work that comes with it, say hello to Gusto. Gusto is the perfect solution for small businesses that are looking for software that does it all. You can run payroll, onboard a new hire, and manage employee benefits within one platform. Employees can make their own adjustments to their 401k through an integration with a platform called Guideline, and they can see all of their benefits, pay, and savings, in one dashboard. Gusto will save you the time that you are spending fulfilling HR requests. It automates a major part of your HR function.
So, go try out some of this software! It’s never a bad time to improve your technology, especially if it will make your firm more valuable in the long run. We use and LOVE Lattice, Gusto, and monday.com, they have streamlined our processes tremendously! If you need help transitioning to any of these platforms, we’re just a call away. In the meantime, to really see where your firm is in terms of technology, feel free to take our CPA Technology Check-up. It will assess your firm and give you a better idea of what tech priorities you need to make after the busy season.