We work with leading accounting firms in the UK, USA and Australia.
Practice Management (PM) systems are designed to manage the time recording and billing functions of an accounting firm. The functionality of our platform has been expanded to cater for: workflow scheduling, marketing data, resource planning, credit control, integration to tax, accounting and document management systems.
The time and billing functions include complex rates matrix, value or contract billing, multi-entity and multi-currency capability.
Over the past 10-15 years the PM system has become the central system where client information was held or gathered with further connections into tax and accounting.
With the onset of cloud accounting solutions we have focused on the integration of our practice management platform to document management, expense management and payment gateways to enhance the electronic payment of fees and credit control. All of these require robust integration systems and processes.
A key focus for Symphony has also been the integration and automation of data between CLM platforms and HR systems which has meant that many data processing tasks which were typically entered manually, and often many times, are now being handled electronically. New client records start from a prospect record in CLM (subject to the usual client take-on compliance processes) with the PM system client records automatically created from the CLM system.
What we are seeing is the need for technology to not only replace manual data entry routines but also control the data inputs to a PM system from outside its boundaries.
The impact of cloud-based computing, particularly in relation to mobile and smartphone usage, has placed the focus firmly on how data elements must be able to flow. The impression for the user needs to be that there are no hard-and-fast walls between systems and that data is constantly available for their use, wherever it happens to be stored. In PM, that means a mobile time-sheet app with the ability to work offline and effectively release the team from having to use a desktop to complete a time-sheet. Our mobile timesheet solution will work with any PM platform not just ours.
A lot is changing however. Firms will still demand strong adaptable time management and billing systems that continue to embrace workflow, scheduling and performance management reporting. The ability to automate the automatic creation of the master and transaction data is now a must have. PM master and transaction data must also be available with a powerful data-warehouse which forms part of CLM so that business intelligence and predictive analytical processes can be addressed. But PM is no longer the central system, it has a vital and important role as part of a wider CLM ecosystem.
A robust scalable PM solution will be extended when engagement records are automated from CRM together with fixed fee contracts all complimented with mobile time capture.
In addition to measuring time and its realisation firms require sound budgeting and gross margin analysis alongside client workflow.
Moving beyond the pdf fee or statement to electronic presentation in an interactive manner to facilitate electronic payment, faster settlement via an online portal for managing debt.
A firms ability to take action requires an analytical platform that provides insights into performance and behaviour. Only then does the data mean anything.
Firms can’t afford to get bogged down in Finance, HR and IT silos. Practice Management must do what it does best and at the same time collaborate with client relationship life-cycle platforms.
Talk to us about getting your software application platforms working together to support your firm’s organisational objectives and strategic goals…