CRM vs Recurring Client Management? (RCM)
Many of us know the benefits of using a robust Client Relationship Management (CRM) software for your accounting firm or practice. But as accountants, CPAs, and bookkeepers, CRMs fall short in one critical approach …
They’re built for salespeople.
And while it’s a great tool for managing a sales pipeline (leads, prospects, etc), things can quickly fall apart when you start tracking client information inside of a CRM (which for an accounting practice, is common!)
Project management tools are not built to hand hundreds or thousands of clients, and CRMs are not built to handle hundreds of jobs across your client and team.
With that in mind…we recommend:
Recurring Client Management (RCM) Applications
Recurring client management applications are unique because they’re built to handle large client lists, and track ongoing client jobs and engagements. Essentially, being the “second half” of the equation. CRM applications are built to manage leads and prospects, Recurring client management (RCM) is built to track everything after the engagement.
Let’s look at the core differences in functionality between CRM and RCM:
- Manage sales pipeline
- Goal is to get a client or customer
- Typically managed by a salesperson
- Manage recurring client work and workflows
- Goal is to track client engagements and team management
- Typically managed by firm owner and practitioners
It’s important to think through the functionality of each, and what you need to effectively track client work in your firm or practice. For example, what reports do you need? Or integrations? Or time and billing software? Many leading RCM providers include free trials for their application, so that’s a great way to review the product functionality before committing to a monthly or yearly contract. As with most modern applications, we recommend, at the very least, investing in an application that does not have constricting long-term contracts, and does offer a free trial and flexible monthly options.
In conclusion, we recommend a robust CRM for your practice for managing prospects and leads. There are a lot of great applications in the marketplace, and they do a great job of tracking leads. What we strongly recommend is also finding a complimentary Recurring Client Management (RCM) application that handles the tracking of clients engagements and team productivity after the leads become a client.
Want to test drive the #1 Recurring Client Management application? Click here to start your 14 day free trial of Jetpack Workflow