It takes a lot to keep clients happy as an accountant and to cultivate relationships where they trust you. These people trust you with their finances and often their entire livelihoods as well as their futures. This is why it’s important to have clear client relationship management (CRM) policies for all clients both new and veteran. Client management for CPA firms is a good start for creating and enforcing policies that work while also making the necessary information freely available to everyone at your firm.
Review Standing Relationships
There may be clients that have been with your firm from day one and they seem like just as much a part of your firm as the accountants and other employees that keep it running every day. The CRM polices that you create as your firm grows may not apply to them and because of that, those relationships should be reviewed frequently and the satisfaction of the clients assessed. Without adhering to a specific policy it’s not as easy to see if these clients are feeling good about the services they receive. The best way to find out is simply to ask.
Learn What Your Firm Wants
Before you begin creating new policies, you should learn about what the people that work for you want from the firm and how they believe client relationships should work. Client management for CPA firms will only be effective if the CRM policies created are followed and the accountants at your firm will feel more comfortable following rules they had a hand in setting.
Be Confident in Your Confidentiality
This is an area where no policy can be lax. Whether the client is brand new or they’ve been around from the day you opened your doors, their confidentiality is a major component of client management for CPA firms. This doesn’t just mean keeping their numbers and information safe but it also means getting their permission if you believe other accountants may be handling them in the future. If your firm rotates responsibilities, this is absolutely necessary for your own legal protection and the clients’.
CRM Training for New Hires
Shadowing senior staff is a good way for new hires to learn about how things work at your firm but specific CRM training is also important. If you use established client relationship management for CPA firms and enforce the policies you’ve created, new hires will comply from day one. Track the progress and training of new accountants to see if they’re using the CRM policies you and senior staff trainers have taught them. You can use generated reports from management software to see how each person is doing once they’re on their own.
When Disciplinary Action is Necessary
No one likes to think this moment will come but sometimes people just want to do things their own way instead of using the policies your firm puts forth. Unfortunately, this happens most often with senior staff because they get used to doing things a certain way and have more trouble adjusting to change. This is not a step to be avoided regardless of how long the person who doesn’t follow policy has been with the firm. It’s a good idea to pull them aside and have the disciplinary discussion in private but it’s still a discussion that must happen. If one person believes they can get around policy, then everyone may begin to believe they can do it too.
Your Growing Business and Technology
Available technology can be extremely beneficial to your growing business and the way you utilize client management for CPA firms. The right software can make the information the accountants at your firm need available through mobile platforms, which gives them more autonomy when dealing with clients. Accounting emergencies can be handled with ease and managers can work from home effectively. Using the latest technology also gives your firm a leg up when it comes to future CRM developments and the way clients will interact with your firm as time goes on. Utilize all of the tools at hand and your CRM policies will be updated when you need them to be in an instant for the best client relationships between your firm and clients both new and loyal.