The key to success in any business is communication. If your teams can’t communicate clearly to work together, your workflow will break down. This is true within a department, but it’s also true from a cross-departmental perspective. Without cross-departmental visibility, your team won’t have the information they need to collaborate and uncover valuable insights for clients.
Does your firm’s technology build communication or break it down? Consider these ways your firm can use technology to help your team become more productive and collaborative.
Adopt Comprehensive Technologies and Tools
You want to ensure that any solution you invest in fits the firm’s need. Additionally, you want to have as few solutions as possible.
Firms often use one workflow management solution for tax, one for audit, and other systems for billing, client onboarding, etc. Whenever possible, break down the silos and utilize a comprehensive technology solution to build communication across departments.
Create Cross-Department Workflows
Your firm likely delivers services from more than one department for most clients. For example, you likely perform financial statement audits, reviews or compilations and tax returns for many business clients.
Whether you use one business process management solution for all departments or have different solutions in each department, consider integrating the workflows between each department. For example, how do you inform the tax department that the audit is almost complete so they know the tax engagement is coming? Addressing cross-departmental needs in your workflow ensures that team members from different departments work together to best serve the needs of common clients.
Invest in Intelligent Data Management
A survey from Wakefield Research and Elastic found that 54% of U.S. office professionals say they spend more time searching for documents and files they need than responding to emails and messages. And 57% ranked finding the files and documents they need as one of their top three problems.
The amount of time wasted on tracking down data is enormous. Intelligent data management solutions can help your firm put data into a more logical order so your team members can find the required data much faster and collaborate more effectively.
That’s one of the reasons Amelio recently developed our document request feature. After listening to the needs of our clients, we realized that people don’t want one more place to go for document requests. In response, we used our technology to enhance communication and our clients ability to find the information they need faster.
Consider Other Client Needs When Requesting Information
Does your firm’s technology build communication and connect the dots when you gather client information? From tax organizers to audit PBC lists, think beyond the immediate needs for that department. Pepper in questions that will help you assess other needs you’re not currently providing for clients. This will help you get a more holistic look at the client, better serve their needs and facilitate cross-selling services to grow your firm.
Create a Team to Champion New Technology
Another way technology builds communication is by creating a cross-functional team to champion new technologies. These champions try out new technology, are early adopters and help spread the word about “what’s in it for me.” This can help organically spread adoption rather than having to push technology on people.
Creating an invite-only technology steering committee can build communication between departments and be something that people want to be a part of.
Give Your Clients an “Easy Button”
Happy clients tend to buy more services from your firm. Quality, timeliness and great overall service go a long way towards high client satisfaction. But so does the ease with which clients can interact and do business with your firm.
When selecting new technologies, don’t focus all of your decisions inward on what works best for the firm. Instead, take an external view to provide your clients with solutions that make it easier for them to do business with you. When you make it easy for people to do business with you, a positive side effect is usually an easier time for your staff doing the work and higher staff morale.
So, does your technology build communication or break it down? If you need help breaking down silos in your firm, we’d love to show you how Amelio can help. Schedule a demo with our Director of Business Development to learn more!