Guessing games are great for team icebreakers, holiday parties, and keeping your kids occupied on long family road trips—but they aren’t ideal when it comes to making business decisions for your accounting firm.
To make business decisions with better returns next year, you need to leave the guesswork behind. Follow these steps to make smart, data-driven decisions for your practice in 2023.
Update your tech
First things first: it’s time to take a look at your tech stack. Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced data analytics are becoming more sophisticated and user-friendly—so it might be time for an upgrade.
Manual process management and spreadsheet tracking aren’t enough to sort through the massive amount of data available today. To stay competitive, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the tools and technologies that make it easier for you to manage your practice in a more efficient way.
A modern practice management system allows you to collect and analyze data without drowning in the numbers. Track your time so you can improve productivity and gain valuable insights into internal performance, revenue drivers, client satisfaction, and other patterns to help you grow your practice.
Understand and use data analytics
It’s not enough to just collect data. You have to actually use it. To make informed decisions based on the data you collect, that data needs to be analyzed so you can figure out what it’s telling you.
That doesn’t mean you need to spend hours hunched over a spreadsheet looking for patterns that, let’s face it, you might not recognize anyway (hello, eye strain!). With today’s technologies, all of that time-consuming work can be done for you automatically.
Mango’s reporting software crunches the numbers for you and creates visually compelling graphs that make it easy for you to know where your practice stands at a glance. No more guesswork—use the facts to figure out exactly where you need to focus your attention.
Track your time
Have you ever heard the saying, “what gets measured gets managed?” Well, it’s true. And it’s particularly relevant when it comes to tracking how you spend your time.
From business owners to accountants to independent contractors, just about everyone struggles with time management to some extent.
But here’s the thing—when you track your time on a daily basis, you capture so much more of it. And you don’t want to leave billable hours on the table, do you? If your employees aren’t tracking their time, you’re not tracking your profits accurately.
Mango’s time and billing software can help you stay on top of time allocation and quantify your time efficiently and accurately. You can start and stop a timer from any device and in any location, making it easy for you to stay up-to-date on your time logs whether you’re in the office, working from home, or out running errands.
Not only will you manage your time better, but you’ll also have records for your system to sort and analyze so you can see past performance, employee productivity, time spent on each client, and more. When you know how you spend your time currently, you can better plan how to spend your time in the future.
Make your day-to-day tasks more efficient
The end of the year is a great time to take an honest look at the processes you use regularly in your business—because chances are, there are ways you could streamline and improve them.
Take, for example, your client onboarding process. Can you collect more data from your client upon initial intake to save time later on in the process? Can steps can be automated? Can you eliminate unnecessary work for both clients and accountants?
When you use modern project management software, you can streamline your client intake process along with just about any other workflow you use in your business, thanks to the data you can collect with it.
- Monitor all current projects to stay abreast of their status and know where follow-up is needed at a glance
- Meticulously track time as you go to see where billable hours are being lost
- Identify where additional tools in your accounting practice management solution could be deployed to make the best use of your resources
Learn what drives the bulk of your income
Which marketing efforts are most cost-effective? Which of your services is most successful? These are a few of the questions you should be asking yourself as the year wraps up.
The answers to these questions will inform where you should focus your efforts for 2023. Again, you can cut out the guesswork by looking at patterns in the data that tell you what’s worked in the past and where you can improve in the future.
Mango crunches the numbers for you on which client accounts yielded the most profits and what services they used. You can also see whether you’re on track to meet your yearly goals and compare your metrics from one year to the next. When you know which services and clients are bringing in the most money, you can allocate your resources accordingly to ensure client satisfaction—and likely, more income.
On the flip side of the coin, if the data points to little return from particular marketing efforts or services, you can confidently pull back in those areas and make better use of your time and resources.
Collect customer experience data to reduce churn
The only thing more important than making data-driven decisions when it comes to running a successful business is providing a great customer experience. But guess what? Even that can be informed by—you guessed it—looking at the data.
One way to do this is by asking your customers for feedback. Are they happy with their experience with your business? How likely are they to refer a friend or family member? And most importantly—why do they feel the way they do?
When you know this information, you can double down on the things your customers like and look for ways to improve the areas that received less-than-stellar feedback.
Keep in mind that a positive onboarding experience sets the tone for your clients’ entire experience with your practice. If your processes are messy and disorganized, or if you ask them to come directly to your office for a task that could easily be accomplished virtually, they may be less than impressed.
The importance of data-driven decisions cannot be understated. Taking the time to analyze the patterns in your business (or better yet, saving time by using a system that does it for you) will help you bring efficiency to your operations, improve your profit margins, and have all-around better client relationships. Sounds like a good way to approach the new year, doesn’t it?
Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo today.
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