Practice management software means different things to different people. So it can be hard to nail down exactly what features you need. Samantha Grovenstein-Deal, product line manager of firm management solutions for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, told Accounting Today: “There is no one-size-fits-all solution to firm management, and especially no one-size-fits-all solution at the right price point for every firm. That’s why the most key component to a good firm management system is access to data, so that you can wrap or attach any other part of the firm management process into a single-source-of-truth database. Even if a single product does provide all the functionality (time, billing, due-date tracking, expense management, accounting, reporting, workflow, payroll), the best solution will allow for easy service-level integration to pull all these mission-critical pieces together.”
While the specific capabilities of practice management systems may vary, here are some lesser-known features you should consider.
Invoice Review in Batches
When it’s time to review invoices, you don’t necessarily want to individually edit each invoice before approving it. Batch approval should allow you to view each invoice, add a note, and change the status as you review it.
Progress Billing by Project
When your practice management software integrates with a project management or workflow system, you can bill by project. And if you want to progress bill, you should be able to bill progress specific to a project.
A Complete View of the Client
Client service suffers when information about your clients is scattered across different systems. Your system should include a dashboard that can show WIP, Invoices and AR information, including charges, credits and current balance. But the client dashboard should provide more than just time and billing information. Access to related projects, documents and client notes is important as well. In addition, client notes should be actionable. That means notes that require action can be assigned to responsible staff with due dates.
For firms that don’t need a full-featured CRM system, a practice management system with marketing features can be a great way to track referral sources and marketing effectiveness. Since most firms use their practice management system as the primary client database, you should be able to generate mailing lists that you can use for marketing purposes.
To learn more about these practice management features available in CCH Axcess Practice, register for a demonstration today.