Companies of all sizes need software to help track the important aspects of their business, including physical inventories and payroll. Especially service-based businesses. Practice management software helps companies keep track of documents, e-mails and upcoming appointments so CEOs, CFOs, COOs and other company officers can concentrate on the daily commitment of running a business.
“You need to track everything concerning your clients and prospective clients. This includes calendar items, documents, e-mails, notes and phone conversations,” says Sandra Adams, vice president of application services at Onsiteam Advisors. “Tracking what has been done and, more importantly, what needs to be done to complete the project or assignment is crucial. Practice management software is the right tool to track those deadlines and meet those deadlines efficiently.”
Smart Business talked to Adams to find out what kind of software is available and who should be using it.
What does practice management software do, and how can it help a business become more efficient?
Practice management software enhances manual processes and procedures that are used to track and capture the who, what, when and where surrounding any particular project or client. Law firms typically track ‘cases’ or ‘matters,’ while accounting firms call them ‘engagements’ and architectural firms call them ‘projects.’ In the end, it is all about capturing every detail involved in the work to be done for a client.
Our technology firm has extensive experience with professional service firms and organizations that deal with providing consulting services. We have experience in software designed for public relations, advertising, architectural and engineering firms as well as CPA and law firms.
Is practice management software a new type of product?
No. The concept was developed the same time as the birth of desktop computing in the ‘80s. However, the software didn’t reach any kind of market saturation simply because the software applications designed to track the information weren’t particularly user-friendly. As technology improved, these products improved and became more user-friendly and more adaptable to particular businesses.
Are there many choices in practice management software?
There are a host of software application developers in the marketplace. Most offer good, competitive products. One product that we implement a great deal started out as a small developer based in Miami and has grown today to become the nationally recognized leader for practice management software. It was recently purchased by LexisNexis and has gained a huge International market as well as a strong domestic presence.
What type of business should consider implementing practice management software?
Practice management solutions are a huge benefit to any business that has deadlines. We believe all service firms should consider it. The software works just as well for small firms as for the largest of firms with multiple locations and hundreds of employees. We have implemented practice management system in many different industries. We actually have an insurance company that uses the product for tracking and managing every detail around an insurance claim.
Is the software expensive?
Implementing practice management can be a little “pricey,” but generally the software itself is affordable. The cost of implementation may exceed the price of the software, but the overall savings can be huge. If a client is very price conscious, we often suggest starting with a lower-end version that can easily be upgraded.
How can a company save money with the software?
We believe the enhanced service they will be able to offer is the ultimate return on their investment. Most of the software is competitively priced and can be customized to meet the work flow in a particular organization. While implementing and training can seem costly, the cost/benefit ratio is huge. We tell our clients that the real savings to them is the time they will save when they can easily identify all the information surrounding a particular project.
SANDRA ADAMS is vice president of applications services for Onsiteam Advisors in Miami. Reach her at (305) 960-1265 or [email protected].