Practice Insights is here. But what does that mean for you, your team and the way you work? In this blog, we’ll be sharing six essential use cases from our exciting new dashboard. Whether you’re a partner or manager, find out how Practice Insights can help you deliver more for your clients and give your firm that extra edge.
Why does a Partner need Practice Insights?
In this opening section, we’ll be focusing on the decision makers. While you can use Practice Insights at every level of a firm, its implementation is down to you, the Partner. Let’s take a look at those key use cases.
Improve Decision Making
It’s no coincidence that we kick things off with decision making. Although Practice Insights can help shape it at every level, its use is most valuable to the management in your firm. With performance metrics and the ability to drill down, you unlock another level of understanding and oversight. So when it comes to top-table discussions, you’re geared up with the insight to make the best decisions for your clients and your practice.
The Practice Insights dashboard provides your firm with the information you need to assess the performance of your clients, staff and teams. It allows you to understand how your firm is doing, and make the necessary adjustments. Is there room for improvement? Does a certain manager need extra support? Are some teams outshining others? Practice Insights gives you actionable data to both ask these questions, then find those answers yourself.
The ways in which Practice Insights aids decision making are threefold:
- Team members can use client-focused data
- Benchmark teams or individuals within your firm
- Analyse office vs. office performance
With better visibility of what’s going on, you can make data-backed decisions that improve the bottom line of your own business, and that of your clients.
Ensure Accurate Pricing
As we’re sure you know, there’s always room to improve pricing. A lot of the time, though, it can be difficult to price for each client, especially as their demands change. We also know that partners want to ensure software costs, where appropriate, are accurately charged onto their clients based on their usage/activity.
In this instance, you can use the filter to identify clients who are responsible for their own bookkeeping work. Based on their monthly activity – which you can monitor by the ‘items submitted widget – pro-rata the total bill across all clients. You can then record this amount as a disbursement against each client in your practice management system.
With the disbursement recorded in the practice management system, it ensures that when the bill is raised to the client for software charges, you can check the charge is fair and, at that point, consider whether it needs adjusting.
Accommodate Agile Working
It’s clear that agile working is here to stay. Now, the next step is to help that transition take shape. With more of your team working from home, it can be difficult to keep track of work as well as ensuring that you deliver on the services you have been engaged to do. On top of that, many clients are now looking to outsource their bookkeeping work. Why does this matter? Well, it’s very difficult to offer those services when your team is stretched and you can’t see what’s happening. That means less control, and more potential errors.
With Practice Insights, you have a digital dashboard at your fingertips. It’s accessible to each of your team, and outlines the rate and quality of work, whether your practice is doing the bookkeeping or the client is. It’s part of the Dext Prepare product; available on the cloud wherever your team is logging in.
It’s also worth noting that these types of digital initiatives attract new talent. Or anyone looking for a firm that aligns with hybrid, forward-thinking work. So, as well as safeguarding your firm’s output, you can utilise Practice Insights’ pull power to help retention and recruitment.
Why does a Manager need Practice Insights?
In this section, we’ll be stepping into the manager’s shoes. While many of the use cases so far also apply for managers, here we focus more on day-to-day tasks as opposed to board-level decision making.
There’s a clear relationship between productivity and profitability. The more efficient your team can be when servicing clients, the better your own bottom line will ultimately be. Efficiency creates capacity, giving you the choice as to what to do with it.
Practice Insights helps managers optimise their team’s time. Whether that’s balancing workloads, spotting bottlenecks, or opportunities to improve accuracy and efficiency, it gives you the oversight you need to manage a team, and keep your clients happy.
The ‘items to action’ widget shows you exactly which clients are up to date, and which have items that need actioning. You can also filter by those items for which your firm is responsible, and those where the client is responsible. If any of your team have downtime, you can redeploy them to support those clients whose bookkeeping needs attention.
As a result, you ensure your team is always optimising any downtime. It also allows you to free up other team members whose workloads may be filling up.
Create Healthy Competition
It’s your teams who provide services to clients. And it’s their mindset towards work that has an impact on the speed and quality of their output. Practice Insights allows you to monitor team-level performance, which you can use to transform how each team approaches their tasks. By highlighting what best practice looks like in your firm and which team is ‘winning’, you create a healthy, competitive edge that helps improve performance across teams.
This dynamic impacts the culture at your firm, which makes it easier to recognise and reward great performance. There’s also an opportunity to attract new talent by reframing repetitive, foundational work as engaging and rewarding. This ultimately helps you retain the people that help you stand out from the competition.
Focus Training on What Matters
Practice Insights helps your less-experienced staff prioritise their own activities. Less asking ‘what should I do next?’ and more, ‘how can I help this client with this issue?’
Widgets such as ‘Supplier Rules Performance’ serve up the efficiency wins your team can help a client implement, and you can spend more of your time supporting the development of skills that matter to your firm and clients.
Find out how Practice Insights can help you
Practice Insights, while helpful in various ways for various people, is a practice-wide solution.
Whether you’re a partner, manager, junior or cloud champion, the dashboard’s functionality is there for all to enjoy. You can identify opportunities, drive productivity, incentivise workloads and free up capacity. On top of that, you can leverage the working environment it creates to attract new talent and set your firm apart.
If you’d like to find out more about Practice Insights, we’d love to hear from you. Click below, and book a demo so we can show you the dashboard in action.