All of your clients data, workflow and billing information in one place.
Information lies at the foundations of any successful business
Sage Practice Solution brings together all of the data essential to running your business and consists of three seamless applications: Practice Hub, Time & Fees and Practice Manager
- Save time by transferring data
- Record of all of your client data
- An easier way to manage billing
- Manage your clients better than ever
- Seamless integration with other Sage software – no re-keying of existing client data
- Communication tracking – with central view to show staff or team communications
- Reporting tools giving access to all data within the applications, exportable to Excel
- Pre-packaged letter templates and Microsoft Word mail merge
- One-stop view of client details and relationships with other prospects
- Fully flexible time and fees application allows you to set staff and rates policies
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Planning and Forecasting
Plan and control your business using a range of tools. Make strategic plans, identify trends and trading patterns to inform your decision making. Manage your planning from analysis to future budgets.
Whether users are in the office or working remotely, your employees can file timesheets and record expenses. These reports allow managers to monitor and report time spent on projects and associated expenses, to oversee where the company is investing time and where there is a need for additional staff to complete a job. With the use of these applications, web users can access time sheets and expenses, giving you a complete set of tools for managing projects, employees and contractor inputs and costs.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a complete sales and marketing management tool. Enabling you to effectively manage all client information in one place, view contact details, communication and all transaction history that enable you to run market research and sales campaigns at the touch of a button.
Manage your sales team, and monitor activity in an easy to use and efficient manner. Add new clients and users to the system as your business grows with ease.
Communications, reporting, letter- managed using the tools you are already familiar with writing and task monitoring can all be kept under control.
Share and Hold Data
Sage SPS can be stored centrally, in an accessible and secure location, to keep client information available to all employees.
Share data with other Sage products and transfer client information consistently, accurately and quickly thanks to its seamless integration between the different parts of the product.
Present data, graphs and charts that bring the trends in your business to life. Users can work simultaneously across a number of elements from within their workspace, to surface any data in the system and present it in a customised screen prepared for a specific user; add and remove data fields, prepare summary reports, and view them wherever you are via laptops or mobile devices.
Stay on top of your client billing with a flexible and complete view of job types and create invoices in seconds. A flexible complete view of the job types including grouping and filtering, based on period, type, status allows you to open and edit entries directly from the ledger which offers:
- A highly flexible allocation process; can be as simple or as detailed as required.
- Multiple methods of summarising job type.
- Ability to allocate profit/loss at summary levels or against individual job items.
Produce reports that can be customised to show the data that you want to analyse. As well as standard key metrics such as profit and loss; cost centre and sales by each client every month. Sage offers a means of generating reports quickly and consistently, as well as letters and invoice templates for all clients of the entire company.
Sage provides complete supply chain management. Track every aspect of purchase orders and stock control, from order placement to the settlement of invoices. On the sales aspect, you can manage orders and initial enquiries through stock checking, and sales document production and successful dispatch.
This tool allows you to manage specific projects and customer and supplier relationships in as much detail as required. You can manage costs, progress, income and profitability. Project managers gain full control of their projects, ordering stock, initiating transactions, monitoring progress and billing clients.
Let’s consider the case study on Audit Co. to explore how SPS can solve problems and add value to your business.
Audit Co. - Company Profile
Audit Co. is a medium sized Audit Company with a clientele of 1.000 natural and corporate entities. The services that it offers include the audit of financial statements, accounting services, tax consultancy and compliance services. The Company employs 50 members of staff including 40 trainee and qualified accountants and 10 support staff for the internal functions of HR, IT, compliance and office administration.
Issues Audit Co. is currently experiencing
Audit Co. was established in 2007 with 5 employees and has since grown to a business employing over 50 members of staff. As the Company’s Finance Director (“FD”) comments: “the fast expansion of the Business has made our existing management information and control systems unable to cope with the growing demands in each department”. The management team were required to act quickly in finding suitable software to overcome the problems which are analysed below:
- Real time controlling of the Work In Progress (“WIP”) was impossible and WIP based invoicing to clients was not completed in a timely manner.
- No device available for the accurate analysis of invoice profitability.
- Real time monitoring of employee workflow and status of engagements was impossible.
- No available device for the evaluation of employee efficiency and performance, creating subjective evaluations.
- Engagement planning depended on the availability of data which was gathered manually by managers from various sources, making the process time consuming, inaccurate and subjective.
- No central client database to meet each department’s demands.
- Analysis of data into meaningful reports for decision making was sometimes impossible.
- Data from clients’ database had to be manually processed to create reports for decision making.
- No reports available linked to Anti-Money Laundering and compliance matters making compliance function ineffective and expensive.
- Human error element was present in tasks of drafting standardised letters and reports.
- Concentration of client knowledge to only a few key staff members which made these staff members more difficult to replace.
The SPS Solutions
After conducting thorough market research, the Company’s management made the decision to progress with the implementation of SPS. A month later, SPS was already becoming a central point of reference, for all processes in each department of the business.. As the Managing Director (“MD”) comments: “the benefits of SPS were obvious from the first month of putting it into practice”. The most significant improvements experienced by the Company’s management are analysed below.
Increase of efficient workflow management
SPS provides a user friendly environment for managers to review and monitor the workflow of each of their team members. Audit Co. has thus moved away from the use of long spread sheets for this task.
“I find it extremely easy and fast to produce workflow reports” says the Audit Department Manager (“ADM”), “with SPS I can monitor my team’s jobs with little time spent catching up in meetings and discussions”.
Real time monitoring of status of engagements
What is more, each team member has the ability to record notes and comments on each workflow task within the software. This means that management can have real-time information of the exact status of each engagement, including problems and issues identified.
The Company’s MD adds to the above that “the concentration of engagement specific knowledge to just one employee is now limited which has reduced our staff turnover risks”.
Quicker and more meaningful time record keeping
One of SPS’s main features is that timesheet codes can be tailored and designed by the users. Audit Co. has designed relevant chargeable and non-chargeable codes to suit their business needs. In this way, employees are guided to charge their time in such a way that enables management to review and analyse timesheets efficiently.
Evaluation of employees’ performance is now more accurate
Audit Co. has utilised the SPS reporting functionality helping it to turn raw timesheet data into meaningful reports for analysing how and where each employee’s time was spent.
According to the MD, “It is now easier for us to evaluate employees’ productivity and we can also quickly and accurately analyse the areas where chargeable and non-chargeable was time spent. These factors assisted our management team to make informed decisions linked to staff promotions and cost reductions were possible (e.g. by identifying ways to reduce time spent on filing or scanning).”
Real-time reporting of WIP
Once the employees submit their timesheets, the time records are automatically accounted for as WIP in SPS. More importantly, SPS allows for the various employees’ hourly rates to be incorporated in to the system. Therefore, Audit Co.’s managers are now able to export tailor made reports on a real-time basis, analysing the WIP of each specific engagement or project in terms of hours but also in terms of value.
The ADM comments “I can now effectively control the fee budgets set for each engagement in a timely manner, and can accurately invoice clients faster than ever”, he adds “The MD was surprised with my department’s cash collection results during the first quarter of the SPS implementation!”
Timely invoice profitability analysis and reporting
Utilising the SPS reporting functionality, Audit Co.’s management can produce reports to analyse the profitability of each engagement and furthermore to categorise types of engagements using various criteria.
The Company’s FD is responsible for the appropriate pricing of services and he presents detailed profitability analyses to the management team on a monthly basis. “SPS has enabled us to carry out remedial action linked to billing of services, quickly and accurately”, “loss making services are highlighted by SPS on a real-time basis” he says. “I can now ensure that each manager’s attention is directed towards the services or clients where best profit margins are available.”
Uniform central database is now available to fit the needs of all department
SPS allows the users to create an unlimited amount of database fields to record information on all clients. Audit Co. has utilised SPS to create a complete client database tailored to the needs of each department. This was achieved by creating relevant database fields in order to maintain data, such as deadlines for the submission of tax forms and invoices, location of client undertakings, newest audit reporting dates, Beneficial Owners names etc.
Tailor made reports for engagement planning and management decision making
The data stored within the SPS database fields are now utilised by Audit Co. to create meaningful reports. Each manager is able to design reports through SPS, tailored to their needs with up-to-date and accurate information. Such reports are utilised for engagement planning and for management decision making.
Audit Co.’s identifies in SPS, one uniform central database which eliminates the need to retain separate spread sheets for recording client and engagement data which can be used not only for the maintenance of the historical audit trail for all clients but also for planning purposes.
The MD states “data is imported once into one central database which is available for life to the entire business”, adding that “the SPS database’s scalability enables growth together with the business”. The FD also comments that “each department can quickly and effectively produce unlimited tailor made reports to suit each and every need, allow us to highlight problem areas and make informed and timely decisions”.
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance database integrated in the system
The SPS Software incorporates a separate section linked to AML compliance. Audit Co. has found the best solution in SPS in order to effectively manage and monitor its AML Compliance function. Furthermore, SPS was utilised for the creation of reports required by Supervising Authorities during their monitoring visits.
Compliance with emerging laws and regulation
What is more, Audit Co. has recently found the easiest and quickest way to evaluate its FATCA status using SPS to conclude the extent of its FATCA reporting requirements.
The Company’s Compliance Officer utilises SPS to maintain and keep track of the compliance status of all clients and to effectively assess and manage compliance risks. “SPS is undeniably the best device to assist our Compliance Department to adapt to the ever changing requirements of various laws and regulations”, she says. “I can now easily plan ahead and ensure that the annual required compliance reviews will not be missed”. She also proudly commented that “during our latest monitoring visit, we managed to impress our Supervising Authority by providing to them the required reports and analyses quickly and accurately on the spot”.
Template database and automatic generation of standard letters and reports
SPS allows the users to store standard letters and produce automatically generated and tailored reports for use on one or several engagements. Audit Co. fully utilises this functionality by producing engagement letters, bank letters, management representation letters, etc. effectively through SPS. A single central database where all templates are maintained is now available to the whole Company within the software.
The Tax Department Manager (“TDM”) comments that “my team issues a substantial amount of engagement letters each week. My time spent on reviewing and making corrections on such standardised letters has substantially been reduced”. The ADM adds “it is almost impossible to make human error when creating the bank letters through SPS”, “with the use of SPS standardised letters and reports, I no longer need to review in detail all those letters that we send out every day”.
Audit Co. has resolved the problems identified duly and has also managed to solve many other issues that would have caused disruption of its business had SPS not been implemented.
The easily accessible and quick post-sales service support available has hugely assisted Audit Co. allowing the smooth implementation of the software initially but also to subsequently identify additional business solutions though SPS.
In this way, the Audit Co.’s SPS database will continue to grow and develop with the business to allow the Company to adapt to the changing needs of the competitive market of service providers.