Rennie Welch LLP, is a leading accountant and business advisor, servicing businesses across the Scottish Boarders and beyond.
Partner, Mark Thompson explains how he has embraced new Practice CRM technology to elevate his firm to new heights.

Introduction

As a progressive forward-thinking accountancy firm, Rennie Welch identified the value and need for a practice-wide customer relationship management (CRM) solution to support customers and employees across their 3 offices in Kelso, Melrose and Berwick.  However, finding the right solution that integrates with their IRIS practice software and collaborating with a supplier that understands the intricate workings of a modern accounting firm had proven a challenge.

Partner, Mark Thompson, is 1 of 5 partners at Rennie Welch and explains how he has embraced new Practice CRM technology to elevate his firm to new heights.

Challenge

“At Rennie Welch we had deliberated for some time about the merits of a practice CRM system. Our requirement was mainly marketing and expansion orientated, in that we felt our system of recording and developing leads and new client enquiries could be improved. Previously our methods of recording this information involved an assortment of lists, spreadsheets and in-trays with piles of handwritten notes of speculative calls from prospective clients. Follow ups were not as systematic as they could have been and there was a risk opportunities to secure new work, could have been missed.

We wanted to be able to systemise our records of new client enquiries, referrals, introductions and targets. Our vision was that this would allow a continued marketing focus and dialogue with organisations and individuals, as prospective clients. Our experience is that bringing in new clients and work into an accountancy practice is a ‘slow burn’, with potential clients taking their time before deciding on an adviser.  An effective CRM system, to manage the relationship with prospects, would mean we would be well placed to secure new clients and work, when their circumstances were such that they wished to move forward. 

Our search for a suitable system included discussions with software providers and other industry professionals regarding the CRM systems in the market place. We also considered the various ‘free’ introductory web based systems available online. Nothing seemed particularly suitable, with most solutions being generic and more geared to selling goods than professional services.”

“The situation changed beyond all recognition when we first became aware of FibreCRM, at an Iris World event.”

Solution

“From our earliest discussions with Alan Peck and then Simon Leek it became apparent FibreCRM was the ideal solution. FibreCRM would allow us to do all of the things we required to help us manage prospects and leads, to provide a sales pipeline of new work. This also encompasses managing relationships with our long list of professional and introducer contacts.”

Realisation

“The clinching factor was however the realisation that the system could also be used to enhance our service to our existing client base and help us provide additional services. FibreCRM integrates with our Iris accounting, tax and practice management systems and allows us to use the huge volume of existing client data housed in the software in new ways.”

Benefits

FibreCRM’s “Target Lists” is a highly effective way to manage customer profiles and segment data.  Each list can contain multiple contact entries per segment such as, Fee Protection clients, UK Landlords, Dividend Tax Payers etc.

These lists can also be synchronised with Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor marketing automation platforms which contains a multitude of professional email templates as well as GDPR compliance, opt-in, opt-out preference management. Mark continues to explain:

“We can now flag up opportunities in targeted email marketing campaigns to existing clients and professional introducer contacts, using emails branded and designed with a promotional emphasis, through an integrated email marketing system. Recent examples have included update emails on commercial property capital allowances tax issues and recent changes to the tax treatment of holiday accommodation, resulting in several client instructions for advisory assignments.

We are also putting in place systems to provide a variety of automated email and text messages to our existing client base. Everything from automatic system messages to send back signed accounts, tax returns and company secretarial documents, to reminders for business records and tax return information, or that a due date for a tax payment is looming. We believe the Fibre technology is allowing us to provide an increasingly proactive service with a greater level of client communication, in a cost-effective fashion. The work on the administration of these communications is done by Fibre, helping free up significant levels of time across the office.”

Conclusion

“We now have a fully integrated, operational and effective CRM system, providing our practice with an invaluable marketing support tool and also allowing us to provide significant automated enhancements to our services to existing clients.  The flexibility and power of the FibreCRM system is such that we can see numerous new applications to develop and look forward to enjoying the benefits for years to come.

We would encourage all forward-thinking accountancy practices to consider the merits of making the same FibreCRM move to our own.”

Mark Thompson, Partner