Why Navigating the Risk of a Damaged Reputation is a Must for Professional Services Firms

A damaged reputation can be very costly. Technology is necessary to manage your professional services firm’s reputation & avoid damage.

Table of Content

    Professional services executives know that having a good reputation is essential for success, especially in competitive industries. A bad reputation can cause lost clients, difficulty hiring and keeping employees, and be expensive to fix. Investing in resources to manage your professional services firm’s reputation is important. The right technology platform will provide the transparency, streamlined processes, and communications tools to support and enhance your efforts.

    How technology helps Professional Services Firms better manage their reputation

    Enhanced transparency

    To avoid harming your company’s reputation, it’s important to be completely transparent. Some businesses were destroyed by a few workers who hid misconduct by lying and altering information. These employees deceived their employers by providing false reports and manipulating data. Their actions had a negative impact on the companies they worked for.

    Global powerhouse Arthur Andersen collapsed because a few people failed to live the company’s values, and the firm was found guilty of crimes in the company’s auditing of Enron. While that one was a whale of a story, smaller firms can suffer a similar fate, simply due to a lack of insight into profitability measures, employee performance issues, and broken processes.

    A project accounting system helps team members, executives, and customers see problems quickly, make changes, and avoid financial delays. It promotes transparency and makes it easy to spot issues and fix them fast. When you have full visibility into a project, including the budget and team size, it becomes easier to make adjustments promptly. This is especially helpful when changes are necessary. And the easier it is to manage profitability from the start.

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    Watch this short clip on visibility and reporting.

    Streamlined processes

    A customer’s perception of your firm can be impacted dramatically by a bad billing cycle. If the customer doesn’t recognize expenses because they occurred weeks prior, or if time spent at the beginning of a project doesn’t show up on the invoice until weeks later, questions may arise that significantly extend the amount of time required for client review. When time and expenses are billed on a timely basis, the client’s familiarity with the activities means less confusion for the client and faster collections for your firm.

    You can enter time and expenses into your project accounting system from anywhere and on any device. This helps determine costs accurately. It also makes billing processes more efficient. Each customer is different. It is important to be able to adjust billing and provide invoices for various payment scenarios. This helps prioritize the customer’s needs.

    Watch this short demo clip on mobile time and expense entry.

    Improved communications

    Collaboration between project team members, executive reporting, and ongoing client communications is the grease that keeps projects moving smoothly and on budget. Customers go into a project with a specific set of expectations focused on their needs, goals, and budget. Professional service firms have certain expectations for a project, such as financial success and maintaining a good reputation for their company. If communications break down at any level, expectations on both sides become difficult to manage.

    When accounting systems and solutions are not connected, users have trouble sharing data in real time, causing communication problems. But a cloud-based solution that includes all the tools needed to serve as the one source for all information helps prevent communications break downs. Dashboards and reports based on real-time information are easily shared during project status meetings and client reviews. Trends are easier to identify, empowering predictability that keeps you one step ahead of potential problems.

    Social monitoring

    Navigating the risk of a damaged reputation also requires monitoring customer, consumer and market sentiment expressed through social media. The ability to capture and aggregate this unstructured data enables firms to gauge confidence in their products and services, then use that insight to enhance customer satisfaction through new product development or service offerings. The information gathered can drive improvements throughout the project management process, as well.

    In the end, customer success equals firm success. And success is the cornerstone to a strong brand and reputation. Learn more about how Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for Professional Services from Velosio enable firms to minimize risk and maximize profitability. Download our guide for more information.

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