“There’s an app for that” is a true statement. You can track nearly every function under the sun you’ve planned, managed, or performed by a stand-alone app. Do you want to hire someone to fix your roof? Sure. Do you want to track your activity and calories? No problem. What about creating posters, greeting cards, or book covers? You bet.
People love the à la carte approach to technology, paying for what they want and not for anything they don’t. People are so individual in their tastes and preferences. Single apps are a fantastic approach on a personal level but perhaps not so productive in a business setting. So, what is an integrated operating system, and why is it better for businesses?
What Is It?
It replaces stand-alone apps over multiple platforms to access everything in one place. For example, client management software for accountants is a system built to supply tools used by accountants in their daily work. It’s a single platform where you get:
- Data protection
- Internal and external communication
- Document uploads, downloads, and readers
- Automated, endless, and easy-to-search file storage
- Real-time updates
- Accessibility for multiple departments
- Client portals
Why Is It Better For Businesses?
1. Continuity And Communication
Have you ever wondered why you get transferred five times on a business line and have to start at the beginning with each person? Wouldn’t it be nice if they would talk to each other? You can bet your customers have had the same experience. The problem is the support members aren’t transferring notes with the call. Customer frustration levels would decrease if all customer service reps and supervisors could see the same information. The business would spend less time on each call, so they have time to help other callers with shorter wait times. Customer satisfaction improves all the way around.
Using a single, integrated platform provides communication records and an easy way to share pertinent information between you and any coworkers and your clients as needed.
If an office has a dozen or more platforms and follows the unique password recommendations, no one can remember them all. Passwords are written down, shared between employees, and left unattended at desks when employees go to lunch or leave for the day. Considering how much personal data accountants can access, that’s a huge security risk. On the other hand, a single system with a two-step authentication redundancy is much more secure. Most employees can remember a single password without writing it down.
It can be stressful to have a client sitting across you while you switch back and forth across apps, trying to find all the information you need to fill out paperwork or answer their questions. Additionally, if you have multiple apps, you end up duplicating work. It creates opportunities for more mistakes. If one team doesn’t have access to information on their app, then confusion ensues. Customers could get different answers to their questions depending on who they ask. Customers lose patience and trust if they get a different response every time they call.
Are There Drawbacks?
Sometimes, integrated systems can get too big. If the system is generic, you don’t know if the way it shares and stores information complies with regulations for your specific business, which can be a concern in your profession. Also, if a system is generic enough to work for all companies, you’ll spend a lot of time customizing programs to suit your needs. If you find a platform for your specific industry, you’ll have the essential tools you need for your profession.
Specific systems only give you partial functionality and charge you for added features to make their system function the way it promised. It’s like selling you a car for an agreed-upon price and then charging extra for the key, windshield wipers, horn, lights, tires, and seatbelts. Pay attention to pricing and the fine print before settling on a platform.
If the system is too big and complicated, you can spend days or weeks learning how to get the beast up and running, which takes time away from your business for every employee needing training. Additionally, some companies charge exorbitant fees to learn how to use their system (on top of paying for it) and add more charges for help integrating files. It should be in the company’s best interest to get you up and running as quickly and seamlessly as possible so you keep using their service rather than double dipping on the price. Again, pay attention to the T&Cs of what you’re paying for, and look for a program where you don’t need a background in coding to get it to work well for you.
Look for a client management system designed for your profession, so you have the tools you need without having to pay for extra customization. You want an automated tax office manager intended to protect your clients in accordance with the law and one that gives you trouble-free streamlined education so you can be up and running the same day, complimentary onboarding, and single-call service rather than being sent to a call center that will have to refer your call “upline.” A business management system will always beat individual apps if it fits this brief and you find one tailored to your profession.