The untapped potential of CRM software in managing tax planning season for accounting firms

CRM for accounting firms

CRM’s and accounting

Client relationship management (CRM) software has been around for years, but many accounting firms have yet to tap into its full potential. This is no more evident than when tax planning season rolls around.  By adopting and utilising CRM software, accounting firms can gain a competitive advantage in their industry by automating and understanding their clients better. In this article, we will discuss the untapped potential of CRM software in the accounting industry and how firms can benefit from using it.

Improved client service

One of the primary benefits of CRM software is improved client service. With CRM software, accounting firms can easily track client interactions, such as emails, phone calls, and meetings. This data allows firms to better understand their client's needs, preferences, and behaviour, which can lead to more personalised and effective communication. Furthermore, when managing client meeting bookings, an effective CRM can automate and coordinate these calendars saving staff time. Linking to calendar publishing apps like Calendly or Bookings can be beneficial, particularly with the volume of client meetings at this time of the year.

Increased efficiency

CRM software can help accounting firms automate many of their manual tasks, such as data entry and reporting. By automating these tasks, firms can free up employees' time, allowing them to focus on higher-value tasks, such as building relationships with clients and providing extra analysis and insights into reports. As tax planning requires data collection, data dissemination and then data communication, the more effectively a firm can move through this, the more clients they can interact with. Setting up automatic data collection feeds such as requests for information through a CRM is one example that can shorten this process.

Improved collaboration

CRM software can help accounting firms improve collaboration among team members. By providing a centralised location for client data, team members can easily access and share information, reducing the likelihood of duplicate efforts and ensuring that everyone is working with the most up-to-date information. Workflow tracking is critical to the success of tax planning. With multiple entities worked on by multiple staff, it is important to collaborate effectively so that the client is presented with the most accurate interims possible.

Better sales management

Whilst not necessarily important during tax planning season, CRM software can help accounting firms better manage their sales pipeline. It is important to know where the next leads are coming from once you emerge from tax planning season. CRM’s provides insights into the sales process, allowing firms to identify areas where they can improve their sales efforts and close more deals. Additionally, CRM software allows firms to track leads and opportunities, providing a clear view of their sales pipeline and allowing them to make informed decisions about their marketing and sales efforts.

Enhanced marketing

CRM software can help accounting firms develop more effective marketing campaigns. By providing insights into client preferences, behaviours, and needs, firms can develop targeted marketing campaigns that resonate with their clients. Additionally, CRM software can help firms track their marketing campaigns' effectiveness, allowing them to make data-driven decisions about their marketing efforts. This is particularly important during tax planning season as important updates such as the Federal Budget changes can be distributed to clients quickly. You can also track the level of engagement that clients are having, which means you can proactively engage with those clients to offer your advice and service.


Who are the leading CRM providers for accountants?

It is important to understand that some accounting firms consider their practice management software as their CRM.  Whilst some practice management software has some of the capabilities of a full-featured CRM, most are not designed to be a CRM.  Generally, firms are required to rethink how they view their client management to move away from pure compliance management.

If you want to view clients at a relationship level rather than at a job level, then there are several leading full-featured CRM providers for accountants that cover all the improvement areas listed above.  These include Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, Pipedrive etc.  But the challenge for accounting firms is that none of these integrate directly with their practice management software.  This means that firms would need to have two different client lists to manage.  All offer another add-on service to be able to automate and track workflow, but there is no integrated way to get this time data out into an invoice into Xero. So, whilst you’ll pick up areas of improvement in some places, it will create further challenges in others.  The way we overcome this currently is through ‘hybrid’ providers.

Who are the ‘hybrid’ providers that offer a basic CRM for accountants?

There are several ‘hybrid’ providers that are considered more practice management providers but offer some of the features that you would expect in a full-featured CRM.  When set up properly, the providers below can offer some of the improvement areas listed above.  These providers include:



FYI uses its connection to the practice management software (such as XPM) to track jobs, time and client information, but also adds on the ability to automate tasks such as a request for information emails. It captures all email data from users and stores it within the client file, allowing all users to see client interactions. What’s more, it means that the firm only needs to keep one client list meaning it can also serve as a lodgement list. But it doesn’t have any advanced marketing or sales pipeline abilities. Separate software would still be required for that.
Find out more about FYI


Karbon is completely built around automating workflow planning and data capture from client emails and offers great visualisation of tasks and jobs within the firm.  You are able to capture time data within Karbon that can push through to Ignition, which then can push into Xero.  Much the same as FYI, you can set up workflow automations and templates, but where it differs is that it doesn’t integrate with XPM.  This means that you would have a separate client list for lodgements, but also a separate list for advanced marketing and sales pipelines.  
Find out more about Karbon


CRM software has tremendous untapped potential in the accounting industry. By adopting and utilising CRM software, accounting firms can improve client service, increase efficiency, improve collaboration, better manage their sales pipeline, and enhance marketing efforts among team members. With the right CRM software in place, accounting firms can maneuver through tax planning season successfully and achieve excellent outcomes for their clients.  It’s not too late to discuss how a powerful CRM could help your firm this tax planning season.  The landscape changes rapidly and it is important to have the right information to make decisions quickly.  Reach out to us to find out more.


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