In this article originally published in AccountingWEB, Ray Meiring, CEO and co-founder of QorusDocs, shares his thoughts about how automated, AI-powered proposal management software can help accounting firms increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their business proposal development process to drive top- and bottom-line performance gains.
For the accounting profession, almost 90% of firms report that a cultural shift is leading to an increase in the need for updated technology to assist with traditionally lengthy tasks such as business proposal development. However, 50% of IT leaders are still struggling to keep up with the pace of upgrading legacy technology.
With available proposal management software, accounting firms can leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools to accelerate their digital transformation plans. Through this cloud-based software, firms can decrease non-billable hours spent on proposal development, encourage client-centered team collaboration, and gain important insights from key data analytics to better understand what content leads to new business opportunities.
Automation and Improved Data Insights
According to a recent study, one-third of accounting teams spend anywhere from 51% to 75% of their time on repetitive tasks such as business proposal development. As a result, 56% of accountants say they need automation tools to keep up with their daily workloads.
With proposal management software, firms can efficiently create high-quality documents through auto-fill capabilities, intuitive integrations, and up-to-date content libraries that produce personalized proposals for each client.
Through its AI-powered features and automation tools, proposal software suggests the most engaging content to use in requests for proposals (RFPs), allowing firms to streamline the time-consuming proposal development process while still attracting new clients and edging out competitors. Recent research shows that 70% of companies can process higher volumes of RFPs per year with proposal creation software, increasing their chances of winning business from new and existing clients.
Proposal management software is not only a cloud-based tool that supports decreasing non-billable work, but it is also a resource for critical data analysis. To keep up with demands and remain competitive in the market, accounting firms must have access to important data to understand what operational areas need more or less focus.
By having analytical insight into the proposal development process, accounting firms can better understand what content is and is not resonating with clients, a factor that can often impact the outcomes of business opportunities. To help pull back the curtain, proposal software is equipped with detailed tracking capabilities that show what content is getting the most attention.
The tool measures engagement statistics such as clicks and shares, enabling firms to pinpoint and analyze which content clients are paying the closest attention to and care about most. All of this supports firms’ competitive edge, allowing them to have a strong grasp of their client's greatest areas of concern and how to resolve these issues.
Proposal automation software efficiently stores this information in one place so it’s easily accessible at any point during the RFP development process. As a result, the available insights allow firms to refine their proposal tactics, increasing their chances of attracting new business, edging out competitors, and better understanding their clients’ needs and concerns. This is critical considering 82% of firms feel clients are more demanding than ever regarding accounting services.
Enhanced Client-focused Team Collaboration
According to a recent report, the number of fully remote workers has increased two and a half times over the past year. As distributed workforces continue to be the new normal, firms must have the tools and resources to support team collaboration no matter where employees are located.
Cloud-based technology is an essential tool for company operations due to its accessibility and collaboration capabilities. In fact, 50% of accounting firms have adopted cloud technology into everyday operations because it provides easier collaboration and reduces errors through standardizations of processes and tasks.
With proposal software, distributed workforces can easily access important documents and information in one place. The technology supports the integration of popular applications such as Microsoft 365, allowing teams to seamlessly work across various platforms and with numerous team members, no matter where they are located. As a result, employees can co-author RFPs, enabling them to keep the process moving forward without waiting for stakeholder feedback or other operational bottlenecks.
On average, 76% of teams working on proposals report that proposal automation software has helped them decrease the average time spent on completing RFPs by 53%. This is incredibly important considering employee support for accounting firms is limited and daily workloads continue to increase.
With cloud-based technology like proposal management software, firms can efficiently manage an increased volume of proposals and craft high-quality, personalized documents without exhausting valuable time or resources.
The Wait for Digital Transformation is Over
We found that 91% of businesses are already engaged in some form of digital initiatives, with 87% of senior business leaders stating that digitalization is a priority. However, despite this push for modern technology adoption, only 7% of small accounting firms and 2% of large firms believe they are 100% maximizing the value of their technology.
During this transformative time in the accounting profession, firms must adopt modern technology that can be easily integrated into existing operations, accessible to all employees, and support firms’ current and future business goals.
Cloud-based technology like proposal management software can truly add value and competitiveness to accounting firms’ operations. By streamlining the RFP process with this software, firms can save valuable time and resources while fostering successful client-focused collaboration and gaining critical data insights that expose potential weaknesses in their business strategies.
Through all of this, accounting firms can grow during this challenging time where services are in high demand, allowing them to stay ahead of business opportunities and expand their offerings to future clients.
To learn more about how proposal management software helps professional services organizations streamline operations to win more business, check out the QorusDocs Pocket Guide to Proposal Management for Professional Services.