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10 Reasons Why Accounting Should Care About CRM

See 10 reasons why accounting should care about CRM, including improved cash flow management and sales forecasting. Don’t ignore these key benefits.
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Accounting and customer relationship management (CRM) may seem like two separate functions within a business, but they’re actually closely connected and can greatly benefit from each other. Principally, a CRM system can help streamline sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, and business management processes. In this article, we’ll explore several reasons why accounting should care about CRM.

Improved Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management involves tracking and assessing how money moves throughout your organization so that cash flowing in is greater than the expenses being paid.

A CRM system, like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales or Salesforce, can store critical information about your customers and prospective customers. CRM tools can provide insights into customer preferences, payment histories, and billing cycles. This information can help accountants assess cash flow and manage working capital effectively.

CRM systems also can help you manage your sales opportunities and pipeline.

Accurate Sales & Revenue Forecasting

CRM systems can track leads, opportunities, and sales—showcasing the various stages of the sales process, from initial contact to closing of the deal. This information can be used to build a sales forecast, which is an expression of expected sales revenue. A sales forecast can help accountants estimate future revenue and plan budgets accordingly.

In addition, business analysts can use the data to help identify which leads are most likely to convert into customers, which opportunities are likely to convert into sales, and which customers generate the most revenue.

Effective Target Operating Model (TOM) Component

A TOM should provide a transparent and thorough framework for translating strategic objectives into operational capabilities and outline your process-people-technology relationships.

With cloud architecture and pre-built integrations, a CRM system like Dynamics 365 Sales or Salesforce can be an effective TOM component. CRM data can help expand the breadth and depth of your financial data. It also can enhance data lineage, providing visibility and traceability. This can help accountants enhance financial reporting, visualize data flows, and manage risk.

Reduced Late Payments

A CRM system can help identify potentially problematic customers by tracking their payment histories and behaviors. This information can be used to set credit limits, implement more stringent payment terms, or take other precautionary measures.

Streamlined Communication

CRM systems can automate invoicing and payment reminder messages. This can help reduce administrative work for accounting and sales professionals, while also helping facilitate timely payments.

CRM tools can help streamline and personalize customer communication. Accountants can use CRM data to help address billing inquiries, resolve disputes, and provide information on outstanding balances.

Enhanced Customer Segmentation

CRM systems can segment customers based on various criteria. Accountants can leverage this information to identify high-value customers and calculate profitability metrics.

Further, CRM tools can help prioritize leads with lead scoring (those who are interested in your products or services) and lead grading (those who are of interest to your organization).

Cross-Selling & Upselling Opportunities

Using CRM data and insights into customer preferences and buying habits, sales professionals can easily determine opportunities for cross-selling or upselling. This can positively impact revenue, which is a win for accounting, sales, and the entire organization.

Advanced Customer Profitability Analysis

By integrating accounting and CRM systems, accountants can gain a deeper understanding of which customers are most profitable.

CRM systems also can track customer behavior and preferences over time. Accountants can use this information to calculate the customer lifetime value (CLV). CLV can be useful for making long-term financial projections, especially when there’s an established relationship with a high-value customer.

Moreover, customer profitability analysis can help inform strategic decisions regarding resource allocation, pricing strategies, and sales and marketing efforts.

Compliance & Reporting

Accounting and CRM systems can be integrated to help streamline workflows and follow compliance and reporting requirements. When accounting and CRM tools are connected, customer data only needs to be entered once and any updates can be easily managed. Integration can help reduce the risk of errors.

Improved Financial Decision Making

Accurate and up-to-date customer data from a CRM system like Dynamics 365 Sales or Salesforce can help accountants make informed financial decisions. For example, they can discuss with sales the financial impact of offering discounts or promotions to specific customer segments.

In summary, integrating CRM data with accounting processes can enhance financial planning, reporting, and strategic decision making. Connecting accounting and sales functions and systems can help your organization streamline processes and forge a path toward greater profitability.

How FORVIS Can Help

The Business Technology Solutions team at FORVIS has certified experience in accounting and CRM systems. We are a NetSuite Partner, Sage Partner, Salesforce Partner, Microsoft Dynamics Partner, and 2022–23 recipient of the Microsoft Inner Circle award, in addition to the Solver Evangelist of the Year award. From technology assessments to digital transformation, we’re here to assist you with your business technology needs and goals. Use the Contact Us form below to get in touch.

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