Client Success Story

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About the Client

McConnell & Jones LLP: headquartered in Houston, TX, provides comprehensive financial, accounting and business advisory services to both national and international clients.  Founded in 1987 with an emphasis on providing assurance and tax services to the public and private sector, McConnell & Jones has since grown to encompass all aspects of business management, risk advisory, and process improvement.  McConnell & Jones places emphasis on providing high-level services with technology-driven, secure solutions.  The firm is ranked among the top 1 percent of accounting firms in the country that audit employee benefit plans and is consistently listed as a top 20 accounting firm by the Houston Business Journal.

Challenge/Situation

McConnell & Jones deployed Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online in 2010.  The firm invested significant resources to customize the solution for the unique requirements of the accounting profession but struggled with adoption; despite clear support and usage from the managing and shareholder partners.  Time and again, updates were pushed down from Microsoft which modified customized workflows and data fields causing strain on the internal team charged with administratively supporting the system.   McConnell & Jones was also expanding, with new offices and service offerings for their clients.  With over 100 professionals and two new offices, there was clearly a need for collaboration and focus on the client experience within their firm.

Solution

Lori Jamail, Marketing Director for McConnell & Jones, contacted Templeton Solutions seeking to optimize their existing cloud solution from Microsoft.  Lori was aware of Templeton Solutions reputation in public accounting and interested in best practice experience to support their growth.  The firm chose CRM for Professionals™, powered by Microsoft Dynamics CRM, to improve their marketing and business development efforts and accelerate adoption with the staff.  McConnell’s previous experience with CRM allowed the firm to focus on the benefits of CRM for Professionals™.  Configuration and data conversion were performed during busy season with training in a rollout occurring immediately after.

Result

The launch of a “new and improved” tool brought value to McConnell & Jones’ in many different ways. First, CRMP provided new features within the account and contact records that where either buried or not available with CRM Online.  For example, when pursuing a new client many users have applied the MS Insights feature to complete market research or to find new contacts.  McConnell & Jones users have also enjoyed the Follow Account feature which has allowed them to use the database as intended – for client management as opposed to simply being a flashy sales pipeline.   Furthermore, adding firm connections between accounts, contacts, and staff has truly created a virtual network that can be used for strategic growth.

Updated dashboards and customized views also have helped McConnell & Jones users stay on top of practice growth activities and track progress toward business development goals – both as a team and on an individual level.  By tracking all related activities associated with specific organizations and companies, we have encouraged  employees at all levels to be more involved in business development efforts.

Templeton also helped McConnell & Jones to update their new business incentive program.  Through the use of a customized “pursuit participant” table within the opportunity record, users can recognize contributions made by all team members involved in a winning pursuit.  This CRM process subsequently allowed McConnell & Jones to rollout a renewed incentive program which rewards employees based on their effort toward winning new business.

Finally, from a database administration perspective, working with Templeton helped ensure a smooth process – they truly understand the needs of a CPA firm whereas the firm’s previous support, directly with Microsoft, was always hit-or-miss and haphazard.  This change in itself has allowed both the marketing and technology teams at McConnell & Jones to focus on execution of their strategic growth plan and not on maintaining the infrastructure to support it.

“Working with the Templeton Team was a great experience.  They understood the needs of my firm and worked closely with us to develop practical solutions for tracking KPIs.  Furthermore, Templeton’s project managers were timely in their deliverables and always available for follow-up. Their level of support made it possible to re-launch our new and improved tool with little downtime or disruption to users,” said Lori Jamail, Marketing Director,  McConnell & Jones.