What has been the most effective cost-cutting measure you have implemented in the last twelve months? Our biggest cost savings is leveraging the Internet for marketing our firm rather than print copy and mailings. We use an electronic newsletter, have an online store, provide educational Webinars and roundtables, and send targeted email blasts.
Like what you see? Click here to sign up for Accounting Today's daily newsletter to get the latest news and behind the scenes commentary you won't find anywhere else.
Farmington Hills, Mich.
We went live with our client portal in February. Now, when clients call for copies of any documents in our files, they log in to the portal and download them. Staff time that was previously spent locating scanning, emailing, and mailing such documents (which very likely could not be billed to the client) is now non-existent. That time is now spent by our staff working on other engagements where realization rates are significantly higher. Our deployment of our document management application five years ago allowed us to build a significant electronic storehouse of documents that are now available to our clients.
James C. Bourke, CPA, CITP
Red Bank, N.J.
The most effective cost-cutting measure has been three-fold: First, the implementation of our on-demand product removed the burden and costs associated with an IT department; Second, connecting our sales force on this on-demand system; and Third the implementation of our "paperless" office that includes scanning of invoices and indexing, contracts, and interaction with clients.
The most effective cost-cutting measure we have implemented was to enroll in the Citrix program GoToAssist. It has gotten our consultants off the roads, saving on gas and time.
Vintage Business Solutions
El Dorado Hills, Calif.
To manage all of our electronic mailings, we use an outsourced email service where, for under $30 per month, we can send all the newsletters we would ever want and the outsourced service automates all the sign-ups and e-mail bounces (further saving time and costs) as well as including templates for creating our newsletters.
As a small company, we were burdened with "legacy" staff members who had been here for five to 10 or more years, and whose productivity and effectiveness were far outweighed by their cost. They had become bored with their jobs, and treated their paychecks as entitlements. We trimmed those people from our staff. Two months after making those changes, we had the most profitable month in our history.
DSD Business Systems
Cutting head count that wasn't producing.
With four offices, we were spending in excess of $36,000 per year on communications, excluding the cell phones for our 32 employees. Most of the traffic was interoffice or to customers in the areas that were served by our locations. After implementing a Vonexus IP-based phone system along with a Charter 10MB fiber backbone, our calling patterns were routed at least cost and our communications expense dropped to $12,000 per year. The initial phone system was $35,000, giving us an 18-month ROI.
Donavan D. Lane
Our consultants are on salaries, so their cost is constant. This team is also heavily process focused, so when our office manager left, we assigned many of her responsibilities to the application team and were able to replace the other functions with a person who has accounting and process skills at a more entry level. We see this also as a way to create a feeder system for new consultants. Usually the consultants we look for are more accountants than bookkeepers. This gives us a chance to teach them "bookkeeping" functions to better equip them to work in the field. The savings? An estimated $35,000 of SG &A and full utilization of consultants.