It is undeniable that the business world has undergone monumental changes in recent years. Technological advancements and the rise of remote working have both played significant roles in this transformation. To remain competitive and succeed in their respective industries, businesses must adapt and embrace these changes.

However, maintaining staff efficiency and improving teams’ productivity can be a challenge. As a Professional services business owner, you may wonder how to best support your staff in delivering their best job?

You must work smart: Leverage the power of IT.

According to a Deloitte survey, digitally mature businesses are much more likely to do better financially than others. Digital maturity was a catalyst for “improvements in efficiency, revenue growth, product/service quality, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement” plus “a greater focus on growth and innovation.”

Do you want those benefits to be applied to your business? You may need to simplify tasks, improve team collaboration, and foster a culture of productivity. IT tools can be much help with:

  • Automating repetitive and manual tasks (save you time and money)
  • Streamlining workflows and processes (reduce errors and delays)
  • Enhancing communication and collaboration (can improve teamwork and customer service)
  • Accessing data and insights (can optimise performance and help you make informed decisions)
  • Innovating and creating new products and services (give you a competitive edge)

Nowadays, a lot of business applications exist on the market to help organisations work smarter, not harder. 

Here are our favourites that can help law and accounting firms, financial services, and similar businesses:

Microsoft PlannerA project manager can do a wastewater treatment plant plan and organise it with different buckets, such as “Project Initiation”, “Design Phase”, “Construction Phase”, and “Quality Control”. They can create, assign, and schedule tasks under each bucket, set dependencies, milestones, and attach project files (e.g., engineering drawings).  
Microsoft TeamsAn accountant can create a channel in Teams for coordinating with a bookkeeper about a client’s financials. There they can communicate, share files, do video calls, and record and/or transcribe meetings. The channel will allow them to keep track of their collaboration activities.    
ExcelWhile preparing to provide investment advice, a CPA can use Excel to analyse the client’s financial health, create forecasts, and perform scenario analysis – speeding up their work using functions and formulas, pivot tables, macros, and conditional formatting.  
Bing ChatA bookkeeper can use this tool to quickly look up the latest tax laws, accounting standards, and related information. They can then draft a report using the compose feature of Bing Chat on their Edge web browser.  
Power AutomateA lawyer can create automated templates for legal documents, then extract data from client questionnaires to instantly generate client-specific documents.  
Power AppsDuring tax season preparation, an accountant can automate entry of tax data from bank statements, invoices, receipts, and other sources. Alternatively, they can use Power Apps to create custom forms to meet specific client needs.  
ClipchampHealthcare professionals can create educational videos for patients to learn about their health conditions, treatments, and medications. On the other hand, one of their researchers can create a video about the findings of latest studies on the effectiveness of a new treatment, then share the video with colleagues to raise awareness.  

One emerging AI tool is Copilot*, which can help you work smarter and faster within Microsoft 365. It uses natural language and smart technology to understand what you want to do and how to do it.

Using Copilot is like having a helpful colleague right by your side 24/7.  Here are some examples of how Microsoft Copilot can help you:

  • Get project updates, based on your cloud-stored documents, email threads, Teams collaboration, and other sources in your cloud storage.
  • Write a presentation or a proposal, with information from your existing files.
  • Compose email replies based on your instructions or specified content.
  • Create a chart showing sales projections, based on previous, relevant data.
  • Summarise your emails (e.g., those received while you were away).
  • Provide a summary of your meetings (including assigned tasks, decisions made)

Copilot is now available for Microsoft Enterprise customers.

Not all IT tools are created equal. Also, an app that works for some businesses may not be adequate for your specific needs and goals. With countless IT tools out there, which ones are best suited for your business? Here are some tips to guide your decision making:

  • Identify your pain points and goals.
    • What are the main challenges in your daily operations?
    • What are the specific outcomes you want to achieve?
    • Where do you want to see improvements?
      • Project management
      • Collaboration/teamwork
      • Communication/meetings
      • Productivity
      • Efficiency
  • Research the best tools for your category.
    • Read reviews, ratings, testimonials, and case studies from users and experts.
  • Compare features and benefits.
    • What are the main functions and capabilities of each app or tool?
    • How can they help solve your pain points or reach your goals?
    • How easy or difficult are they to use?
    • How much do they cost?
    • How reliable and secure are they?
  • Test drive before buying.
    • Most IT tools offer free trials or demos you can use for a limited time or with limited features.
    • See for yourself how they work in practice and whether they suit your needs and preferences.

Technology should not be daunting. In fact, you can turn it into a very helpful and powerful friend. With the right IT tools, you can automate, streamline, enhance, access, and innovate your work processes and outcomes.

Other than boasting a wealth of benefits, Microsoft 365 combine your communication, management, and security tools into one cloud-based platform. It is also suited to both small and large organisations such as professional services firms. Visit our Microsoft 365 Business Solutions page for more information and get in touch with our experts to start on your journey.