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Finance Industry Phone Systems

A CASE STUDY: An accounting practice has unique requirements. Below you'll find a typical case study from a customer that highlights these and the comprehensive solution we provided to address them

Current Situation Of The Accounting Practice:

10 employees

This accounting practice started off small but has continued to grow, but their current phone system was not growing with them. The four year old commander phone system that they were renting had four normal PSTN phone lines connected.

The best fit was the SpringCom Hosted pbx. It offered them all the functionality they wanted, and as an award winning VoIP platform allows them to work remotely. During busy times, such as the tax season, the firm knew that they needed a more effective way to handle their calls. They also needed a more efficient way to transfer calls to staff mobiles when required, as they were taking manual messages and leaving them on the desks of staff who were out on visits to client sites.

The practice owner was also looking at purchasing another practice (subsequently did) and wanted to be able to incorporate any additional businesses effortlessly into the system without having to upgrade to another pbx.

Some of the senior partners also worked from home and they had implemented a new computer network that allowed them remote access. They wanted to be able to replicate this remote functionality with their phone system. This was a key driver for the partners so they could spend less time in the office and more time in the home offices they had set up.

They needed to have a system for after-hours callers, as they had nothing set up and so the phone would simply ring out. They also wanted to be able to store their numbers in the phone system for easy recall.

The Brief:

To have a Phone system that:

  • Can transfer calls to staff mobile phones
  • Cut costs
  • Linking future sites if additional practice(s) were acquired
  • Ability to work from home
  • Stop them missing calls
  • Voicemail for message taking
  • Do something for after hours callers
  • Allows them to speed dial clients
  • Can expand in the future
  • Makes them sound more professional
  • Is VoIP compatible
  • Value for money

The Solution:

The best fit was a SpringCom Hosted pbx.It offered them all the functionality they wanted, and as an entirely IP based solution allows them to work remotely. Plus they have been able to seamlessly connect their latest practice under the one telecommunication umbrella like their computer network.

"The solution was more than we could have hoped for", said the client. He went on to say "if he had known that technology could do this he would have been able to work from home years before now and semi retire".

Here's how we addressed their issues in a comprehensive solution:

No more missed calls

The SpringCom Hosted pbx offers full Auto Attendant. Rather than stop a call to answer another, the Greetings now answers after 4 rings and says "Thank you for calling ABC Accounting, your call is important and we will be with you in a moment". You can even set numbers to call streams- i.e 'Press 1 for Reception, 2 for Billing'. This ensures that their business is streamlined, they never miss calls, and it sounds incredibly professional.

Plus, in the event the phone isn't answered in time the calls now overflow to a second admin staff member who can assist when required.

Voicemail and emailed messages

The Voicemail is now used by all staff and stopped the need for manual message taking. Clients now leave detailed messages for the right staff member.

"The solution was more than we could have hoped for", said the client. He went on to say "if he had known that technology could do this he would have been able to work from home years before now and semi retire".

Plus because all the accountants and bookkeepers have smart phones with email access they can now receive any messages when away from the office via their smartphones with sophisticated voicemail to email technology, which is included for free in SpringCom Hosted pbx!

Transferring calls to mobile phones

The SpringCom Hosted phone system allows customers calls to be transferred to staff mobile phones when important (we changed the lines from PSTN to a dedicated internet connection just for their phone system).

This is now seamless and staff calls can be transferred with the press of a button. Even better- while out of the office, staff can now set their office phone to automatically forward to their mobile phone (or home phone if working from home office) for the users who want to have this in place. This is extremely easy to switch on and off and improves communications greatly. For some other users, they we implemented the softphone app onto their PC/Mac, and they work from their home office with a phone system that is the same as the one they use in the office! The home office is now truly a miniature version of the main office.

After Hour Messages

After hours clients can now leave messages so the team know they have called. They can either leave a message for the company via the main reception number or, now with the implementation of SIP, the staff now have direct numbers so that if they are called after hours the callers voice messages will be emailed to their smartphones. This saves a lot of time for staff who would come to the office to find a message on their desk saying they have to go back out to visit a client!

We also implemented Day and Night greetings, informing callers of the opening hours.

Professional Messages On Hold

This capped off the solution and not only made their business sound more professional, it also educated callers. Customers now hear about the other financial services, and planning the company offers. It also gave them a chance to advertise the new services they are able to offer with the complementary practice they acquired (more financial service centric).

Working remotely from home

The SpringCom Hosted pbx offers the latest IP technology so having key staff connected was easily achieved. The management staff that work from home have a SpringCom handset in their homes that connect to the cloud based phone system via their normal internet connection. And This is secure and the voice quality is superb. The only requirement was that each remote worker must have good internet service available at their respective homes.

The management staff can now connect to the office and call other employees, receive calls, transfer calls and do everything else as their office bound colleagues.

This has been an incredibly positive addition to the company and was achieved with little additional expense. The semi retired practice owner is delighted. He can now work from home and it is as if he is sitting right there in the office.

Saving Money On Calls

The firm's previous solution was a analogue phone system that used the traditional copper phone lines, resulting in large monthly line rental bill's before they even took call charges into consideration. The NBN was available in their area so they could take advantages of the cost savings that the SpringCom cloud based, SIP setup could instantly bring them. Plus as all the brains of the SpringCom hosted phone system live in the cloud there were no costly on premise pbx boxes to buy, so the accounting firm noticed an instant monthly saving when they switched without any large capital outlay up front.

Linking newly acquired practice

As a result of this ability to have the flexible locations for staff, it was incredibly easy to add new handsets to the system and link multiple office locations and remote workers.

Now they can call each other as if they were in the same office. It also means that receptionists take different lunch times and are able to answer all calls for both practices. In the event one practice is busy, calls now overflow instantly to the other location and the receptionist sees on screen and answers accordingly. Transferring calls is now achieved with just one press of a button.

Soft Console for reception

Now that there are two locations they decided it was more efficient to implement a soft console in both locations. This is a virtual phone that appears on the receptionist computer screen. What is allows them to do is transfer a call to the correct staff member in either practice location by simply clicking on a call and dropping on the persons icon on screen.

It is the same technology preferred by companies with large incoming call flows and busy reception points.

Easy Administration

With the accounting firm growing in size and taking on more clients, it was becoming difficult to keep up with all of the administrative changes. The brains of the SpringCom Hosted pbx live in the cloud and any add's moves and changes are done for free with a quick phone call to the Melbourne based SpringCom team. Therefore, there is no need for expensive tech visits every time a new employee starts just to add them to the system, no need for the IT team to learn any complicated new system. One less thing for everyone to worry about!

Professional Messages On Hold

This capped off the solution and not only made their business sound more professional, it also educated callers. Customers now hear about the other financial services, and planning the company offers. It also gave them a chance to advertise the new services they are able to offer with the complementary practice they acquired (more financial service centric) Read more about Messages On Hold.

Staff Comfort

Here we installed the latest Plantronics cordless headsets for both receptionists with additional noise cancelling. This cut down background noise and the cordless headsets freed them up to move around and still answer incoming calls. Also, a number of staff who spend a lot of the day on calls also received headsets. This greatly increased their productivity as they can now have their hands free for other tasks, and also their creativity when on extended conference calls with clients!

Overall, this has been a very successful outcome for the customer and his IT and telecommunications have allowed them a degree of freedom and flexibility they never thought possible. Technology really can work for your practice too.

Alternative Accounting Phone System Solution

SpringCom was a great solution in this case as the accounting practice had good quality NBN internet connections available to them. However, in cases where the NBN or another high bandwidth internet connection isn't available or some specialised features were required, our team would also look at other solutions such as the Ericsson LG iPECS eMG 80.

The eMG 80 is a hybrid solution that can work over the traditional copper phone line or an internet connection. This means customers can use the technology they have right now to it's full potential. Plus being a hybrid system has the ability to easily transition to an entirely IP setup when the NBN is available & save money on calls using SIP without any need for investment, or downtime.

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