How CohnReznick enhances client management with Dynamics 365
By Microsoft in Business Team on June 14, 2018
Filed under Microsoft in Business
|Focus on: Empower Employees, Optimize Operations
Company culture is essential at CohnReznick. In fact, CohnReznick was listed as the one of the best accounting firms for women in 2017, according to the Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance. And the very next year, the firm was ranked fifteenth in the Vault Accounting 50’s 2018 list of the best accounting employers.  Despite being the eleventh-largest public accounting, tax, and consulting firm in the U.S., the 100-year-old company makes it a point to take care of their employee base.
With their corporate headquarters in New York City, office locations in 26 different cities, and more than 2,400 employees worldwide, the firm’s leadership works hard to develop a cohesive, and impactful vision for the future. Currently, CohnReznick is focused on growing into new markets and expanding their firm’s advisory function, while continuing to serve as the premier service provider for middle-market firms.
“We’re trying to build a culture that really does promote forward-thinking services and solutions that build trust in our clients and our people,” said Robert DeMeola, Chief Operating Officer at CohnReznick.
Designing a new company strategy with innovation in mind
Given CohnReznick’s plans for future expansion, company leadership knew they’d need to ensure that every other aspect of the firm aligned with their goals. Principal, National Director of Technology Consulting Dean Nelson worked with CohnReznick’s leadership to develop a new innovation strategy, designed to guide enterprise-wide digital transformation. Still, the business didn’t know exactly which applications and technologies would allow them to advance their new strategy or support a new client management system.
According to Nelson, the firm’s original technology was outdated and “wasn’t appropriate for the transformation journey CohnReznick was embarking on.” They wanted to implement a digital solution that would facilitate a strategic client management system, and build a digital platform that would offer improved efficiency and more centralized workplace tools to enable CohnReznick’s new vision.
“Our corporate vision is one of excellence and innovation in providing services to our clients,” added Frank Banda, Managing Partner, Public Sector Advisor for CohnReznick. “And to accomplish that vision we need to be on the cutting edge of technology.”
Developing the Client Experience Platform (CXP) with Microsoft Dynamics 365
Based out of the firm’s main office, the Innovation Lab enables CohnReznick’s employees to focus on driving technology implementation and developing opportunities for greater innovation. More specifically, employees use the Innovation Lab to develops new ideas, concepts, and strategies to more effectively engage clients and prospective customers.
CohnReznick’s Client Experience Platform (CXP) was born out of the firm’s Innovation Lab and was built using Microsoft Dynamics 365 as the platform’s foundation. As a fully-integrated product, Dynamics 365 easily centralizes tools and streamlines the firm’s most essential business development processes, enabling the CXP to function as the most ideal digital solution. The CXP increases collaboration between sales and project teams with cloud-based capabilities, transforms productivity with cutting edge tools, and improves the day-to-day execution of common workplace processes. It also provides employees with digital features that enable them to deliver enhanced client services through the CXP’s new client management system while increasing top-line revenue.
“Since going live in the fall, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the early successes we’ve seen with better collaboration amongst the sales teams, our project teams, and our engagement teams in field,” added Nelson
Currently, the firm has implemented a client-facing application through the Dynamics 365-based platform. The solution’s cloud technology provides consistent connectivity and reliability, strengthening CohnReznick’s “One Firm” approach to customer relationships with a comprehensive client management system. Overall, the technology enables a more efficient customer experience, allowing the organization’s employees to manage the entire client lifecycle—from the lead through the entire customer journey—all from one system.
Dynamics 365’s seamless integration with Power BI and Azure also opened up a wealth of new capabilities. Azure’s database and cloud technology support the development of more effective strategies to pursue customers, measure client data, and keep track of enterprise resources. With Power BI, CohnReznick can effectively leverage customer-specific KPIs, and use the dashboards and various tools to visualize and make sense a range of data—from accounting processes and finance reporting, to business analytics and enterprise trends across multiple data breakdowns.
Overall, this suite of Microsoft solutions—which includes Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, Azure, and Power BI—empowers the company with a more accurate and holistic perspective on their client relationships, allowing them to deliver superior service with efficiency and precision.
“Microsoft Dynamics 365 found a way support the business process from beginning to end. So it covers the full business cycle, and that’s very different,” DeMeola explained. “There really is no other technology that truly does that as well as Dynamics 365 does it.”
Maintaining industry leadership by investing in modern technology
According to DeMeola, despite the advantages CohnReznick is already experiencing, there are still multiple future benefits left to discover. In addition to expanding the organization’s resource management program and building out the Client Experience Platform’s CRM component, DeMeola also hopes to effectively mine, analyze, and deliver live data to the firm’s partners to improve overall business efficiency.
At CohnReznick, keeping up with technology trends and modern digital innovation is essential to the company’s growth and future success. Thanks to the technology’s powerful impact, Dynamics 365 is currently on its way to becoming the go-to solution for CohnReznick’s business strategy. Leadership plans to eventually use Dynamics 365 to house all of their internal and external day-to-day operations regarding their information-gathering processes. The massive enterprise is eager to leverage technology that empowers the organization’s hardworking global team to embody the company vision, and enables the company to increase their competitive edge in the industry.