Most software these days offers trial subscriptions. Some offer extended trials, particularly if you call and ask. This is critical time for your staff and you to learn the software (using sample data for instance) without a financial commitment. Most software companies understand that a firm who uses an extended trial of their product are more likely to purchase the product than those who are limited to a short trial. This is because of the time commitment invested by the potential purchaser. During this trial, you and your staff should investigate all of the available training resources, including training videos, Webinars, quick start guides, etc.

Monitor Usage
One of the most important contributions that can be made by technology in a financial practice is the ability to increase capacity without necessarily increasing the number of staff. This is most often accomplished with time savings through more efficient processing of information.

However, the financial practice needs to monitor usage to ensure that those new technologies are, in fact, being used to the highest levels of efficiency and productivity. Consider conducting monthly meetings with staff to share ideas on technology use and to discuss ways to increase the efficient use of any new systems or software that may have been purchased.

David L. Lawrence, RFC, ChFE, AIF, is a practice efficiency consultant and is president of, a practice consulting firm based in San Diego, Calif. ( The Efficient Practice offers an advisor network and a monthly newsletter.

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