Essential Productivity Tools for Your Accounting Business
The days of crunching numbers with paper and ink are long gone. As an accountant with your own private workspace, you do your work at a computer, likely with the help of telephones, fax machines, and copiers.
Modern technology has made it possible for accountants to do 10 times the work they could have done without it in a single day. But should you be satisfied with that? Could you do 11 times the work? Or even 12?
At tax time, you may be stretched to the limit, trying to sort through your customers’ taxes so they can file before the deadline. You might wonder how you will ever get it all done in time, and not so much about how you can do even more.
But after tax time, your business will slow down considerably — maybe even to a trickle. If you could get more done during tax season, you might not need to put so much effort into finding new clients the rest of the year. What can help?
Project Management Tools
Whether you have lots of employees or none, managing your projects is crucial, and the best way to do it isn’t with Post-its and alarms on your phone.
AccountEx, an expo for accounting technology and trends, recommended in 2018: Asana, MS Planner, and SherpaDesk.
If you think you’ve been running your business just fine for many years without cloud-based software, Asana may be for you. It’s a simple app that lets you create projects and keep track of progress on all your stationary and mobile devices. If an important client calls when you’re in the parking garage or grabbing a coffee, you can quickly and easily view what stage their project is in and give them an accurate status update. And the learning curve isn’t huge — you won’t need to spend a day figuring out how to use this time-saver.
If you’re already using Microsoft 365, MS Planner might be the best choice for you. You can merge all your data and tasks without worrying about having to switch among different apps to get the features you want.
If you’re ready to dive into a new system, consider SherpaDesk. It’s much more than project management — it’s invoicing and billing, time tracking and more. This system integrates with QuickBooks and FreshBooks as well.
Customer Management Tools
Doing and managing your accounting work is critically important, but what about managing your clients and potential clients?
Accounting Today stresses the importance of using video conferencing tools. Sometimes all you may need to soothe an antsy client is a FaceTime or Skype call. But sometimes it’s more complicated than that, and a face-to-face meeting can be time-consuming or even impossible, depending on where your clients are.
At these times, you might want to turn to Zoom, GoToMeeting or another type of video conferencing software.
The internet also has many customer relationship management tools. These can work well for a sole proprietor, helping to organize contacts, leads, follow-up calls, etc. Some in the business warn that it can be hard to get everyone in the firm on board with a new CRM, but if your business is small, you should have better luck.
New technology can make a big difference for a small accounting company. Getting your business fully automated will make it easier for you to get, keep, and serve new clients.
Another important part of a small accounting business is a private workspace. Accountants who work out of their homes must constantly fight the appearance that they are doing taxes as a side gig, versus running a full-service accounting business.
Never underestimate the power of a professional private office in an upscale building. If you haven’t already, take the first step and call Premier Workspaces to find out more about how to secure your own private workspace for your accounting business.