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Top 7 Productivity Tools for Accountants
Posted on 15th September 2017 in Advisory
Written by Freya Hughes
Adopting cloud-based technology in your firm has allowed you to step on the proverbial gas with the automation of compliance services. You’re free from the shackles of your desk and free to show your clients you’re a real person – not just an email address. So now you’re finding your feet as an advisory whizz, we’ve complied our top 7 productivity tools so your firm goes up another gear.
Productivity can happen on the go, and Zoom proves that. When clients are miles away and need to speak to you, but a phone call isn’t enough, jump on a Zoom call with them. Fully recordable for future reference, you can share your screen for tutorials and demos during meetings. Instead of spending an hour or more commuting up to meet a client, see if they would be ok with a video call. We know sometimes you really do have to make the effort to travel, but then it comes in handy to speak to other clients on your way. Webinars are a great way of attracting clients and helping out a group of existing customers. Use Zoom to get your information across.
We use Zoom at FUTRLI because we have offices on both sides of the globe, and clients that span the entire breadth of it. We use this platform to keep in touch with each other daily – especially when some of us work remotely – and to make sure our clients know us personally. It’s important to us to be able to connect to FUTRLI users on a personal level.
FUTRLI favourite, Slack is another great communication tool. Is your inbox full to bursting most mornings with no let up during the day? Eradicate internal emailing with Slack and just get the external (so usually more important!) emails through. Create channels for teams to discuss projects, and make the most of the one-to-one instant messaging for a quick answer to any issue you might need resolving.
We use Slack a lot to keep in touch with our Australian office. They’re usually either asleep, cooking dinner or relaxing in the pub while we sip our morning coffees, so instead of bothering them with emails or texts we simply Slack them and know they’ll pick it up when they’re in the next day. It’s also very handy for those who like a good moan about how hot or cold the office is as they can target the entire workforce.
Do you ever feel like you’re in the dark about the progress of a project? Well, Trello will turn the proverbial lights on. When you have multiple clients, it can get a little overwhelming as you’re being bombarded constantly with questions and deadlines. Use the cards to structure and organise your clients’ needs, and using the checklists you and your team can check in on a project statuses at a glance.
Especially in our marketing team, Trello is how we organise ourselves. With multiple projects cropping up regularly, using Trello cards to work through checklists and placing them in a ‘draft’ or ‘completed’ column, we know exactly where we are. Commenting on cards means collaboration is made easy, and the tagging feature comes in handy too.
We made the cut because we’re the only all in one cash flow forecasting and reporting platform on the market. Accountants across the globe testify to how useful it is to have such a strong number of features accessible through one platform and we ensure it’s working to an optimal level every day. Our integration with Xero means you don’t need to manually update your actuals and you’ll always know how your clients are performing against their budget and multiple what-if scenarios. Using FUTRLI means you don’t have to be a software reseller, instead you can rely on the platform to monitor clients’ businesses when you need to work on something else.
For us, it is a security blanket and that’s because the past, present and future are fully-integrated all in one place so we can focus on growth and looking forwards.
5. Receipt Bank
Finally, a way to empty out the clutter of receipts with no risk of missing one. Receipt Bank extracts the information from your receipts and invoices accurately and efficiently. Integrated with Xero, your data goes straight into your account so the next time you check in, you’re getting a real-time view of your figures. Using a smartphone camera, snap your receipt and it’ll be uploaded to Receipt Bank. So when you’re on the road and meeting clients or investors, you won’t have to worry about manually inputting the receipt from your working lunch or petrol top up. This, of course, works for clients too, so wave goodbye to an industrial sized sack of receipts landing on your desk every year.
And if that still isn’t enough, you can set up rules within the app to command payments to be made when and where you want. Trusted by thousands of businesses and firms, the team are constantly working on reducing the time it takes to move a bill, invoice or receipt into the system the data is required.
If you’re at the stage where you’re dashing around for meetings left, right and centre, you’re going to need to be tracking your employees while they’re on the move. TSheets manages your employees for you; tracking timesheets, managing employees’ time and creating timesheet reports. Your team sign in and out of their shifts and breaks, keeping everyone on the same page and allowing you to rest assured every employee is pulling their weight. TSheets has also introduced GPS time trackers so you know how long their meetings are taking, meaning you’ll be able to plan your days and get more out of them.
If you have no signal or you’re offline, the app will accurately track time and will automatically sync as soon as you’re back in range. Even time zone issues are eradicated as you can pick up where you left off with ease. Think ‘Find my iPhone’ but for your team.
Marketing pros BOMA will crunch your campaign data and give you handy hints and innovative ideas as to how to better engage with your target audience. For use across multiple channels, there will be no excuses for not generating new leads anymore! This software works in the background while you’re getting on with the important tasks on your to do list. When you get a spare minute, you can explore a customer’s activity stream and discover how they’re interacting with your business across your website, email and social media. BOMA can define groups of customers to target using profile data or their previous behaviours, so you know you’re hitting the right entrepreneurs and CEOs for your firm. This is an all-in-one marketing platform which will tighten up your branding and make your name known to those who need it.