Content originally appeared on the CPACharge blog.
These days, it feels like time is more of a luxury than ever before. Aside from everyday distractions from our social media feeds, you’re also trying to keep up with your client’s documents, your inbox, and meetings throughout the week. And then of course, there’s Tax Season each year.
If you’re looking to get some more time back in your day, week, and year, this article can help point you in the right direction.
Here, we’ll discuss six types of productivity tools accounting professionals have shared with us that has helped them serve their clients more efficiently.
No blog discussing productivity tools for CPAs would be complete without mentioning accounting software. The name says it all—this software assists with processing accounting transactions, from bookkeeping to accounts payable/receivable, billing, inventory, and more. It’s these features that have made accounting software a mainstay for not only accounting professionals, but businesses of all shapes and sizes who need a simple way to keep records of their business.
Some of the best among these solutions go the extra mile to help you improve your business, such as TaxDome, one of our integration partners. TaxDome not only includes practice management and billing features, but also secure document storage, signature capture, website branding tools, automation, and more.
If you’re the type of person who has adorned nearly every part of your desk with sticky notes, then note-taking apps need to be in your life. These cloud-based note-taking solutions not only let you jot down your thoughts conveniently, but also keep all of your, documents, presentations, to-do lists, and anything else vitally important in one secure location.
In fact, note-taking apps like Evernote can even save your favorite parts of the web in the form of a screenshot. For example, you can clip out a section of an article, highlight important lines, and then share them with your colleagues or clients.
With a modern accounting practice, it's likely some of your clients (if not most of them) are sending you digital files instead of hard copies—files such as Word documents, spreadsheets, and PDF files/scans, etc. However, using email to send and receive these documents is not the most secure method. One breach or other cybersecurity event could lead to them falling into the wrong hands, putting your clients and your practice at risk.
Thankfully, working with document storage solutions can eliminate this issue. With apps like Dropbox or Google Drive, your client’s sensitive files can be delivered and stored in a safe location, eliminating the need to keep them in your office where they could be damaged or stolen. As an added bonus, using Google’s productivity suite will allow you to not only store your important files, but collaborate on them in real time with your clients and co-workers, even if you’re not in the same room. Plus, any changes made to a file are automatically updated for every user who has access to it, deterring issues with version control.
Thanks to the rise of cloud-based technology, it has become significantly easier for businesses to streamline their internal efforts and keep both employees and clients on the same page. With solutions like Slack, you can hold discussions with your team in real time much in the way you would with a Facebook message chain or text message. Chat channels can be designated by department (or even by client), and smaller, targeted discussions can take place over private messages.
Some accountants have even started favoring these solutions over traditional email communications. “Slack is an email-killer. It literally removes the need for any form of internal email communication and replaces it with a simple, cloud, mobile friendly, instant messenger interface,” said Trent McClaren on AccountingWeb.
While effective communication is critical for running a professional service firm, effective project management is equally important. Project management tools allow you to keep your clients’ cases organized—such as what their specific needs are, links to their important documents, and the goals your firm has for serving them. You can even set up progress checklists and due dates to keep everyone on the same page.
Many accounting professionals favor using Trello, as it allows you to organize projects visually in a bulletin board fashion, making it easy for all parties involved to get a birds-eye view of a project’s status.
You can free up a significant amount of time in your day by switching to an online payments solution. The best online payments solutions not only make it easy to send payment requests anytime, anywhere, but also allow you to automate your client’s payments over time. By digitizing your billing process, you’ll make your practice far more flexible and efficient, which means less busywork and more quality service for your clients.
Online payment solutions can also help you save time when performing payment reconciliation. The best among them will deposit your client’s payments in-full, and only subtract fees once per month, making it much easier to track your monthly revenue. They also often have labeling and search features to help you track down specific entries or payments from specific clients.
Want to learn more about how online payments can make you more productive? Schedule a demo of CPACharge today and see for yourself!
Quick Productivity Boost: Download our free credit card authorization form template to improve recurring payments and protect your firm against payment disputes!
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