We know how it is. You sign up for a trial then – before you know it – your 30 days are up. Cue half an hour of panicked clicking around. Wouldn’t it be good if the software company gave you some guidance around how to get a really good understanding of the system during your trial? We thought so.
Complete five 10-minute missions a week
When you sign up for a trial of AccountancyManager (no billing details necessary), you’ll receive an email each week giving you five things to do in AM. Each action should take about 10 minutes, so you could book in 10 minutes a day, or an hour a week, where you can focus on exploring AM.
Take full advantage of our help and support – and your 1:1 demo
We’ll summarise the actions here, but on your trial you’ll have access to short videos to guide you. There are also clickable walk-through guides built into the system – and our friendly support team at your disposal. If you get stuck with anything give them a call on 01926 355 366. Make sure you book in your free 1:1 demo too, a personalised guided tour where you can ask as many questions as you like.
Week one: Getting started – Adding users and clients
We would skip straight to the fun stuff, but for AM to show you all its bells and whistles, you’ll need to add users and some clients. (Any client data you put into AccountancyManager will stay in your account if you join up after your trial and we’ll delete all data at your request if you decide AM’s not for you.)
- Take a look around: Get a feel for AM with no pressure to learn or do anything. Here are some cool places to visit:
- Settings > Templates: Scroll through over 40 pre-written, editable emails that can be automatically sent to your clients.
- Clients > Client List > Add filter: It’s empty at the moment, but check out all the different filters you can use to create specific lists of clients. Plus bookmark your most frequently used filters.
- Tasks: Again, have a look at the filters and ‘sort by’ dropdowns. Notice the highly useful sort by: ‘30 day deadlines and records received’ to see what you can complete next.
- Settings > Automation Settings: Don’t worry about exactly how to set up automation, just look at all the different types of automation there is.
- Enter your details and set up your email: AM saves considerable time by automating all your record requests, payment reminders and chasing emails. Sync up your existing email account and your emails will come from your address.
- Got staff? Add some users: Bring your team on your trial so you can try out all the internal collaboration tools, like allocating tasks, sending notifications and ‘Live Team View’ where you can see who’s working on what.
- Add some clients: Just use a spreadsheet to import your clients. Adding individual clients is faster than you’d think too, thanks to the Companies House integration. We recommend adding all, or the next 50 clients you’ll be doing work for.
- Now have another look around: With your clients on AM, it’s a different place. Take a look again at your Client List and Task List and play with the filters you saw in mission 1. Liston, (on our support team)’s favourite feature is bookmarks, which are simply saved filtered lists of clients, that have endless possibilities.
Week two: Internal organisation – Automated tasks, client timeline and notifications
AM’s CEO and co-founder is an accountant himself. He used to hate the constant hassle of keeping track of clients and deadlines: what you’ve asked for, what they’ve sent you, which work is ready to complete, who has done what… That’s why AM automates all of this – using deadlines from Companies House. Giving everyone in your team a personalised, prioritised list of daily tasks.
- Get an overview of automated tasks: Mission one this week is like a rainy day at school when they wheeled in the big TV. Just watch our intro to tasks video. Explore the colour-coded levels of urgency, prioritisation filters and assigning tasks.
- Update or complete a task: When something changes, update the task’s progress. You can choose to notify a colleague of the update too. When you’ve completed the job, hit complete. You might want to do mission 3 at the same time.
- Send a notification to a colleague (and check out Notifications Manager): As well as notifications on a job’s progress, you can send messages directly to colleagues or attach them to tasks. You’ll also get a notification when a client uploads or signs a document on their portal. Use our new Notifications Manager to search, filter and delete notifications.
- Create your own recurring task: The automated tasks in AM are related to the services you provide each client, such as SA and VAT. But you can create your own tasks – either one-off or recurring.
- Email a client and check their timeline: Every email, whether automated or not, is recorded and time-stamped on each client’s timeline. The timeline also logs any changes to client details and documents uploaded or signed in the portal. The timeline is fully searchable and court admissible.
Week 3: Automated record requests and reminders
Now for the most exciting week. Even if you haven’t completed your missions so far, or if you don’t plan to use automated emails and texts straight away, we still recommend trialling AM’s most powerful feature. Gone are the days of remembering to ask clients for records and chasing them when they don’t reply. AM takes care of it. We’ve made the automation settings simple – and you can always choose to pause and check emails and texts before they go.
“I turned around to the guys on Monday and said, ‘80 self-assessment emails went out this morning.’ They said ‘What? What time did you start work this morning?!’ It took me 10 minutes because I just reviewed the list.”
- Edit and create an email template: We’ve pre-written over 40 emails you regularly send to clients. These include all tax requests and reminders, letters of engagement and tax payment reminders. Any information held in the client’s file can be pulled through into the templates as %VARIABLES%, personalising each one automatically.
- Turn on automated record requests: All automation can be controlled in Settings > Automation Settings. Choose the frequency of emails by entering the number of days after or before the clients’ Companies House deadlines.
- Set up tax payment reminders: Tired of chasing clients to make sure they pay their taxes on time – or getting blamed if they don’t? AM will do it for you with automatic email and text reminders. The amount, frequency and wording is up to you.
- Create a canned message: There are probably loads of phrases and paragraphs you use again and again, when writing emails. So save wording you use a lot, as ‘canned messages’ – named because they’re pre-recorded, like canned laughter.
- Create a bulk email: Bulk emails go to all of your clients – or a selection of them – at the same time. These have been a lifesaver for updating clients on tax changes and government support. In your Client List, use filters to create a list of recipients, then click ‘Email all’ or ‘SMS all’ and write your email/SMS.
Week 4: Client experience – Onboarding and client portal
Here at AM, we don’t just want to solve your admin hassles, but your clients’ too. That’s why we’ve streamlined onboarding and given each of your clients their own document portal, complete with built-in e-signing – for free.
- Get an overview of onboarding: Explore how AccountancyManager dramatically speeds up onboarding, by automating your proposals, LoEs, 64-8 agent authorisations and clearance letters. Since the video, we’ve added a button that kicks off the whole process in your task list too.
- Complete a risk assessment, AML ID check and credit screen: Our AML and risk features have been guided by a former HMRC tax investigator. The result of the check and certificate are logged on the client’s timeline, accessible whenever you need it. Our AML ID checks and credit screens are the cheapest on the market when you bulk buy.
- Get a few clients registered on the portal: The portal gives your clients one secure, GDPR-compliant place to receive, share, access and e-sign documents and check their tax liabilities and deadlines. Your clients log in to their portal through your website and you can brand it with your company’s colours and logo.
- Send a document via the portal: Once you have a client registered on the portal, simply drag and drop a document to share it. Just click on the client, then ‘Documents’. AM can then send an automated email and text to ask them to check their portal.
- Create a custom form: Need to gather certain specific information from clients? Create a bespoke online questionnaire and add it to their portal to complete. We’ve created a generic Self Assessment form that you can edit, or try creating a form from scratch, why not make a client satisfaction survey?
Ready to get started?
Sign up for your free 30-day trial of AccountancyManager, book in those 10-minute slots into your diary and we’ll be in touch.