In part 1, we looked at preparing your practice for remote working and recommended the best technology for building a virtual office in part 2. In this, our third installment, we focus on the impact of cloud-based practice management software across:
- Onboarding and data entry
- Automating client emails and texts
- Storing and sharing files
- Internal time management
Onboarding new clients
For any successful business, ‘business as usual’ usually means growth. There’s no reason why an entire practice working from home should impact that.
Home-working or not, onboarding new clients needs to be slick and efficient, as it’s the first experience your client will have working with you. But the process can be onerous and involve multiple people and systems across your practice.
Anti-money-laundering (AML) checks
Face-to-face meetings with new clients might have to be replaced with video calls, but there’s no excuse for skipping their AML checks. Thankfully you can manage the whole process online – without a sheet of paper in sight – through systems like AccountancyManager.
64-8s, professional clearance and engagement letters
The paperwork involved in onboarding rivals buying a house. The timescale certainly feels similar. With practice management software, creating and sending out these crucial documents becomes a couple-of-clicks process.
No longer will you have to;
- write separate emails for each client
- gather the relevant forms and terms
- chase for responses, searching for info in emails
- replan your day when you receive things (or don’t)
- hand over to other members of the team
- find out who was last in touch and what was said
AccountancyManager automates all of this, saving you countless precious minutes on every new client.
Data entry? Data schmentry.
Key client information can be populated in AM directly from Companies House, saving significant time when onboarding new clients and safe-guarding against human error. AccountancyManager and CH stay synced, so you know your system is correct and up to date.
Similarly, if your clients use Xero, QuickBooks or FreeAgent, their details in these systems can be pulled through to AccountancyManager – and stay synced.
Accessing, storing and sharing files
Just like online CRMs giving you secure access to your clients’ details wherever you are, cloud-based document systems do the same for all your files. The accountancy industry is continuously moving towards a paperless, carbon-neutral future and software like MyWorkpapers and AccountancyManager are driving this change. No more waiting for clients to drop off their books and records or trying to make sense of the handwriting (or they yours).
You can upload, store, file and download documents on AccountancyManager – be it internal to your practice or personal to your client.
Secure, GDPR-compliant client portals
Instead of your clients having to trawl through their emails to find the paperwork you’ve sent, they simply log in to their portal. This is an area – private to each client – which they access through your website and you access through AccountancyManager. Like a room with two doors… or a portal. Here, clients can read, sign, upload and download any documents, from AML checks to their annual accounts.
You and your team are saved from the inbox trawl too. Client emails will come through to their AM timeline and you’ll get a notification when your clients complete forms and upload or sign documents in the portal.
Contact clients in your sleep. Or at lunch. Or doing anything else at all.
The most powerful and by far the most time-saving feature of AM is automated emails. Just write emails requesting records and reminding clients to pay tax once, then tell AccountancyManager who to send them to and when. Done. AM will be sending out emails left, right and centre – while you’re getting on with more important things. It will keep chasing, at intervals set by you, until you get the information, documents or signatures you need.
Bin your to-do list. We’ve got it covered.
Add your clients’ HMRC deadlines (and get the Companies House integration to pull through CH deadlines) and AM will automatically create daily task lists for you and your team. See deadlines approach and click ‘complete’ when done. When you onboard new clients or you receive info you’ve been waiting for, AM will reorder your list.
Not only will you never miss another deadline, you’ll save countless minutes re-planning your day. Your team gets clearly defined priority lists for each day, while you get the added bonus of keeping an eye on their productivity. (Use the time-tracking and ‘team view’ features for even greater visibility.)
Free yourself up to support your clients
Running your practice on the cloud with software like AccountancyManager, frees you from both the shackles of the office and time-consuming tasks.
When you automate your onboarding, client emails, follow-up emails, team time management and auto-fill data, you get hours of time back, right across your practice. And by having everything you need online, you’re free to do your work at the kitchen table, keep up with team chat while you shop and host a video conference from the park.
Choosing the right technology for you
Of course, introducing new technology, especially at such uncertain, volatile times, undoubtedly raises questions around change management and training. With such a short timescale in which to onboard your team, it’s essential that you choose systems that are quick to implement, intuitive and easy to use.
Check for any set-up charges or on-going support costs. We don’t charge for anything like that at AccountancyManager, there’s no need. We personally walk through the system with you and you’re guided through all set-up, customisation and actions, click-by-click with interactive guides and videos. Rachel, Liston and Matt are just a call away on support if you get stuck.
Look for systems that can be customised to your practice’s processes as well as an individual’s way of working – and consider its longevity. Is the technology a short-term fix or will it carry you towards your practice’s long-term goals?
Missed Part 2?
Read ‘How to run your practice from home – Part 2‘, where we cover::
- Holding internal meetings and speaking to clients ‘face to face’
- Staying in contact with colleagues – and staving off the loneliness
- Working together and sharing the load
- Client management and regular contact with clients
- Tracking your time