By Matt Goldman on March 19, 2018
Accountants, like everyone else, are constantly barraged by new programs offering a suite of features and tools that promise to make the workday a breeze compared to the old days. But which technologies can actually make a difference? After all, can’t you duplicate the functionality you need with some fancy formatting to an Excel spreadsheet and call it a day?
If only it were that simple. To raise your numbers-crunching game and work more efficiently, consider leveraging this newfangled tech. This list will get you up to speed:
Zapier connects apps and sends data back and forth between them by setting up “Zaps”, or automated digital tasks that function more-or-less like old-school macros. Zapier works with hundreds of different apps and can automate nearly any task.
Furthermore, Zapier can automatically generate an invoice whenever you fill out a form, including every time you receive a payment. Then, like magic, it can save your invoices back to your accounting software, presto-chango, storing all of your client’s transactions for future review.
Portal technology such as Clinked.com are secure, cloud-based accounts that enable you and your clients to safely store, transfer, and download files. Everything is guarded with bank-grade, end-to-end encryption for the ultimate in proven security. To further increase safety and protection, Clinked gives you permission controls that let you determine who can download what.
One of the best things about Clinked and programs like it? You cut out the hassle of sleuthing for lost attachments, files, or emails that go missing in cyberspace. Everything stays neat and tidy in central storage, removing one more migraine for both you and your clients.
Project management tools like Basecamp upgrade not only your workflow but the overall synergy of your team and firm, too. You can view everything on a single page, whether it’s the work of the entire firm, specific teams, or even individual projects.
Basecamp employs a raft of tools to see your jobs through, including:
- To-Do lists of completed and unfinished tasks
- Message Center to communicate with other members
- Campfire Room to host quick informal chats
- Docs & Files organizer to index all team materials
- Schedule for posting deadlines
- Automatic Check-ins to generate feedback from your team
Basecamp is also very fluid, letting you customize projects according to its respective needs rather than being shoehorned into a one-size-fits-all approach. Each project is an adventure!
Receipt Bank manage your clients’ receipts, bills, and invoices in a variety of ways short of filing them into a physical cabinet. Scan or upload a receipt, and Receipt Bank extracts the information into a compatible program account such as Xero, QuickBooks, or FreshBooks, among many others.
Not in the office? No problem! Use your smartphone to take a pic of the receipt and Receipt Bank grabs the data straight away. If that wasn’t awesome enough, it can pull from email attachments, as well. No matter how the information is culled, Receipt Bank is ready and waiting to do your bidding.
Many professionals have decried the rise of AI within the accounting world, specifically the ethics of handling sensitive client data and the likelihood it could replace certain jobs in the industry.
Still, others believe it a matter of time before AI is accounting’s new normal. One such program jumping on the AI revolution is Recount, a financial analysis tool that lets users securely upload client data. From there, Recount identifies trends, pinpoints issues, and make informed predictions of what might happen next with their clients’ finances.
Best of all, these tasks are automated and fulfilled within a matter of seconds. This may prove to make Recount and other AI-based accounting tools an indispensable--and perhaps inevitable--part of crunching numbers.
Once you pass the learning curve, these products reward you with fewer mundane tasks, increased organization, improved search, upgraded security, and more time to focus on the work that matters. Whether you’re in a team of five or a firm of 50, the above programs represent only a few of the means by which you and your colleagues can improve your working experience. Not to mention increase overall client satisfaction.