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Cloud-based Software Your Accounting Firm Needs

If you’re not taking advantage of cloud-based software for your accounting firm, you’re leaving a huge opportunity on the table.

1 min read

Micala Ricketts

Micala Ricketts

If you’re not taking advantage of cloud-based practice management software for your accounting firm, you’re leaving a huge opportunity on the table. Cloud-based software will enable you to make your firm more efficient and collaborative than ever, and it will also keep your information separate from your hard drive so that you never have to worry about losing information in a computer crash. Here are four types of cloud-based practice management software that you should start using in your practice now.

CRM software

CRM Software, or customer relationship management software, is just what it sounds like: a software for managing relationships with your clients. It helps manage information such as client data and interaction, leads, contracts, and more.

While CRM software allows you to perform fairly generic functions such as emailing and creating contact lists, a good CRM can also do so much more. According to Zapier, a CRM is designed to “help you string together the relationships in your contacts” and to “see the big picture.” You can track your relationship with a client from when they first become a lead to when you’re billing them for casework or just following up. For example, you may be able to track information about a current or prospective client that enables you to form a better connection with them as you go—information like their birthday, current job position, or other significant interactions you’ve had with them.

CRM software is all about keeping track of the people and relationships that make your tax practice a viable business.

CRM software is all about keeping track of the people and relationships that make your tax practice a viable business.

Document management software

Cloud-based document management software not only does the environment a huge favor, it also provides great value to your firm. Instead of filling your office with file cabinets and overflowing drawers of documents and files, document management software allows you to store all of your documents in one convenient place. Any team member can access any file (as long as they've been given access under the permissions settings) at any time from anywhere they have internet. You won't ever have to run back to the office on your day off to find a document for a client or colleague.

Besides increasing the ease of collaboration, document management software will also save you a ton of time and enable you to give more time to meaningful work. You’ll spend less time finding, faxing, and copying documents and more time on completing casework for your clients. Say goodbye to the overwhelming stacks of paperwork that slow down your daily tasks.

Say goodbye to the overwhelming stacks of paperwork that slow down your daily tasks.

Workflow management software

Is your office full of to-do lists and sticky notes with scribbled reminders? Do you send out daily or weekly emails to touch base with team members? Workflow management software can take the chaos and clutter out of your workflow. It allows you to create collaborative task lists that update real-time as team members make changes—keeping everyone on the same page.

At a higher level, workflow management software helps you to see the overall progress of projects and see where your process needs to improve. No sticky note does that.

Additionally, once you have discovered an efficient process for completing a task or case, you can apply that process as a template to use across the board so that everyone in your practice is using the most efficient approach to accomplishing a task.

At a higher level, workflow management software helps you to see the overall progress of projects and see where your process needs to improve.

Billing and invoicing software

As an accountant, you know the struggle of not always getting paid in a timely manner for the work you do or sometimes not getting paid at all. The good news is, online billing and invoicing can help you minimize your accounts receivable and increase your cash flow.

You can do billing and invoicing without software, but software makes it more efficient and will even help you to get paid more quickly. Consider this: an Invoicebus study of more than half a million invoices showed that clients typically take 11 days to pay online bills and 29 days to pay bills sent by other methods. Their theory is that the easier you make it for your clients to pay you, the more likely they’ll be to do so.

Finding the right software

Another best practice besides investing in cloud-based software, is consolidating your software. After all, it’s more time and cost efficient to use one software rather than three if you get all of the same functionality in that one. To experience how efficient a one-stop shop software can be, sign up for a free account of Canopy. You’ll get a CRM, billing and invoicing, and workflow management software in one convenient place.

We have client lists, portals, and surveys to help you develop more transparent, collaborative relationships with your clients. Our billing and invoicing feature includes automatic reminders that are sent to your client requesting payment so you don’t have to do the follow-up. And we have task tracking which allows you to assign several team members to one task if necessary. Plus, Canopy includes so many other great features like a letter generator and calendar.

It’s more time and cost efficient to use one software rather than three if you get all of the same functionality in that one.

To understand the benefits that your practice could enjoy using Canopy, try it free any time. Still not sure? Check out how Canopy’s client portal has helped Northwest Tax Associates become more efficient.

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