Modern tools can improve every area of your practice, and the best part is, they're easily accessible. If you haven't made the change to a modern practice, you're missing out on infinite potential of improved efficiency. Keep your practice in the lead by making the switch. Here are some suggestions for where to start.
... it is better to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to managing a tax practice. -Scott M. Cheslowitz, CPA and Amy M. Vega, CPA
Chances are, you have a drawer, or desk, or office (or several of each) cluttered with documents that are important but not well-organized. Luckily, there are many great tools out there that will store all of your documents in one place in the cloud. And some of those tools will even organize your documents into a more comprehensive order.
Plus, the cloud is secure under a good cloud provider, and there's no reason for worry. The best cloud providers have highly regulated and protected data centers. For example, Amazon Web Services, the cloud provider Canopy uses, is also used by high-profile organizations such as NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Netflix.
Paperless storage can help you manage both employee collaboration and client information efficiently and securely.
Paperless storage is great for collaborative projects. You can keep all of your documents in the cloud, for multiple employees to access and work on at the same time. Cloud storage makes them available to every employee at any time from any computer, as long as the employee has the correct password and permissions. This eliminates the wait time for employees to exchange documents between one another.
Cloud-based storage allows you to keep all client information in the same place rather than scattered about. For example, you can keep all contact information, forms, tasks, notes and other information needed for a specific client together. Everything you need to complete work on a client's case is right at your fingertips— enabling you to go straight to work instead of spending time searching for and gathering documents.
There are many different options for cloud-based storage services. While many services charge by the gigabyte, Canopy offers unlimited storage for free included in the purchase of the software.
Another great tool for managing your employees and tasks is a project or practice management application. Many of these applications will allow you to create to-do lists and tasks and manage workflow for your employees. Because the applications are online, they will update in real-time as employees make changes. Every employee will be able to see what they are in charge of and who they should work with to complete different tasks.
Options for project management applications include Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and Stackfield, among many others, but for a tax-practice-specific practice management platform, tailored to your day-to-day needs, check out Canopy's Practice Management software.
Client portals are another modern tool that clients love, and you will, too. Client portals allow clients to see the status of their case, as well as exchange documents and forms with you. Client portals create transparency between you and your client, and also enable improved efficiency. The less you're calling, emailing, and meeting with a client to answer questions or request forms for their case, the more you can complete work on their case. The whole process becomes quicker when information can be exchanged with the click of a button.
With Canopy portals, you can even choose which sections of a client's casework you allow them to view. Additionally, clients can take surveys through their portal that will then auto-populate tax forms, without you having to do anything!
Overall, client portals create a more seamless tax preparation and resolution process.
Billing and Invoicing
Another great benefit of making the switch to modern practice management is gaining the capability to do online billing and invoicing. You'll deal with fewer accounts receivable when your clients have the option to pay you right from their computer or phone. Plus, there's not any risk of the invoice getting lost in the mail.
The easier you make it for your clients to pay your invoice back, the more likely they will. -Invoicebus
To further consolidate the process of billing and invoicing, Canopy allows you the option of sending invoices through client portals and automating reminders for payment, so managing your billing and invoicing is not only more effective, but also more convenient.
Along with using modern tools for daily practice management, you should also take advantage of using social media to market your tax practice. The more of a social media presence you have, the more potential clients will hear about your services. Not to mention, having an online presence adds another way of interacting with your current clients.
Modern practice management streamlines your process, saving you tons of time, and therefore saving you money. The more time you have for doing actual casework, the more money you'll make, and the more you can help your clients.
If you want to learn more about modernizing your practice management, be sure to check out our other blog posts such as 5 Ways a Tax Resolution CRM Increases Revenue and Into the Cloud - The Benefits of Going Paperless.