Among the wide array of professional services, the accounting industry continues to thrive. In the US alone, the number of accountants is predicted to exceed 3.44 million professionals by 2022 in an industry that exceeds $160 billion dollars annually.
When I conducted my ethnographic research while I was in the Master of Technology Management Program at UC Santa Barbara, the majority of accountants I interviewed shared that they are looking for tools to automate their internal processes to run more efficiently and eliminate manual work. This would allow them to focus on customer service and increase employee productivity by integrating information through cloud-based platforms.
One of the biggest needs is a solution that streamlines their daily tasks along with their accounting management software (such as Quickbooks Online and Xero) and provides integrated solutions for bookkeeping, CRM, and secure document management.
This can be translated into a specific feature set, including multi-user access, billing, time tracking, dashboards & reporting, a client portal that's easy to navigate, scheduling tools, automated retainer invoicing, task tracking, and integrations with other cloud-based services such as payroll, tax software, and payment processing.
Here are four standout tools you can utilize within Accelo to help enhance your businesses operations and make for a more seamless experience:
One of our customers, Smartbooks, manages the finance departments for hundreds of small businesses. The business currently has several active retainers that they use for monthly payroll projects. The client is simultaneously charged a fixed value at a specific point in the month, so they never have to worry about forgetting to invoice for work done.
"SmartBooks uses Retainer services to manage our full cycle monthly accounting & payroll work for our outsourced bookkeeping and accounting clients. We use the recurring task function to keep track of monthly items that need to be done, as well as quarterly and annual items. We also use it to track our time against these recurring projects to ensure we are billing our clients enough for the work that we do. Using Accelo helps to keep all of these items in order so that our team can better do our job each month." - Alex Cugini, Controller, SmartBooks
2. Task Tracking:
Perhaps one of the top reasons why accountants come to Accelo is for a better way to manage a multitude of tasks. With the addition of our Checklist feature, which is a common request from our accounting clients, no action item will ever fall between the cracks again!
Accountants, like every other SMB service professional, need accurate data visualization and they need it in real-time. With Accelo dashboards, you're able to monitor crucial metrics such as profitability, utilization, and user % billable all without having to wait weeks to process all the data.
4. Client Portal/Document Storage:
Another key piece for accountants is the ability to easily interact with their clients while securely sharing sensitive documents. Accelo's Client Portal lets your customers to easily view ongoing requests, track project updates, and share documents securely through the cloud. Additionally, the email integration means your email correspondence and attached files will automatically be picked up and saved in the right place. This can save you the hours of endless back and forth to procure necessary client records. With Accelo, you can rest assured that all your data is safely filed in the proper place.
Of course, there are several more features and integrations you can unlock with Accelo that are aimed to help service businesses to enhance client service, minimize time-consuming administrative functions, effectively assess utilization & management of staff, and upgrade the overall quality in the way you and your team operate.
Give Accelo a try today, to see how you can make strides toward successfully managing your business from prospect to payment.