As an accountant, you may be used to providing clients with software recommendations to make managing their accounts easier, but what about your own business?
There are plenty of platforms that can help you streamline, organize and simplify your own operations. Here’s a curated list of 31 of the best software tools for boosting productivity in your accounting firm.
Practice management tools
Gain control and transparency over processes, get insight into cash flow, simplify workflows and reporting, and keep client information in one place with the help of our recommended practice management tools.
1. Practice Ignition
Practice Ignition is a platform that helps accounting practices manage client-oriented tasks – things like creating and tracking proposals, client onboarding, handling contracts and billing. While it’s not a complete job management platform, it does automate workflows and can be integrated with other tools.
BGL specialises in ASIC corporate compliance and SMSF administration software.
Their SMSF software SimpleFund360 features sophisticated data matching, intelligent corporate actions plus integration with over 350 bank, broker and wrap data feeds.
Their corporate compliance solution CAS360 offers automated annual reviews, company registrations, company debt alerts, digital signing and two-way integration with Xero.
3. Xero Practice Manager (XPM)
Manage your jobs from start to finish – XPM allows you to take care of workflow requirements, time tracking and job costing in one place. Not surprisingly, integration with Xero is seamless, however the platform also integrates with more than 30 other apps, such as payroll, customer support and CRM software, essentially creating a complete practice management system.
4. Clarity HQ
Clarity gives accounting firms a way to systemize and scale advisory services, by providing easy to read dashboards that show where each client’s business is at, and what specific metrics and levers need to change in order to get into the green.
No one likes being paid late. Quickfee offers payment solutions specifically for accounting firms. They take the complexity and pain points out of the payment experience for your clients, and help you increase cashflow. Win win!
Karbon is a work management platform for accounting firms and professional service businesses. Karbon’s focus is on communication. It helps your team collaborate by combining email, discussions, tasks and powerful workflows. With transparency over your pipeline, you’re better able to anticipate bottlenecks and streamline recurring work through automation.
Futrli is advanced cash flow forecasting software the provides clients with relevant and actionable insights to help improve their cash position. Cash flow advice is required by many businesses and Futrli provides firms with a way to scale that advice.
8. Spotlight Reporting
Spotlight’s suite of tools gives CFO-level reporting capability, as well as strategic planning, goal-setting, budgeting and forecasting. Visual dashboards make data easy to understand and white-labeled reports can be pulled with the click of a few buttons. Also suitable for multi-entity.
9. Pinch Payments
Offer your clients an easier way to pay. Pinch Payments uses automate billing with direct debit and credit cards, AND links with existing Xero, Quickbooks, and Reckon accounts. You pass the payment processing fee to your clients, but well worth it for an expedited way to pay.
In the modern workplace, flexibility and remote capability is key. Using collaboration tools helps to keep your conversations and files organized, and your team connected no matter where they work. There’s no shortage of new and shiny tools – here’s 4 of the best for your accounting practice.
Zoom is an online video, phone and conferencing platform that allows you to run online meetings, training, and customer support. It’s easy to use, and scalable to suit the needs of your business.
11. Microsoft Teams
Connecting your team has never been easier. Microsoft Teams is a professional chat platform ideal for collaboration and cross-company communication and transparency. With organized conversations, video chat capability, discussion channels and file sharing, everyone can keep track of what’s going on in the business.
12. Google Drive
Collaborate with clients and colleagues on live documents, so you can also be sure you’re working on the most up-to-date version. Assign permissions and edit documents in real time. Because these files are stored in the cloud, you never have to worry about losing historical documents or unsaved data.
Collaboration equals efficiency – but did you know you could automate bookkeeping and data entry tasks? Lightyear saves your team time, and offers the element of internal collaborations with internal and external team members.
Modern practices need to keep up with marketing trends in order to stay relevant in a competitive marketplace. Keep your accounting practice ahead of the curve with these tried and true automation and design tools.
Looking for a reliable and capable CRM? Ditch the spreadsheets for managing your client data. HubSpot CRM is easy to use and offers free marketing, sales, and service tools that will take your client comms to the next level. Additionally, HubSpot’s Marketing Hub can help you to attract visitors, convert online traffic into leads, turn leads into customers, and easily report on marketing ROI.
You probably know that you need to be engaging with your audience on social, but don’t have the time to regularly check in, right? That’s where a scheduling tools like Hootsuite can help. You can schedule in large batches of content ahead of time, across any social platform, and manage comments, likes, and engagement trends across those posts.
With Canva, you can whip up professional-looking images with the help of templates. Whether it’s a social post, a report, a poster or a flyer, Canva takes the frustration out of designing collateral for your business.
17. Active Campaign
Active Campaign isn’t just about email marketing; it goes a step beyond to include CRM, marketing automation and messaging tools that leverage machine learning algorithms.
Keep your desk paperless while keeping track of everything, no matter where you are. Take notes, manage projects, share meeting minutes and tick off your to-do list with this online note-taking tool.
Take care of time-tracking with Tsheets. Even if you don’t bill by the hour, it’s still helpful to understand how long tasks are taking in your business, so you can accurately price your services or understand where your time is best spent.
20. Practice Protect
Accountants are privy to a huge amount of sensitive data. Managing who has access to what is time consuming, and it’s not just a technology problem. It’s also a people problem, because your people need to be trained in how to maintain cyber security. Practice Protect provides an accounting-specific solution that includes software, training, compliance documents and certification to help keep your data safe and secure.
Designed for accountants and business professionals, SmartVault is an all-in-one solution for online document storage and secure file sharing. It integrates with Quickbooks, Freshbooks and Xero.
SuiteFiles is a cloud-based document management system that allows you to send and store documents securely. You can save emails straight to SuiteFiles and the platform also integrates with many other apps, including Xero accounting software and WorkflowMax.
Save money, time and trees. Obtain electronic signatures from clients or stakeholders for easier and more efficient client onboarding or management of tasks and projects.
Keep your inbox clear of back-and-forth email correspondence trying to arrange meeting times. Instead, use Calendly to easily schedule in calls and meetings at times that work for you.
25. Boomerang (for Gmail)
Claim back control of your email inbox with the help of Boomerang. It allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a later time, pause your inbox, and also optimize your email messaging for response with the use of AI.
26. Receipt Bank
Spend less time on data entry and expense management and more time focusing on work that really adds value to your clients. With Receipt Bank you can take a photo of a receipt and automatically upload it (no need to keep a stash of paper receipts). It integrates seamlessly with Quickbooks, MYOB and Xero.
Keep track of your to-do list, work-in-progress or upcoming tasks by using Trello. It’s basically like a bunch of digital Post-it notes that keepz you on track. Keep your board private or share and collaborate with your team on projects.
Track your receipts and manage expenses wherever you’re working with Expensify. Just take a photo of your receipt and Expensify automatically transcribes the details. Expensify can categorise and code each receipt, and can even automatically submit business expenses for approval and reimbursement.
Automatically import all your financial documents then export them into data you can use. Basically it lets you take paperwork like receipts, statements and invoices and puts them in one place each month, saving you time, and frustration!
BONUS tool: Zapier
The best way to make software work for you in your business is to connect it, so that data flows seamlessly between your tools for an integrated business platform. Whatever tools you choose to use, Zapier can help you connect them.
Taking The Next Steps
There are so many software options available to businesses, it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start, and what you really need. Begin by looking at where the bottlenecks are in your business – chances are, one of the tools we’ve listed above could help solve it!
Using the right tools and technology sets up good processes and makes it easier for new employees to step into your business, whether they are across the room or across the world.
If you’d like to know more about how you can combine technology with a crack team of accounting staff to drive it, get in touch to request a Free Outsourcing Strategy and Plan.