As an accountant, you do more than work with numbers. You meet with clients, manage workflows, and are involved with projects, which is why working from home can be a challenge.
As a remote accountant, you’ll use many digital tools to manage workloads, and there are many useful platforms for simplifying and organizing accountancy work. This is a list of remote tools to help you work more efficient as a remote accountant.
1. Client Tools
These tools are critical to choose for managing your clients in a secure and efficient manner. Here are client tools that you can choose to manage your clients with.
Practice Ignition is a client management platform that allows accounting firms to manage all tasks related to their clients, including onboarding, proposals, billing, and contracts. It is not a full job management software, but it can automate workflows as well as integrate with other platforms.
This is an automated solution for many parts of your accounting firm. You can draft and refine proposals for your clients in just minutes.
Send just one smart proposal for your client to see, sign, and pay for all in one. This makes it easier to close the deal and requires fewer back and forth phone calls or emails.
This platform has many awesome capabilities, such as:
- Smart proposals
- Invoicing, billing, and reporting
- Letters of engagement
- Proposal and project management
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool
2. E-Signature Tools
E-signatures contain a trail of who the document was sent to, when it was sent, and when it was signed. Additionally, e-signatures can be safer than the traditional paper document signing method. These tools have the highest security so your clients can trust that their information will remain private. Here are some tools that accountants can use to obtain e-signatures from colleagues or clients.
DocuSign offers more than just e-signatures. It can also create and manage your client agreements. If you only require documents to be signed, the free version, DocuSign Free Edition, allows you to sign an unlimited number of documents. Rather than spending hours reminding clients to sign, scan, and email your documents, you can use DocuSign, which streamlines this process to make it easier for both you and your clients.
HelloSign gathers legally binding e-signatures. It can take documents from many sources, including Evernote, Google Drive, Skydrive, and Dropbox. Try using the free version, which lets you get three documents signed, and then you can opt for the premium version.
SignEasy arranges for legally binding signatures on business documents from a third party. Stop sending actual paper or printing, signing, and scanning documents. SignEasy will save you time, money, headaches, and paper.
3. Project Management Tools
Project management platforms can help make your accountancy work much easier. Organize, manage, and improve your workflows with one of these tools. However, the main issue many remote accountants encounter with these platforms is that they are not client-focused. It’s best to look for one that really makes client communication easier, and if possible, test out a free version first. These are three of the best accounting project management tools for your consideration.
Accelo is a complete tool that integrates clients, staff, billing, and projects in one system, allowing all relevant parties to have access to client information and data. Your clients will enjoy access to their round-the-clock service portal. Accelo gives you many options including auto-reminders for tasks and prompts to follow up when clients don’t respond.
Asana is a popular project management tool that allows you to add team projects and daily tasks. You can have conversations within each task so that your discussions remain organized. Use Google Drive or Dropbox to add documents to Asana so that everything is accessible in one location. Asana is a popular tool for many accountants who are just starting to use task management platforms.
As an accountant, you can manage all of your accounting tasks and track the progress of your company with its uncomplicated interface, which tracks company records and saves you time.
4. Email and Communication Tools
The prevailing use of digital technologies for work means that communication is more important than ever. Accountants need to offer excellent customer service to guarantee return business. It is also imperative that you communicate with your team so that everyone works collectively even when working remotely. So, what are the best communication tools for your accounting practice?
Slack cleans up, simplifies, and improves the lines of communication between accounting, bookkeeping, and firms with their clients – but that doesn’t even begin to unearth the possibilities of Slack. By integrating it with other programs, firm owners can begin to connect the trails of emails, tasks, appointments, and reminders with beginning and endpoints into one platform. Does it do instant messaging and direct messaging? Of course. Can it be used to share information like photos and documents? Yes. Can users ask a bot to set up a task or remind them of a future task? It does that too! Even more powerful, it can create workspaces for clients. Workspaces for clients provide a clear picture of the jobs and tasks you accomplish for them. When clients need a special task accomplished, it’s easy to add a new channel and start collaborating.
Karbon goes far beyond being a chat platform. It is a complete collaboration and task management platform, ideal for remote and distributed accounting firms, which transforms your client emails into a manageable workflow system. You can triage your inbox to prioritize different emails by integrating with Office 365 or Gmail, and link emails to tasks for a more collaborative work environment.
Gmail is a popular, free email platform that automatically sorts your messages into useful categories. You can add reminders, and if someone doesn’t reply to you, it nudges you to follow up. It integrates with the entire Google Suite of tools, including Google Calendar. You can add an event to your calendar from Gmail with just one click. Any suggested meeting dates and times show as a link to add to Google Calendar, which avoids manual data entry.
Microsoft Outlook integrates with other Microsoft products. It has task management tools, as well as note-taking features. You can use it with Microsoft Teams and use the calendar to organize your days.
5. Calendar and Scheduling Tools
Effective planning improves time management, allows you to achieve your goals, and achieve a successful business.
Calendly automates the scheduling of your meetings. Set up your available time, then share the link with anyone who requires a meeting or calls. They can then book themselves into your calendar. Calendly syncs with up to six calendars. Eliminate the back and forth appointment scheduling emails and save time on administration.
Google Calendar is a free product that is very popular with users worldwide. Keep track of your meetings and events, and create a shared office calendar so that you can see everyone’s deadlines with additional notes and relevant documents for accurate record-keeping. Color-code your days to separate work and personal life, or use the feature of adding a meeting event directly from your email. It has many customizable features, and you can share calendars with colleagues or others to check their availability.
6. Billing, Receipt, Invoicing Collection Tools
Receipt Bank enables easy management and scanning of client paperwork for accurate income and expenses administration. There is a section for posting your expenses, which then appear as a Match in QBO, along with the receipt. The app lets clients take a picture of receipts from anywhere. No more data entry. No more paper.
QuickBooks is a very popular accounting platform for bookkeeping, managing invoices, expenses, and income. Connect your credit card and bank account to give it access to your expenses, and it will sort them into tax categories, then advise you on what deductions you may be able to make. It will automatically update the project status when tasks get done which saves admin time.
Use it to send invoices and take payments from clients. It can automatically enter data and undertake your bookkeeping functions. It integrates with multiple apps, which can avoid manual data entry.
Bizpayo complements your accounting system to integrate and record current payment data of your customers and/or vendors while simplifying your account reconcilement and reducing your accounts receivables.
7. Audit Tools
Save time and always make sure you and your clients are always held accountable by audit software, which will ensure compliance and error-free accountancy practice.
AuditFile is a secure cloud-based platform that helps many CPA firms to make their audits, compilations, and reviews more efficient. It is accessed remotely via the cloud. It was designed for use by CPA accountants and firms, but smaller businesses may also find it useful for efficient reviews or audit processes.
8. Virtual Meeting Tools
Remote accountants require virtual meetings to be in contact with clients, colleagues, and employees and ensure deadlines and goals are adhered to. There are many useful virtual meeting tools for accounting firms.
Zoom is famous worldwide for its hosting capabilities. Use it for video conferencing and to conduct virtual meetings with your clients. It has chat features as well as a break-out function where you can go from one big meeting to chat in smaller groups. Record your conversations, and use Zoom on your mobile device as well. Your clients don’t need to create an account to join a meeting. Due to security and privacy issues, it’s recommended that you use passwords for all meetings and make sure your privacy settings are set up correctly.
GoToMeeting is a conference tool that is easy to use with a feature for video conferences that is useful for remote workers. It is often used for sharing desktops, video conferencing, and online meetings. It is more ideal for small meetings and one-on-one meetings with clients and team members.
Google Hangouts is good to use if you have Gmail. Catch up with your colleagues or clients via voice, video, or text chats. You can direct message others in a group or individuals. All users require a Gmail account to access this platform. It isn’t ideal for full collaboration but more of a conversational tool to see where projects are.
It offers a stylish intuitive interface with multiple features to improve your online meetings. Access it in your browser, without using additional plugins or apps. You can use a virtual whiteboard for taking notes or brainstorming ideas, attach an agenda, record meetings, or share screens.
If you are using Outlook 365, this is a complementary video solution. It combines chat, meetings, file storage, and application integrations for a full communication and collaboration tool. If security and privacy is your biggest concern, this is a top priority of Microsoft Teams.
9. File Sharing Tools
File sharing tools are important to accountants because they can send and receive hundreds of files of unlimited size with a simple drag and drop. Digital document storage is accessible for remote accountants.
Dropbox really has just one function, which is providing a platform for uploading, sharing, and accessing documents in one place. It does the job if you need something simplistic.
Sharefile is a secure way for accountants to send, share, store, and access files. It has a great user interface, and it is easy to set up yourself with a portal. Transfer your files and access them on your mobile device from anywhere with Sharefile.
Google Drive is one of the most used cloud storage platforms. Store, share, and organize your documents into the intuitive filing system and sync all data with your computer and devices. All linked devices will be able to access the documents.
10. Virtual Mailbox Tools
Accountants need an address to receive mail such as a client’s company financial files. The address is also needed on the company’s website to show the financial firm’s credibility. Listing a home address as an office address is not allowed in some cases, and in others, it makes the business look less professional. As a remote accountant, use the virtual mailbox for more than just receiving mail and packages. Use it for a professional business image, keeping your home address private, digital storage of your mail, and for record-keeping.
Earth Class Mail integrates with accounting software such as Xero and Quickbooks. It also has automated check deposit and receipt services that will help streamline and save time with your receipts, check-handling, and invoices you receive in the mail.
VirtualPostMail (VPM) provides you with a stable street address that can be used to register as an LLC or corporation. Each street address is tied to a commercial building so you can portray a professional business image. Plus, use the address to keep your home address private. You’ll not only get a place to receive your mail and packages, but you can also have mail scanned, mail forwarded, and packages forwarded. Plus, take advantage of the check deposit service to streamline and save time.
Need a Virtual Mailbox For Your Accounting Firm?
Obtaining a virtual mailbox makes check depositing easy, secure, and fast. You can also use it to get a full digital mailroom to receive your mail and packages flawlessly as a remote accountant.