3 Apps to Increase Productivity for Bookkeepers Everywhere
Bookkeepers know all about being efficient and productive. They manage your business’ daily financial affairs, relieving you of having to deal with the necessary, yet nitty-gritty details of keeping your business running smoothly. And, as professionals, bookkeepers seek out, find and use tools that help them help you make life easier.
Advanced Certified & Diamond ProAdvisor® QuickBooks® Online user, Sherri-Lee Mathers, of Balsam Way Bookkeeping, knows all about the importance of using the right tools to stay on top of her clients’ needs. Her personal experience with the following apps has her describing them as powerful and listing them as her top three apps for productivity.
“What I love most about Receipt Bank is the multi-expensing capabilities and the dashboard,” Mathers says. She also appreciates the fact that it can scan handwritten receipts, a must-have for her client base.
Receipt Bank came about as a solution for keeping track of businesses’ bills, invoices and receipts, without the painstaking and time-consuming effort of manual data entry. The app integrates directly with Quickbooks’ cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting software, and seeks to improve the client experience.
For her multi-currency clients, Mathers notes that their scanned receipts (which her clients send via Receipt Bank’s mobile app, through email or by desktop upload) convert automatically and closely match up with minimal currency adjustment to the bank feed, saving her – and her clients – time. One particular client travels extensively in China and pays a high volume of expenses, such as taxi fees, with cash. With Receipt Bank, this client is able to easily and quickly take a picture of a receipt, add a personal note and then send it from her mobile device to Mathers. Before using Receipt Bank, all of these cash items were getting lost and not counting as a deduction. However, that is no longer the case, as Receipt Bank recognizes that the receipts are in Chinese Yen and converts them accordingly.
Regarding the dashboard, Mathers considers it efficient and clean, as well as a feature that sets it apart from other apps. She logs in first thing every morning and, with a quick glance at “Outstanding Bookkeeping,” can see which clients have been inputting receipts and how many there are to manage. This gives her a clear picture if she needs to rearrange her workflows, or which clients need a gentle reminder to get uploading. Plus, a big timesaver is that Receipt Bank allows her to sort by name or category, which means she can review multiple receipts and better confirm the accuracy of the information.
Summing up Mathers’ experience with this app, Mathers says, “I am a big Receipt Bank fan.”
In addition to Receipt Bank, Mathers has another favorite: Asana.
This app allows teams to track the progress of deadlines and workloads from the beginning, all the way through to completion, in one location. Asana also turns Google emails into actions, customizes dashboards for specific needs, organizes inboxes by receiving only necessary messages and much more.
“I was introduced a few months ago. I’m visual and immediately fell in love – I use it as my ‘to-do’ list, for workflows and task management. I’ve created some teams for select clients, and we share the ‘to-do’ list. If I’m looking at something in Receipt Bank, or I’m looking at the bank feed or missing info, I quickly jump into Asana instead of Gmail, and I’ll note “xxx transaction has gone through the bank feed and I don’t see this receipt in Receipt Bank – where is it?” This again keeps the info and conversations in one spot and doesn’t clutter up my inbox. It’s a great communication tool,” Mathers states.
She also describes it as a great tool for tracking tasks, both with regards to what has been, and what has not been, done. With some of her clients, she uses it almost like a procedure manual, or a daily task list. For example, she created a project called the Master Daily Cash Out, which breaks down the tasks needed for daily cash out, with attachments of file locations and screen shots, so that anyone can look and follow the workflow, as well track the changes to the workflow process.
Mathers also says, “It was great during tax season. I created a board for all my T1 returns, and literally, the file would move across the board until all the steps were completed. At a glance, we could see what stage the file was at, the date it was last looked at, any notes regarding the returns were contained in one spot and the internal imposed deadlines.”
“Asana is just easy. It keeps not just my inbox clean and decluttered, but my clients’ inboxes as well. We have a direct line – all conversations, links to documents and deadlines are in one place. No more searching through umpteen emails. As a virtual bookkeeper, this allows me to have regular communication, and then I only need face-to-face meetings every couple of months. We talk on the phone and everything else is done online,” Mathers says.
She particularly appreciates that Asana integrates with Google Suite, Gmail, Google Drive and her calendar. In addition, Asana is working to increase productivity by allowing users to flag Google emails, turning them into specific tasks with deadlines that help with workflows and priorities every day.
The third app Mathers recommends is Google Suite, which provides integrated business email, calendar, online storage and easy file sharing.
“I really feel if you’re not using Google Suite, you should be. I love Google Suite – particularly the email, calendar and Google Drive. I can create a folder in Google Drive and share that folder as part of a project in Asana,” Mathers says.
Google Calendar is not singular; users can have multiple calendars set up for their specific needs and team members. Mathers uses one calendar for nothing but client deadlines. “I like it because I’m a very visual person. I like to see the calendar. And, I like the notification reminders. With Google, you can link your Asana tasks from projects and set recurring tasks. It’s hugely powerful.”
She also notes that Google integrates with QuickBooks Online through the Calendar for billing, which increases her ability to handle that important task quickly.
Perhaps, you have an app you have found to be a game changer for you and your clients. Whichever ones you use, the result should be efficient and productive service for your clients.