How an accounting software company uses technology to stay organized
As a SaaS accounting and finance solution, ScaleFactor is on the cutting edge of new technology. We are always looking for new ways to deliver technological solutions to make running a business a little bit easier on our customers. And, we’re also always on the lookout for ways technology can help us work more efficiently, in order to better serve those customers.
With team members spread across the country, communication and organization is the name of the game. The environment is fast-paced and requires that employees collaborate often across departments, which is made all the more difficult when team members don’t sit in the same office space. Technology has helped fill some of the gaps that come with remote work, and kept our team communicating and collaborating with ease.
Here are some of the ways that we utilize technology every day to keep our projects on track and our goals in front of us.
Large-scale project management
Within the last year, we have implemented Asana in most departments at ScaleFactor. Asana is a project management tool that allows for easy collaboration and flexible formatting. Each team works a little differently depending on their goals, and Asana’s flexibility allows them to establish their own preferences without needing to turn to another solution.
Best of all, if a collaborator has a question about a specific task, they can leave their question in the task itself. Asana eliminates the needs to send follow-up emails or Slack messages. Instead, all communication can take place within tasks and projects, leaving a consolidated historical record for everyone else involved.
Of course, not every piece of communication can (or should) be made through project management tools. Sometimes, you just need to ask a quick question, point out a typo, or ask someone to lunch.
For ad hoc communications, we turn to Slack at ScaleFactor. Slack’s instant messaging capabilities mimics the act of walking over to someone’s desk.
Setting up channels for specific uses also allows for tailored conversations among the staff. Each team, for example, has its own Slack channel in our setup. We also have channels for fun, where we have “water-cooler” conversations such as a Photos channel and a Gardening channel.
Bringing remote teams together
Even better than Slack at approximating the face-to-face experience and encouraging communication is video conferencing. We all know that written communication can easily be misinterpreted and that phone calls are better for clarity. But, video conferencing is the best option of all.
So, why do businesses avoid it then?
The truth is that video conferencing takes some getting used to. It’s not always as intuitive as simply picking up the phone. But, once the team gets used to it, the benefits will start to roll in.
Here are a few tips about implementing a video conferencing system of your own (and getting employees to actually use it):
- Make sure your team has good headphones. If you want to really encourage participation, invest in some quality headphones for the team.
- Normalize video use. Encourage team members to use the video feature, rather than just audio. Make video the norm and audio the backup.
- Hook up your conference rooms for video. If you have TVs in your conference room, can they easily be hooked up to computers? When tech is easy to use and readily available, the team will be more likely to use it.
And, of course, there’s email
Last but not least, there’s trusty email. Email has evolved into a catch-all location for most people, compiling promotional emails, industry news, and important communication into one location and placing the burden of organization on the user themselves.
When it comes to managing day-to-day work, technology has evolved to include new methods of communication that far outpace email in many ways. When a customer’s financial information is on the line, it’s vital that nothing falls through the cracks.
At the end of the day, the reason we search for new ways to improve efficiency, and to collaborate better, is to better serve our customers. We have big goals for revolutionizing the way businesses interact with their finances, and big goals require many smart minds to come together and collaborate.