Mastering the Challenge of Changing Technology for Accountants

Accountants are expected to master a wide variety of skills, including knowing the ins and outs of the latest accounting tech tools. But, when you’re busy running a business, how do you keep up with rapidly changing technology?

Embracing the right solutions for your business is only the first step. You then need to focus on the tools and technology that collaborate with each other to maximize their effectiveness – and your bottom line. Here's what to look for when choosing collaborative tools for your accounting business:

Billing, Expensing and Sales

QuickBooks® Online (QBO) offers a long list of app integrations that can help revolutionize your billing cycles. For example, Expensify helps create easy, intuitive expense reports that take the pain out of manually creating them yourself. QuickBooks can also sync up with Square's point-of-sale transactions. The app keeps track of client sales and automatically imports them into QBO.

Time Management and Project Management

For quick and painless time tracking, streamline timesheet processing with the Harvest app. Tracking time and project management tools go hand in hand, and accountants can reduce the time needed to work on both as separate tasks. The integration of Harvest and Basecamp’s project management tools keep track of the time spent on all of your projects. Basecamp creates space to drop files, folders and images, and manages the communication between everyone working on the project.

Capacity Planning and Productivity

Capacity planning can’t easily be done with pen, paper and endless spreadsheets. Sometimes, a visual element is required to see how changing products and services will impact your business over a specific time period. Trello is a leader in visual project management, where users rely on photos, videos and graphics to create boards and cards. Trello boards work like a digital bulletin board, where you can attach photos, lists, videos and images. Your team members can use a Trello card to upload their own attachments, create a checklist for a project or add a due date.

Once you have the structure for your capacity planning project set up, it's crucial to stay on task. Build in accountability to complete each task with Pomello. The app turns Trello cards into time-sensitive tasks to be done in 30 minutes or less before a break. 

CRM and Document Processing

There are a lot of players in the CRM space, and they all help organize your contacts and leads, and help manage your relationships with customers. The Pipedrive CRM tool takes it a step further and helps focus on the next steps: to help close the sale and drive better deals. Once you’re ready to close a deal, use an app that communicates with Pipedrive, such as PandaDoc, to build and deliver your quotes and proposals for signing.

Project and Task Management

Record your ideas and keep up with your to-do list with the Evernote task management app. Once you’ve got your ideas organized and ready to launch into a project, you need a project management tool that helps turn it into a reality. Eliminate the tangle of endless emails and meetings by relying on Asana to manage your projects from start to finish. Create deadlines, upload documents and communicate internally on the Asana platform so that all comments and ideas are in one place.

Document Storage and Management

Trading documents and presentations back and forth between co-workers can turn a regular business day into a nightmare. Never lose track of which file is the most updated with an app like Dropbox. Open up documents right from your account and share with team members. When a change is made, your document is automatically updated.

Practice Intelligence

Get control over your business intelligence with an app the helps support your advisory role with your clients. Spotlight Reporting gives accountants more insight into reporting and the ability to make management decisions with a varied client base.

Accounting technology doesn't have to be complicated, but it should always help build a cohesive and productive business. Focus on the tools that already work together to give you the support you need, and ditch the ones that only serve as a distraction.