Practice Management: Top Tricks and Tips for Your Team
If you’re a QuickBooks® Online Accountant (QBOA) user, then you know all about the benefits of having your accounting processes taken care of in one place, along with having access to every QuickBooks Online (QBO) feature. You experience the daily benefits of monitoring clients from a single dashboard, multi-user access, easy reconciliation, mobile access and so much more. But, are you aware that QBOA has added new practice management features to keep you and your team on track and on time?
Someone who does know is Tanya Hilts, founder of Cloud Bookkeeping Services and an advanced certified QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor®. With over 20 years in bookkeeping and income tax experience, I knew she would be the perfect person to chat with about how to utilize these new features to the fullest.
Tricks and Tips for Practice Management
“Practice management is best for anybody who wants to become more efficient, whether it’s for themselves personally or their team, and you get to be more efficient with as little amount of software as possible,” Hilts says.
She has some advice about our practice management features, including how you can eliminate these three deadly sins of accounting: missed tasks and deadlines, inconsistent or lack of communication with clients, and complex systems.
1. Task management and deadline support. Hilts points out that she uses our new practice management features to manage her daily, monthly and yearly tasks. “Everything is very organized,” she says.
Because certain tasks need to be handled at different times of the month, Hilts creates tasks with the appropriate deadlines and assigns the right team member for each one. However, she says that if you need to switch a team member’s assignment, you are able to go in, sort the team members and make the necessary changes quickly. The sorting is not limited to team members either; users can filter by client as well.
Access each project and make necessary changes efficiently
To monitor the status of each task, the project lead has access to multiple views, including seeing his or her own set of tasks, the tasks of the other team members and completed tasks.
Hilt’s view of her own tasks
“There’s a view where I can see when they (team members) completed a task and the time they did so,” Hilts states.
Project lead’s view of everyone’s tasks
View of everyone’s tasks in list form
The practice management dashboard also helps with deadline requirements by automatically showing tasks, such as payroll deadlines and reconciliation, as needing to be completed.
Creating smaller tasks within a task, or subtask, is also possible within practice management. Hilts says, “Personally, we don’t use that feature because of the amount of tasks that we have.”
Her trick? “I put points within each task that I have to do, and when I’m done with them, I’ll either delete it or put an ‘x’ by it – I know that I’ve completed that part of it.”
What about recurring tasks? A new, just announced recurring task feature is being released slowly to users via beta. In the meantime, Hilts has a tip for users: copy a task with the duplicate button. It takes little time and erases the pain of having to create a completely new task for one that repeats.
2. Clear client communication. Having open communication with clients is essential. Hilts’ tip for doing so? Use the built-in communication features to get the information you need – and to get your clients the information they need – in a timely manner.
“You can actually use practice management to upload their private financial information and send it along with a note. It will be right there in QuickBooks Online when they sign on, plus they will receive an email. They’ll know they have a document to view and it’s still private,” Hilts says. “If our clients want to comment or communicate with us, they can do so. Both parties can refer back to the notes. It’s a great internal communication tool!”
And speaking of privacy, keeping clients’ financial information secure is an extremely high priority for Intuit® and our users. As such, the internal communication environment is password protected.
Easy and secure communication with clients
3. Complex system made simple. “Our philosophy is ‘keep it simple.’ We don’t use different task management tools like Asana or Google Docs – except for one team member who uses Asana for social media tasks not related to clients. It is all one within the QBO practice management,” Hilts states.
For many businesses, moving to the cloud is either occurring now or looming on the horizon. Hilts feels that those going through the transition find the initial steps to be overwhelming, where everything is about the apps. They realize that they may need to scale down and become what Hilts calls “app minimalists.”
Hilts declares, “If we can have one app or product that consolidates multiple processes, then that’s best.”
Claim Our Practice Management Benefits for Yourself and for Your Team
The new practice management features within QBOA are meant to simplify and clarify your work on multiple levels and increase efficiency. Having a complete and real-time picture of the project from beginning to end is essential for accountants and bookkeepers. Having it all available to you at your fingertips and on the go, from any device, is exactly what you need. Hilts agrees: “If you can be flexible and play with it, you will find that it works amazing.”