Are you an accountant looking to improve the way you work? Do you want to become more effective and more efficient for your clients? Accountancy is a profession that is always in great demand as businesses cannot run smoothly if their finances and accounts are not well planned however clients are becoming increasingly technologically savvy and you may find that you need to be staying ahead of the game offering the best possible service to your clients. So how do you do that? There are many ways of offering a 1st class service and one of them is to make sure you are taking advantage of the many tools that are out there to ensure that you are providing as proficient a service as possible.
Far from these tools replacing your role they are more about the evolution of it and you now have greater opportunities to perform better and to make a lot of the tasks you perform on a regular basis a lot easier and a lot less stressful so even if you are intimidated by new technologies most are straight forward and simple to use.
There are an increasing number of tools available that help accountants and their teams reach their full potential. These tools will enable you to move beyond the slow, tedious tasks that have often been associated with accountancy towards a more rewarding role that will have a greater impact with your clients and within your team, a win-win situation.
5 planning tools you should have:
- A good computer or laptop
- Cloud-based project management system
- Tax software
- Paper-free document management system
- Pens, paper and a calculator
1. A good computer or laptop
First and foremost, and in order to operate effectively as an accountant you will need to buy a good computer or a good laptop. You should be looking for one that can do accounting and bookkeeping fast. Make sure it has a screen that is big enough for you to see as many rows, columns and interfaces as possible to minimise scrolling.
As you will be running accountancy software on it you need to make sure your laptop/computer has a good processing system with at least 8GB RAM and this will ensure calculations are performed quickly, saving time and energy. There are many out there and they aren’t too expensive but you must make sure that it comes installed with good antivirus software and keep it regularly maintained.
2. A cloud-based project management system
A cloud-based project management system is a very important tool for you to have as it coordinates all aspects of a project. They are designed to make the managing of your projects easier and to enable you to stay more organised so it is a worthwhile investment. Having a project management system means you will have access to a network of tools within the software that help with the planning, collaborating, monitoring and delivery of a project.
If you are working on a number of cases and/or work in a team of other accountant’s cloud computing will allow everyone in your team access to the same accounts and systems, this enables you to have much more effective communication within your team and this in turn will lead to improved efficiency all round.
3. Tax Software
Tax software removes all the hassle of processing taxes by hand and then having to deal with all the time-consuming work that arises when errors are made. Performing tax calculations by hand means that when a mistake is made all of the numbers in the system have to be reconfigured; however with tax software errors are easy to correct. By simply adjusting the figures within the system the software will make all the relevant adjustments and calculations. This saves so much time and energy you will be really thankful for it and as long as the software is updated it will also have incorporated into it any recent changes in the tax laws reducing the chances of making errors which never looks good to your clients.
One of its other many other benefits is the ease with which all the clients relevant information can be transferred from previous tax returns to current ones saving lots of time and energy.
4. A paper-free document management system
Having a paper free document management system will mean that it will be easier for you to store and manage the documents that you have captured through scanning or through digital means. Not having to deal with paper means that you won’t need to store paper based documents and when a client requests information you will quickly be able to access the correct documents and deal with their queries quickly. It will make it easier for clients to share their files with you and as the documents are accessible from other devices will be easier for you to access their information when you are working remotely. This means you can work anywhere and still be able to serve your clients needs.
Managing documents this way provides a simple solution to sharing, managing and organising digital files but can also help with managing records and supporting best practice.
5. Pens, paper and a calculator
Alongside all of the new technologies that help make life as an accountant a whole lot easier you will still benefit from having all the tools that have been around since time began. You’ll certainly want to double check a calculation at times or try to understand something by working it out manually so having a good calculator is essential. You also will never know when you might need to make notes for a client or about an account so make sure you have a good set of quality pens, pencils and paper, you might be relieved to know that you don’t need to completely abandon all the old practices by relying just on new tools and software.
So there they are and we hope you find that this information is useful to you and can help you decide the kinds of tools to invest in and ensure you remain competitive in the accountancy world.