Are you still using these five outdated accountancy processes? It’s time to streamline your workflows by replacing these old-school habits with new, innovative processes!
Failure to adapt to new technology has negative consequences for accounting firms. Firms that don’t change their methods risk becoming obsolete, as forward-thinking firms that evolve with the times attract more customers with their streamlined, efficient workflows.
Outdated processes, such as relying on email to chase client updates or share highly sensitive files, are slow and ineffective ways to work by today’s standards. Plus, old accounting software and manual, human error-prone systems aren’t particularly impressive to new clients.
Instead, high-value clients will look for accounting firms that prioritise powerful solutions to make sure their work is completed to the highest possible standards. Trading outdated processes for innovative solutions don’t just save money; it also improves efficiency and accuracy — a win-win scenario!
So, if your firm still relies heavily on email, manual data entry, and outdated systems, it’s time to make a change. In this article, I will explore the main issues with the five outdated processes still favoured by many accounting firms and suggest some intelligent alternatives.
1. Sharing files via email
Sharing files via email is one of the most outdated processes that dominate accounting firms, big and small. Communicating and sharing vital information via email may seem like a good idea, but it’s incredibly time-consuming, and attached documents are easily lost under an avalanche of new messages.
Plus, email systems are susceptible to cyberattacks that could result in the loss of sensitive firm or client data — any business owner’s worst nightmare (including mine). So, what system should you use instead?
SmartVault is a much better option for sharing files with your clients and vice versa. It is a secure, cloud-based platform that makes sharing and collaborating on documents easy. Built with bank-level security, SmartVault is one of the most secure ways to store and manage documents.
2. Saving files to desktop
While saving files to your desktop may seem more convenient, this can create more work in the long run.
Saving files to your desktop can lead to a myriad of problems, such as data loss if your computer crashes. If you have important files saved to your desktop, they could be lost forever, and there are few situations as stressful as losing vital client data. Plus, it is impossible to manage version control when team members are saving the most recent versions of files to their desktops. If a team member goes on annual leave without sharing the file with their colleagues, it can be difficult to retrieve without IT support.
However, save them to a cloud-based server, like Google Drive, and they will be safe and sound. You can easily access your files from anywhere and share them with others. You can also set permissions so that only certain people can access more sensitive documentation. This can help to streamline your workflows and avoid unnecessary confusion.
3. Creating invoices manually
Creating invoices manually is a time-consuming process that often leads to errors. This is especially true for large firms producing and processing hundreds, if not thousands, of monthly invoices. From inputting incorrect amounts to misspelling a business’s name, there are countless ways that creating invoices manually can go wrong.
Instead, you should use Xero, a cloud-based accounting software that allows you to create invoices quickly and easily. With Xero, you can send online invoices created from templates from your computer or phone. But that’s not all — you can also customise invoices to include your logo, set automated reminders and create recurring invoices that get generated automatically, taking the work out of chasing payments. Xero also integrates with other business apps, automating your accounting processes and saving even more time.
4. Using Excel to track data
No, Excel is not in itself outdated. In fact, it is one of the most versatile and intelligent software available. However, there are dozens of reasons why you should stop using spreadsheets to manage your clients and workflows: it requires manual updating, is error-prone, lacks automation, integration, and collaboration capabilities, and offers a pretty terrible UI.
Instead, I recommend you try Syft, a much faster and easier way to track vital business data. Syft offers many useful features, including:
- Insightful financial analytics, including data visualisations, financial reports and accurate forecasting.
- AI-powered risk, fraud, and anomaly detection to make sure your team can count on the data provided and identify mistakes before they become problems.
- An overview of the whole picture with real-time oversight across business operations and automated processes to cut out unnecessary manual tasks.
- Automatic creation of financial statements.
- Integrations with other accounting tools to make sure the focus stays on output and analysis.
Switching Excel for Syft will save you time and help your accounting firm become more efficient, giving your team members more time to focus on more pressing tasks.
5. Managing client processes and onboarding via email
Onboarding new clients properly will help to build a strong business relationship. A positive onboarding process results in more efficient operations, reduced scope creep and, most importantly, happier clients!
However, using email to onboard new clients can lead to problems. It’s easy to lose track of emails and vital onboarding documentation if your inbox is full to bursting. Unintentionally leaving your clients in the lurch isn’t a good look for your accounting firm. It’s also near impossible to automate follow-ups and reminders without third-party tools.
So, why not use a practice management tool with client onboarding capabilities that make sure your client onboarding process is amazing and supportive every time?
Pixie is designed to manage client processes and onboarding. That means it’s much more efficient than using email. With Pixie, you can save your team time (and frustration) by creating a simple, streamlined onboarding process for new clients using Pixie’s onboarding template or by building your own. Onboarding new clients is much easier when you have everything you need in one place.
This tool can send automated welcome emails that include document requests, assign tasks and checklists to your new clients, and generate automated reminders to make sure your firm and its clients have everything you need to get your relationship off to a great start.
Become a modern accounting firm by saying goodbye to outdated processes
If your accounting firm still relies on these five outdated processes, it’s time to say goodbye and adopt innovative processes to streamline workflows. By switching to tools such as Pixie, SmartVault, Google Drive, Xero, and Syft, your firm will become more efficient, save time and money, and be able to better serve your clients.
It may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and expert guidance, you can make the transition quickly and easily. There’s no time like the present — start the transition today.