We’re officially past the halfway point in January but we’re still thinking about how we vision 2020 panning out and how we can start (or stop!) habits that impact our goals. If you’re like the average working professional, technology is more relied upon than ever before, however, so many firms are still not using the technology that could serve them best.
At FuseWorks, we love our suite of tools that help us day-to-day and we also love to hear from clients what tools they use that they find most useful. To help guide you in finding some tools that might help you – we’ve put together this list of 20 technology tools for 2020!
Compliance & Document Processing tools
We can’t kick off a list of tools that will help your firm become more productive without talking about our flagship product, FuseDocs. FuseDocs is a document collation tool, helpful for accounting firms who are currently having to manually put together and merge PDFs. FuseDocs allows your team to compile, format & send client-ready documents, such as annual report package collations, in a single click. When you integrate FuseDocs with your practice management and document management platforms you can prepare an entire annual report package collation in a matter of seconds. Interested in learning more? Why not book a demo today.
Our other product, FuseCharts, is also a time and headache saver for accounting firms. Create clear and concise structure charts within seconds. With FuseCharts, anyone in your team can transform the most complex of client relationships into clear and engaging visual structure charts. You enter the names and their relationship, and the chart is created automatically. You can then edit the chart if you want to, including colours, shapes, layout and added branding. Find out more about FuseCharts.
ATOMate, developed by Business Automation Works, automatically compares ATO documents to the estimation in your practice management system – before validating them, filing them and sending them onto the client. If there’s a discrepancy, the solution sends the notice of assessment straight to you, or your team, for further investigation and action.
Admin & Management tools
Do you find yourself with a list of steps to do something quite simple? For example, logging an email against a client in a CRM, make sure you have follow up tasks scheduled in your diary, sending a reminder email to your assistant to prepare the documentation required? Zapier might be a great solution for you!
Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your favourite apps, such as your email, your calendar, your task manager and more. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration. It’s easy enough that anyone can build their own app workflows with just a few clicks. For example, maybe you get a lot of email attachments and you want to save them to Dropbox. Every time you get an attachment, you could open up the email, click the attachment, and then save it to Dropbox. Or you can have Zapier automate this for you, saving you time and effort.
Trello is a web-based Kanban-style list-making tool. You use boards (these can be projects, teams, or perhaps areas of the business) that have lists of tasks you can then use to manage your business day-to-day. You can tag and link colleagues, upload files, make checklists, set reminders and many more functions that help you to ensure tasks are getting done properly, on time and aren’t falling through the cracks. It’s great for visibility and accountability, too!
With Hubdoc, you can automatically import all your financial documents & export them into data you can use. Hubdoc extracts key information from your receipts, invoices, and bills. You can link your Hubdoc with your account providers (think your bank, internet, energy etc.) and Hubdoc will automatically pull your accounts documentation including new bills as they are issued. It also has an app that allows you to take a photo of your receipt invoice or bill and it will scan, extract and store documents securely in the cloud.
From time to time you might need to send a lot of files back and forth between you and your clients (or employees or 3rd parties) that your email just can’t handle as attachments. Rather than sending many emails with many attachments (or receiving many emails – no thank you!) we recommend WeTransfer, a very useful tool that allows simple and secure file sharing that’s free to use.
8. Receipt Bank
Receipt Bank is a tool that will cut down your data entry by using AI to scan receipts and documents, recognising the data, and then entering it into the appropriate location. On top of that, it also has features both for your clients use, as well as your practice, including client reporting and analysis, tracking workflows across your teams, and deadline tracking.
Practice Ignition is a platform that allows you to send proposals, close contracts, and process payments all in one place. You can program your standard services and fees into the system to make building proposals very simple and quick to create, as well as your marketing material to make the proposals a powerful sales tool as well.
FeeSynergy’s debtor management solutions have been purpose-built for accounting firms. It provides the ability to do automated email payment reminders, online payment gateways and finance options to allow customers to pay off fees in instalments.
Capsule is the Contact Relationship Management tool that is used at FuseWorks. We use it to manage all of our sales pipeline, our customer details, as well as our partner relationships all in one place. This makes it easy for us to create reports and easily review our sales and growth targets.
Find the perfect meeting time with online appointment scheduling software from Calendly, and say goodbye to phone and email tag. We use this tool embedded on our website to book demos of our products. It syncs with the team’s calendar so only shows times available – no double booking, need for phone tag or emails back and forth. Only trick is to make sure you book out the time in your calendar if you’re not going to be available – like a whole day out office for a conference.
Canva is an incredibly useful tool for businesses that don’t have a graphic designer available to produce quality graphics from scratch but still want to be able to create content to help with marketing and sales. Whether it’s a brochure, flyer, social media images or the like, Canva provides an easy online drag and drop editor with plenty of templates to work with. Plenty of free graphics in their library as well as some options to pay for premium ones, often for just $1.
Rev is a service that provides audio transcription, video captions and document translation services. Particularly helpful if you’re working in the international space, but also can be helpful for doing some more simple tasks like putting subtitles on any videos you’re sharing either with your clients or online as marketing material.
Zoom is an easy to use video conferencing tool that’s got easy to use messaging and content sharing features. You can have multiple guests, screen share for collaboration, use your phone to dial in if you’re unable to use a computer, and even record the meetings for future viewing if you need it for you or your clients.
Slack has really changed the way modern businesses communicate internally. For large or geographically dispersed workplaces, teams who are out of the office a lot and sometimes just workplaces who want to cut down on email, Slack is a great alternative as a way to communicate & collaborate internally. Essentially an online chat room, you can create ‘channels’ for areas of your business or teams and communicate widely without having to clog up people’s inboxes for more urgent and client-facing work. Plus lots of integrations that can help streamline your business.
Sending documents that need to be signed to clients can sometimes be a real pain to do and can the process of having to print, sign, scan and send back gets messy. FuseSign is an online platform that allows you and your clients to be able to do the whole process electronically, signing documents anywhere, from any device. Plus it’s built with accountants in mind, so makes handling family groups much easier for you and your client experience!
Grammarly is a writing tool that can help you and your team check for several types of errors. It detects grammar and punctuation mistakes and also provides real-time suggestions and guidelines on how to correct them. Extremely useful for checking over long proposals, reports and even important emails. On top of those basic error checking (that’s not always picked up by your standard word processor), it will also help you self-edit by providing details on the readability of your content.
Rocketbook is a smart notebook that has the functionality to erase the pages so it can be reused an infinite amount of times. With an app that allows you to sync your notes with your other work applications of choice, this notebook comes in handy for those who still love the old fashioned pen and paper note method but still need a way to organise and store information (and are sick of the stack of used notebooks filling up their draws!)
You are likely to use Office in some capacity, however, it seems common that businesses aren’t taking advantage of all of the Office365 programs and features. For example, there’s a recording feature in one note – and if you take notes during the recording, they’ll be linked to the audio and video created with OneNote. This way you can Search notes in OneNote and find specific parts of the audio or video recording when you wrote the notes. Just one example of a hidden gem feature that might transform the way your team works. Head to the Office365 website to make sure you’re up to date with some of the latest feature releases.