A clever bookkeeper knows they will make good use of the best available software tools to ease workloads and increase their teams’ productivity. This can especially help small bookkeeping firms, where the management of individual business aspects is less specialised than in larger corporations.
From accounting software to time tracking tools, these solutions can ease the burden of small business management by automating some admin processes and organising data effectively.
We’ve come up with a unique list of five essential categories of software needed for bookkeepers to help you make your bookkeeping business run more smoothly!
Bookkeeping Specific Software
Each industry holds its own unique and essential requirements to ensure business runs smoothly. It is important first to identify what kinds of software will be most suited to your needs. A small business has vastly different needs to that of the Big Four accounting firms.
How large is your bookkeeping business? Are there any particulars areas of running your business that cause you trouble?
You may find that you have a reasonably broad client base with only a small team; if that were the case it would be worth thinking about a customer management software option, to ease the administrative burden on your shoulders.
You may have several junior bookkeepers working under you who you need to manage, perhaps even working remotely after the working adjustments of the pandemic. Using a time tracking solution will help you keep on top of your team’s productivity and provide a clear record of work to help bill your clients efficiently.
5 Types of Software Every Bookkeeper Needs
1. Accounting Software
Accounting is an integral part of operating any business. Choosing the best accounting software for a bookkeepers’ needs is highly important. Understanding what’s on offer will allow you to select the best accounting software for small businesses and help you to make more efficient use of your time by facilitating the monitoring of cash flow, expenditure, tax filing and other essential business data.
Keeping your books accurate and up to date is something you are likely already on top of as a bookkeeper, so using services such as Xero, QuickBooks, and FreshBooks to automate some of your processes and organise/store your accounting data in the cloud.
But while using some accounting might be a no brainer for bookkeepers, it is worth considering which solution might provide the best fit for your team’s needs. Shop around, trial some products, and make sure the choice you make is the best possible fit for you and your team, since having the right accounting may well be the most important of your app stack.
2. Time Tracking Software
Time is one of the most important resources bookkeepers have, and the use of an appropriate time tracking tool will allow you to better organise and manage the use of this precious commodity. Time tracking software allows your team to record their work hours against the clients & tasks they are working on. This creates a “record of work” for reporting, billing or management purposes.
Having efficient time management as a bookkeeper means you can serve more clients and generate more revenue!
Time management software helps you understand where your team’s time is used and identify areas of your business where you may be focusing too much or too little.
MinuteDock is time tracking software built for bookkeepers and bookkeeping firms. Using MinuteDock, you can record time worked on specific clients, projects or tasks. The reporting functionality that MinuteDock provides allows you to better understand where your business can improve its use of time, to comprehensively document work done for clients, and to accurately and efficiently bill your clients. MinuteDock even integrates with most accounting software, fitting seamlessly into your workflow and tools!
3. Internal Team Communication Software
Effective and efficient communication, both internally within the business and externally towards customers, is vitally important to the successful operation of any small business, with bookkeeping businesses being no exception.
Particularly when it comes to remote teamwork, which has been getting more and more popular among bookkeepers, being able to communicate immediately and effectively amongst your team is an absolute necessity. By using software like Slack, or Microsoft Teams you can stay in touch and up to date with your team, letting you better manage your workloads and make sure you are meeting your deadlines.
Furthermore, having a record of internal communications will let you reflect on your communication after the fact and identify where more robust teamwork might make a positive impact on your business. Being able to look at your communicative processes and improve the ways you are keeping coordinated as a team can be a great idea!
4. Client engagement
Perhaps the best benefit of using software applications to organise and optimise your workflow is that it allows you to work in a very structured manner. Popular applications like Ignition and Quotient help you to stay organised and simplify your workflow when it comes to effectively engaging with your customers. Organisation and communication are key when it comes to keeping clients happy!
Sales, marketing, and other client engagement software can help you stay organised and communicate clearly with your customer base. This leads to greater efficiency, a better ability to collect and analyse your sales/marketing data, and therefore more rapid improvements in your sales and marketing processes.
Being able to use engagement software to gain insight into your customer’s needs and receive feedback on your work is a massive boon – successful teams always are looking to improve their work and service, so insights into where you can improve are hugely valuable.
Consistent and meaningful engagement with your client base is also a great way to maintain strong client relationships and improve your customer retention. If your customers feel like you are active and engaged in the service you are providing them, they will feel valued and in turn value their relationship with you as their service provider.
The ability for a modern bookkeeper to engage with their clients using modern technology is incredibly useful. When used effectively in combination with streamlined management and timekeeping software apps, even the simplest of communication programs can allow your business to remain highly organised and efficient when working on any given project, as well as allow easier flow of communication to your client base.
These software apps can help you to get the most possible value out of your marketing budget, and to improve your sales conversion. More than this, the right app will make data collection for future analysis much easier, by automating the collection and keeping the data well organised to make interpreting the information easier.
5. Job/Task Management
Task management software can help you be as productive and efficient as possible with your work. Staying organised across the various things you need to accomplish and clients you are working on as a bookkeeper is much easier with a good job management system.
Software solutions like Asana and Trello offer the ability to more effectively manage your time, workflow, and resources to help you make the most of your workday and keep on top of things during your busiest periods.
Even better than that is the ability to keep your calendar well organised, so that you know exactly what you need to get done and can plan to get the job done.
The right choice of job/task management solution will depend on your teams’ needs, but also on the other solutions you are employing. Several job management options work as addon/sister apps for major solutions. Look to see whether you can integrate with other solutions in your app stack for an easier user experience!
Some software options will include different features and will cater more towards specific industry needs. Consider whether a full project management tool like Asana will supply what you need, or whether your workflow may be better suited to a more basic, essentials only solution.