To keep your accounting firm in the black, you want a client load packed with satisfied customers and profitable accounts. There are lots of ways to prioritize clients, such as providing prompt replies, useful technology tools, and transparency about your business practices.
But who has the time—or the bandwidth—to answer every email and voicemail, especially during busy seasons like tax time?
Using client collaboration tools as part of your accounting practice management software gives your firm a leg up in the customer service department—without requiring you to spend all day on the phone.
Who can benefit from client collaboration tools?
Providing clients with easy-to-use collaboration tools improves the client experience, and firms that implement client-friendly features highlight their commitment to putting the client relationship first. Your clients will appreciate collaboration tools that empower them to:
- Get questions answered quickly and easily
- Check the status of important documents and filings
- Have greater transparency in billing and payments
- Gain a sense of control over their books
Client collaboration tools aren’t just invaluable for clients. They also benefit accounting teams of all sizes. Your accounting team will notice that client collaboration tools allow them to:
- Cut down on the need to share frequent account updates
- Boost communication between the firm and clients
- Offload tedious tasks
- Complete previously tedious processes in just a few quicks
- Work more efficiently throughout the day
The Client Experience Checklist for Accountants
Learn how you can make it easy on your team to create and maintain an awesome customer experience through every interaction
Top tech tools for boosting client collaboration
If client collaboration sounds like a good strategy for your accounting practice, the first step is to identify which tools can accomplish your goals. Let’s look at some of the top client collaboration tools you can implement to improve client satisfaction and reduce accountant stress during busy seasons.
Need an important document returned in a flash? eSignature tools speed up the document signing process, improving outcomes for clients and firms.
Project management tools supporting eSignature allow accountants to securely upload and email documents to clients using a standard email account—no new program necessary for clients to download.
Once received, Knowledge-Based Authentication tools verify the signer’s identity before they click to sign using a legally-binding signature. Another click or two returns the signed document to your desk, completing the process in moments instead of days or weeks.
Secure client portal
Your clients pay you to do the heavy lifting with their books—but that doesn’t mean they should have to wade through piles of email correspondence to understand what’s going on.
When you invest in a secure client portal, your clients will know that you’re investing in their needs and convenience.
Secure client portal software provides clients with a centralized hub in which they can:
- Access their account information
- View and pay bills
- Check the status of documents and tasks
- Communicate directly with their accountant
Additionally, many client portals will allow you to customize the user experience by applying your firm’s branding. This creates a more cohesive experience and builds trust with your clients.
Accounting involves the sending and receiving of confidential and often large client documents. From previous tax filings to employee payroll documents, accountants regularly handle high volumes of client information that must be managed properly to ensure client security.
Secure file-sharing tools give accounting firms and clients the peace of mind that all private documents will be held securely without hassle.
Instead of wasting time sending emails back and forth with download instructions, password guidelines, and troubleshooting tips, use a simplified file-sharing method that’s easy on you and your clients. Clients don’t need to juggle extra passwords, and accountants can quickly send clients information and documents from within their practice management system.
Keep in mind that while are many options on the marketplace for file-sharing, they aren’t created equal. Look for options that allow you to send all file sizes without jeopardizing security.
For instance, MangoShare’s document management system allows accounting firms to send and receive both large and small document sets with total confidence. All documents are encrypted and protected by bank-grade 256-bit encryption standards before being stored behind a secure firewall.
Client-friendly invoicing tools
Traditional payment methods are time-consuming and expensive. Printing and mailing invoices only to wait weeks or months for payment requires significant overhead costs, patience, and communication to ensure the process goes smoothly.
Instead, optimize the monthly billing cycle with client-friendly invoicing tools that make getting paid fast and easy. When you equip your clients with online payment methods through your client portal, you can:
- Improve your cash flow
- Increase client convenience
- Improve security measures
Thoughtful invoicing processes can also reduce the administrative burden of client billing. Scheduling recurring invoices gets bills off your desk and out the door automatically, and batch billing allows accountants to submit invoices to multiple clients without manually editing each one.
Even with automated billing, you can tailor the invoices to your clients. Provide certain clients with brief narrative-style bills and others with more detailed invoices to keep everyone happy while addressing common client billing queries before they arise.
Keep your team (and your clients!) satisfied with Mango
It’s challenging to anticipate every client’s needs, but optimized accounting tech tools make staying on top of daily tasks while nurturing the client relationship easier than ever before. With proper workflow management and client-friendly functionality, tools like Mango transform overworked teams into streamlined firms with strong reputations.
From project management to easy-to-use analytics, Mango was designed to simplify the lives of accountants. To see Mango’s wealth of client collaboration tools in action, schedule a free demo.
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