Client Collaboration Enters a New Age with Accounting Client Management Software
Client collaboration and communication have always been key for accounting firms. Whether your clients are individuals or large businesses, finances are a sensitive and important matter. Your clients want to feel they have an expert on their side, but that they are still involved. Poor communication can lead to confused and frustrated customers, loss of business and possibly even a loss of reputation.
In the past, client collaboration often meant catching each other through emails or phone calls, or scheduling a meeting to come into the office. Depending on your workload and your client’s schedule, this can be difficult to coordinate. But the new digital approach utilizing accounting client management software is making client collaboration easier and more instant. This alleviates worries for both client and accountant.
The old-school approach to client collaboration
Your clients need progress updates from you, and you need information from your clients in order to provide them the best service possible. In the old-school approach to client collaboration, you might have to schedule frequent meetings with clients or send emails back and forth to request and offer information. But emails are often lost in spam folders or buried under other emails and forgotten. Coordinating schedules with your client can be a challenge, especially in peak season.
The result is that accountants often aren’t able to reach their clients when they need to and vice versa. When it comes to accounting engagements like audits, financial reviews or compilations, you might not receive all the information you need from your clients. The old-school approach isn’t just frustrating; it can potentially lead to serious errors and inconsistencies.
In today’s fast-paced world, the truth is that the old-school approach simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Of course, client collaboration software isn’t exactly new. What is more recent is the adoption of cloud software and shared drives for client collaboration. The pandemic has also led to a need to move past the old-school approach to client collaboration. Most accountants are working from home, which makes local, legacy software essentially impossible. As remote work seems to be more and more permanent, advanced cloud software for accounting is clearly the way of the future.
And yet 57 percent of accounting professionals surveyed in our 2022 State of Accounting Firms Trends Report expressed that their client collaboration methods were less efficient than they would like. For many, they had new accounting software, but not the time to learn how to make use of it. Others expressed reluctance to use new technology or to transfer all of their legacy files onto a new software platform.
It’s clear that change is needed, and that change is digital. The challenge is finding a digital solution that accounting firms can easily implement, as well as one that clients will be satisfied with. The good news is that Caseware can help with both of these issues, offering state of the art provided by client (PBC) request systems and a simplified interface that is easy to learn.
Benefits of Caseware PBC Requests
Caseware’s PBC requests system is a cloud module designed to help accounting firms and clients navigate accounting requests. Because it’s a cloud module, it can be used remotely from anywhere. It also comes with the security encryption that is standard for cloud software. There are a number of benefits to using Caseware for PBC Requests, including:
Organization is key when it comes to client collaboration. If your accounting client requests are scattered across your server or file room, it will slow down your accounting workflow and lead to both frustrated accountants and accounting clients.
With Caseware, all PBC requests go through a centralized client query system. This storage is backed by secure encryption so that sensitive documents can be sent, received, organized and stored without prying eyes. This will boost your accounting workflow as well, since you’ll know exactly where to go to find the documents you need. No more time wasted searching for the right documents. PBC requests are easier for you to manage and your clients will see results sooner. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
There’s something reassuring about request tracking. You can literally see the progress of a particular request as it goes through your system. With Caseware, you’ll receive a notification each time the client responds to an accounting request.
The request system operates automatically and lets all relevant parties know whenever any progress has been made on the request. It can also keep you on target to meet deadlines by letting you and the client know when there is an outstanding request so it can be tackled right away. By being able to visualize your progress, you’ll stay organized and be more productive overall.
One benefit of Caseware for accounting firms who are wary about switching software involves platform integration. Through platform integration, you can easily incorporate documents from other programs or devices into your client collaboration software.
Caseware uses an embedded program called Working Papers that allows you to review and make changes to accounting engagements, but you can also look at them on a separate browser. In addition, Working Papers allows you to look at two different documents side-by-side in the event you need to compare them.
Flexible content and storage
No one template will work for all accounting firms, which is why Caseware offers such customizable content. Your engagements will vary from client to client. Our system allows you to simply tweak and change based on the requirements of a particular project. You’ll have templates to choose from, so you won’t have to start from scratch on any part of the program. Those templates are flexible, allowing you the freedom to suit your own needs and the needs of the client.
In addition, all users can choose for themselves where a document will be stored within the Working Papers file. This happens through our receive function, and it’s as easy as a simple click.
Timed client requests
Your client requests have to line up with your accounting engagements. If the engagement needs to be finished by a certain time, you’ll need to have PBC requests completed within a certain time. Timing is crucial for accountants, and it can make or break their business. Managing that with client collaboration, however — especially when more than one PBC request needs to be made — can be complicated. The good news is, with Caseware you can keep everything on schedule by making use of our timed client requests.
Depending on the amount of PBC requests you need for each accounting engagement, you can respond to them individually or send out several at once to a relevant group. The choice is yours, based on your needs for the project. When combined with that centralized request system, you’ll never miss a deadline. Clients will love the organization, and you’ll enjoy a smoother workflow with less time wasted and more engagements completed in a timely fashion.
Explore Caseware PBC Requests today
If you want to keep clients happy and well-informed, it’s time to bring your accounting firm into the digital era through accounting client management software. Caseware PBC Requests is easy to integrate, simple to use, and will improve both your workflow and your communication with clients.
Contact Caseware today to learn more about our various accounting firm services, including PBC Requests, or to explore the suite for yourself. It’s a modern change that will revolutionize the way you collaborate with clients.