Workforce management best practices require using technology to manage people and processes to ensure your accounting firm runs optimally.
As digital transformation advances, your legacy systems will need either updating or replacing. Check out these technological advancements that will make managing your workforce nearly effortless.
Software that coordinates workflows and teamwork among staff members keeps teams working collaboratively to get things done and keep things moving forward. The ideal communication software solution will allow you to set up work groups and topic streams.
For instance, Slack allows you to set up a discussion board for specific departments of your firm. Create a workgroup thread for managers and a separate one for admin staff, bookkeepers, HR, and any other department of your organization.
Use real-time message boards to help teams communicate effectively to ensure efficiency and productivity. Simulate the “water cooler” conversations even for remote workers who do not come into the office regularly. Besides Slack, here is a list of the top corporate communications platforms:
- Microsoft Teams
Along with improved real-time messaging, these CPaaS (communication platform as a service) platforms also allow you to keep track of conversation history. They enable you to log, document, and easily reference information shared in the message streams. Using them is more efficient than email and as easy as sending a text. You can have notifications ping your phone or other mobile devices along with your laptop or computer.
Some platforms offer free versions, while others charge monthly or annual subscription fees. They usually provide tiered packages depending on the size and scope of your organization.
Teamwork & Collaboration
Teams can use collaboration platforms to store and share files. SharePoint, Dropbox, and OneDrive are a few examples of software enabling streamlined teamwork and staff collaboration.
These central data repositories have features that allow you to backup work so that documents are never lost and remote, and hybrid employees have access to the files they need. You can set up document security protocols, manage permissions and file accessibility, and determine how teams share information.
Using a client portal enables you to exchange content and constantly communicate with clients. Examples include Heymarket for text messaging, DocSend by Dropbox, ShareFile, and other industry-specific client portal tools. Some client communications and collaboration software also offer instant chat communications through your website.
Marketing automation tools allow your teams to reach target demographics using technology like video hosting platforms or email marketing software. Use automation to welcome new customers and nurture them throughout the sales process or keep leads warm if they aren’t ready to buy with regular communications.
Check-in with your clients from time to time via email. Give them something helpful and timely, and include a video if you can – videos get great engagement. Check out these popular programs:
- Automate emails, your sales pipeline, and client outreach with ActiveCampaign
- Create custom branded forms that link to your CRM with Typeform
- Design beautiful newsletters and send them to your clients with Mailchimp
- Use Vimeo or Wistia for hosting and sharing video
Contact center software, client self-service, and ticketing platforms are a few examples of customer service applications that provide customers with a single platform for all customer care requests. It enables you to manage, track, and follow up on customer service requests.
Get multi-channel support via phone, email, text, and website chats. Use software, like Zendesk, to route requests to the correct agents or integrate surveying tools to measure satisfaction with the issue or ticket resolution.
Use password management software to help secure the management of your firm’s systems, programs, applications, and data repositories. Examples include:
Use a password management tool across the company to store and share passwords securely. Do not use Sheets, Excel, or Word to store passwords, even if you encrypt the document or use a password to secure the information. And never use a Post-it note!
Be aware of your team’s needs and help them grow with team engagement software like Lattice that allows your firm to offer:
- Engagement surveys and pulse surveys
- One on ones
- Career tracks and growth plans
- Goals tracking
- Question banks
CRM & Proposals
Sales applications allow you to support the sales cycle and manage each step of the sales process. In some cases, this might be integrated with your marketing automation platform, like with ActiveCampaign.
Some well-known CRM and proposal tools include:
Customer satisfaction tools enable you to measure, survey, and report how you can keep a pulse on the customer and their level of satisfaction. These tools, like Simplesat or any of the many Net Promoter tools available, allow you to track and manage client satisfaction over time and by exact client details.
Workflow or Project Management
monday.com and asana are a few of the project management tools that help team members stay on the same page regarding projects and workflows. Set up boards for workflows, create custom workflow automations, and invite team members to join the discussion. Get everyone on the same page and keep them there with automation tools that offer push notifications.
The old way to buy office software was with computer or volume licensing. After all that, you’re stuck with the version you purchased forever (or until you pay to upgrade). Take advantage of everything the cloud offers by subscribing to collaborative editing and cloud storage tools for improved productivity.
Tech experts recommend subscribing to Microsoft 365 – it is well worth it. With a monthly subscription, your firm can enjoy all the latest and greatest with an effective productivity suite that allows you to install desktop and mobile apps for file sharing (SharePoint Online), email (Outlook), and more.
Payroll & Benefits
Allow your employees to manage their payroll, benefits packages, and retirement plans with automation solutions that streamline these processes without adding complicated platforms to your tech stack. Software like OnPay and Gusto are excellent examples of these types of applications. Use these programs to manage:
- Employee onboarding
- Employee self-service
- Benefits management
Improve Client Communications with Solutions from our Tech Gurus
If you’re still using manual processes for managing your firm’s workforce, integration can no longer wait for a more convenient time or when the budget allows. Antiquated systems and manual processes will keep your firm from its full earning potential and give your competition a leg up. At Tech Guru, we will work with you and your team, so your tech stack can manage these new system integrations. Is your tech stack capable of implementing these advanced technologies? Check out our Accounting Firm Technology Checkup tool to assess your firm’s current technology infrastructure.