Take a look at your accounting firm’s employees and clients — do they rely on their mobile phones? Probably, especially during the busy tax season. You can take advantage of this constant mobile availability by integrating apps into your workflow. That way, you can save time and get more done.
App Store Finds That Keep Your Clients Happy
As an accountant, your goal is to make your clients’ lives easier. After all, when they’re happy with the value you provide, they’re more likely to stick around. These apps can help your clients:
[**QuickBooks Self-Employed: If you handle finances for self-employed people, this accounting app is a must. It helps your clients stay on top of their finances, anywhere they go. If they’re out shopping for the business, they can use the app to record an expense and scan the receipt. The app also comes with a mileage tracker and an option to send and track receipts.
DropBox: Do you need to send tax forms or documents to your clients? Don’t clutter up their email inbox — instead, use DropBox. To transfer a file, all you need to do is upload it to DropBox. Your clients can download, print or save it in seconds. Since DropBox accepts higher file sizes than emails, it’s a convenient way to send accounting presentations and other large files. Plus, your clients can opt for the free version to stretch their small-business budget.
TSheets: Do your clients need to import their payroll data into QuickBooks? Try recommending TSheets or another time-tracking app. This app makes it easy for employees to clock in and out, directly from their phones. They can also track hours for each client to streamline invoicing. Best of all, TSheets integrates easily with QuickBooks, so your clients can transfer their payroll data in seconds.
Sales Apps That Help You Get Paid Faster
When you run an accounting business, on-time payments make it easier to manage your cash flow. If each of your clients has a different payment process, delays can happen. How can you get paid faster? Meet your clients where they are by accepting payments through a variety of apps. When it’s easy to pay, your clients are more likely to meet their deadlines. As a start, you can use QuickBooks to invoice your clients online. Other helpful apps are:
PayPal: PayPal is one of the most well-known payment services in the world. That familiarity means that your clients can feel comfortable using the app to cover your fees. They can send you money directly from their mobile phones or the web app, and you receive it instantly.
Square: Do you have clients that prefer to pay by credit or debit card? It pays to have a card reader app on hand. Square is a convenient option — it allows you to process payments from chip cards and magnetic stripe cards. It even has a contact-less option. To process the payment, all you need to do is enter the details in the app. Keep in mind that Square does take a small fee for each payment you process.
Stripe: If you want to process payments from your company’s website, Stripe is a convenient solution. Clients can click a button and pay their bill in just a few steps. Using the Stripe app, you can manage payments. Stripe also integrates easily with QuickBooks, so you can reconcile payments and keep your accounting firm’s records up to date.
Apps That Help You Stay Sane During Tax Time
When you’re an accountant, tax time is a blur of forms and client meetings. By the time April 30th rolls around, you might feel completely burned out. Want to prevent that feeling, so you can keep serving clients? Try one of these apps. Each one is designed to help you maintain peace of mind and keep yourself healthy during your busiest seasons. For an extra boost, stay on top of your email with apps that keep your inbox organized.
Headspace: The Headspace app provides guided meditations that help calm your mind when things are crazy in the office. Each one is super-short, so it’s easy to squeeze them in between tax consultations or client visits. You can choose from themed meditations to tackle stress or anxiety, or opt for a sleep-themed session to help you drift off after a busy day. If you’re feeling at the end of your rope, try one of the SOS exercises to calm down quickly. Headspace offers both free and paid versions, as well as a work option for businesses.
Pocket Yoga: If your exercise routine goes out the window during tax time, it can take a toll on your physical and mental health. That’s where the Pocket Yoga app can help. It comes loaded with many different yoga options, so you can choose the one that fits your schedule. Do a single pose to stretch out your shoulders after a long tax-preparation session, or spend 10 minutes at lunch doing a quick sun salutation. Each yoga session helps you loosen up, but it’s gentle enough that you won’t get sweaty before client meetings. This app offers both free and paid options.
Awareness: When you’re staring at e-file tax documents for hours on end, it can leave your eyes feeling tired and strained. This app runs in the background on your computer, silently tracking the time you’ve been working. Each hour, it plays a soft Tibetan singing bowl sound to remind you to rest your eyes. At the bottom of the screen, you can see a timer for how long you’ve been working without a break. When you stop using the computer, the timer resets. Awareness is free and available for both PCs and Macs.
Pacifica: In the middle of tax season, you might not recognize the signs of burnout until it’s too late. Pacifica helps track your moods, exercise, and health, so you can spot problems before they affect your work. It also points out potential problem areas — it might let you know that when you don’t work out before work, you have trouble focusing by the end of the day. The app also comes with meditations, self-help programs, and goal-tracking to give you control over your mental health.
Apps That Protect Your Confidential Data
As an accountant, you deal with a wide range of confidential data. Whether it’s account numbers or private earnings information, your clients trust you to keep it safe. Small holes in your data security, such as weak passwords, can put your business at risk. These data security apps are designed to protect you, especially when a lot of your accounting work happens online or in the cloud.
Signal: The safest way to communicate sensitive financial information is in person, but that’s not always possible. With Signal, you can talk to your clients using text message, voice calls and video. The app uses end-to-end encryption to keep your sessions private. Worried about text messages falling into the wrong hands? You can schedule them to disappear after a specific period of time. That way, you can send account numbers and private data with confidence. Signal is available for your iPhone, Android or desktop computer.
LastPass: You know that you should use complicated passwords and change them frequently — but how can you remember them all? LastPass does it for you. All you need to do is save a password to the app, and it remembers it any time you log in. The app encrypts the passwords, so you don’t need to worry about security. If you need help creating strong passwords, the app can do that, too. You can also use the program on your tablet or computer.
Antivirus apps: Viruses and malware on your phone can open you up to data security breaches. Antivirus apps automatically scan your phone for problematic files and remove them. For Android, try COMODO Mobile Security. It kills viruses and can even alert you when a phone setting is putting you at risk. While iPhones are less at risk for viruses, you can still have problems, if you visit risky websites. The Avira Mobile Security app protects your phone from phishing, and lets you know if your email address is part of a security breach.
When you integrate apps into your accounting practice, you can get to key business functions with just a couple of taps. Whether you’re using accounting apps or meditation apps, this easy access can save time and make your life easier. Looking for other ways to streamline your business? QuickBooks Online Accountant offers powerful tools for accounting professionals. Sign up for free.