Feeling the burden of the busy season? Here are a few tools to help get some of the stress and admin work off your plate:
ScheduleOnce / Calendly
What it does: Provides a simple, easy to use link (that syncs with outlook, ical, or google calendar) that you can share with your clients, so they can schedule a meeting or call.
Why it’s useful: In the remote world, everyone’s life is a bit more scheduled and digital. Meaning, just picking a random day and time will likely no longer work.
Trash the email back and forth, and streamline the entire process.
These tools allow you to send a link to your prospects, clients, and even coworkers. It syncs with your calendar, only showing times you’re available. The person(s) click the link, see when you’re available and book the best time for them.
We have used ScheduleOnce, in the past to schedule demos for Jetpack Workflow. Calendly has a cleaner design (at least seemingly). Plus it’s the biggest scheduling tool on the market.
Important note: Nowadays many tools offer a scheduling feature, so check your current apps to see if you already have one.
What it does: Automates client feedback and satisfaction by using simple email signatures.
Why it’s useful: Have you ever seen a quick, one-question survey on a customer service email or knowledge base article? It’s just a way to give super-fast feedback to a business.
Accounting firms use these, too.
There are a number of tools, like Team Hively, allowing you to create a quick survey and send it out in a number of different ways — including via email.
During the busy season, it’s hard enough to know you’re handling everything. Getting feedback from clients (even testimonials) may seem like pipe dream. But it’s true.
Know how well you and your team are communicating with clients, and automatically build up testimonials throughout tax season. We think this software is so promising, here’s a page that lays out exactly how it works.
What it does: Dims your computer/background light depending on the time of day.
Why it’s useful: If you’re anything like me, these ultra clear monitors and screens can drive my eyeballs crazy, especially in these dark Pittsburgh winters 🙂. Most computers and laptops have functions to easily adjust light, but it’s not something many of us think about regularly.
If only there was an app for that!
Flux helps ease some of the tension your pupils will be going through this busy season. The days are shorter in the winter (aka Q1) and your screen is likely too bright a lot of the day. Set up Flux (it’s free for MacOS) and it’ll keep track of how bright your screen is versus how much light is needed for optimal viewing.
Get everything you need to manage projects and meet deadlines.
What it does: Allows you to set simple “follow up” reminders in the BCC field of your inbox.
Why it’s useful: Two common themes for accounting firms we know are:
- The inbox is a jungle
- That’s where you live (digitally) a lot of times
You try to use a CRM, but Complicated CRMs can create chaos, when in reality, the #1 thing we need to remember to do is follow up!
A tool like Followup.cc allows you to add simple follow-up reminders in the BCC section of GMail.
For example, do you need to follow up in 3 days? Add email@example.com to the BCC of the email.
How about shooting it at the end of the day? Use 6PM@followup.cc to have it shot back to the top of your inbox at 6 PM!
Important note: In Jetpack Workflow, you have the ability to create a recurring task in our practice management system. Set tasks and jobs to repeat monthly, yearly, weekly, or daily. Choose the rhythm that works best for your team for any task or job.
Temporary Site Blockers
What it does: Blocks out the websites that kill your productivity. I used a simple chrome extension called “temporary website blocker”, but the goal of all of them is the same. Help you avoid the endless online distractions.
Why it’s useful: There’s nothing wrong with social media or news websites, until they distract you away from what you’re supposed to be doing! Hours are wasted each week by convincing ourselves we’re doing important things, even like clearing out that inbox.
A blocker sets controls (that you, uh, control). Meaning, if you only want to block social media sites and their pesky, attractive notifications then that’s all that’s banished during the set time. If you want 100% of things that aren’t [insert deep work program you use here], bam!
All other things are banished until you say so.
Website: Instead of a specific plugin (there’s so many), here’s a great list from Zapier showing the 7 best apps (updated in late 2021). If you’re looking for a more robust solution, which tracks all time online, you can use rescuetime.com. Rescuetime will give you a breakdown of where you spent your time (quite useful, if you’re looking to improve your online productivity!)
What it does: Your accounting practice has a workflow, but it’s hard to keep track of how you do everything you do. That’s where a workflow tool, like ours, comes in handy. Essentially, it’s a hub for all of your tasks, service templates, and capacity management live under a single (digital) roof.
Why it’s useful: If there are a few things we love, here at Jetpack Workflow, it’s making everyday accounting tasks easier, more efficient, and take up less time. It’s for these reasons we’ve built an entire workflow system, specifically for firms!
Website (and trial): Looking for a way to manage and track recurring client work? Start Your Free 14 Day Trial of Jetpack Workflow Here