Letting go of spreadsheets: A self-help guide

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When starting your business, you probably created a spreadsheet (or ten) to manage everything. AccountancyManager is effectively all your spreadsheets combined, with added powers.

Problem 1: Having information in lots of different places

You may have your clients’ details in one spreadsheet, deadlines in another, whether you’ve contacted or received records from clients in another, which software you’ve updated in another… This means anytime you need information, you need to find the right sheet – then the right client. Then teach any new staff members your ‘system’.

Updates between spreadsheets also rely on manual processes, taking time, risking inconsistencies. And don’t get us started with different people making different changes…

AM’s solution: Everything in one place –and all connected up

AM turns the idea of searching for information on its head. You just go straight to the client file.

There, you can view client details/changes/deadlines, see sent and received emails, access the client portal (which holds their documents), see completed forms, review letters of engagement, risk assessment and AML checks, see profitability, invoices and resources, plus run client-specific automation and HMRC 64-8s.

As AM is cloud-based, you can access it anywhere. Multiple people can make changes and every change is recorded and time-stamped on the client timeline.

Missing details – not just an empty box anymore…

If you’re missing any of your client’s details, AccountancyManager can automatically chase your client to provide these. You can even let them enter their own details through their client portal. You’ll be notified when your client enters them.

The client list – filter and sort to create dynamic reports

Your client list in AM is pretty powerful. You can filter and sort it in all kinds of ways, and save those filters, creating living reports (‘bookmarks’) that dynamically change if client details change or are added. You can also choose to email all the clients on your filtered lists, allowing you to segment your clients and communicate relevant information with them.

Problem 2: Keeping track of client deadlines and job progress

Carolyn at Monton Green Accountancy organised her deadlines on Excel, until the data – and her practice – outgrew it. “I used spreadsheets before to manage my deadlines. But as my clients grew my spreadsheet was getting longer and I was getting more panicky.”

“You think you can manage your spreadsheets, then you start losing your mind. You think, what have I forgotten?” – Beth, 2 Sisters Accounting

Similarly, prior to using AM, Will Sterling had everything on Excel spreadsheets or the notes section of his iPhone(!). “What we initially wanted was somewhere to store client data and track deadlines. But when those volumes start to ramp up, you need something more foolproof.”

AM’s solution: Automatically generating task list – with target dates, custom tasks and workflow

Just like your deadline spreadsheets, AM starts with your client’s different services. In each client’s file, simply tick which services they need and AM pulls their accounting dates and deadlines directly from Companies House.

The task list in AccountancyManager automatically generates based on these dates. You can also add your own target dates (deadlines) and custom tasks.

Create workflow templates, assign tasks and subtasks to the right people, see task and progress details at a glance and change the progress status to re-prioritise the task and notify others. Each person in your team can have their own list and choose to order and filter it however they like.

Problem 3: Chasing or reminding clients

This may well be part of your ‘deadlines’ spreadsheet. You might have columns to record whether you’ve asked clients for information, whether they’ve supplied what you need, what you’re still waiting on… If you’re super-helpful to your clients, you may also keep a list of tax payment dates and amounts, so you can remind them to pay.

AM’s Solution: Automated requests and reminders

One of the main differences between spreadsheets and AccountancyManager is that spreadsheets don’t automate things for you. Instead of keeping a static list of clients and manually emailing them to ask for their records, AM does it all for you.

For each service you provide, you write just one email requesting records. AM will fill in different variables to this email, so it looks highly personalised to each client.

Then, just like the automatically generating task list, the automated record requests are powered by Companies House dates and deadlines for each client. So, AM will fire off the right email at the right time, to the right client. You can choose to send a text at the same time.

If your clients don’t respond, AM can chase them on days chosen by you with automated reminders. Finally, when your clients’ tax payment deadlines come around, AM will send reminders for them to pay.

Keeping track of who has supplied what

On your tasks in AM you can select the progress status as: ‘part records received’ and ‘records received’. This means you can filter your tasks to see which clients’ accounts you can start working on. You can also filter your client list using this progress status. You can then set up automated reminders that specifically ask for the records you’re still waiting on.

Problem 4: Keeping track of which software has been updated

When you can actually feel wasted time passing, you know there must be a better way. One of those moments is updating all your systems if a client’s details change. Or when you’re manually entering in new client details.

AM’s solution: Integrations. And more integrations.

When you enable an integration between AccountancyManager and another software, any changes you make to client details in AM will automatically populate in the other system.

Not only does this save you from having to open up the other software and enter details, it also means that exactly the same information is showing everywhere – guaranteed.

Book your AccountancyManager demo

Are you ready to join the future and let go of Excel? Book your demo.

This content is brought to you by AccountancyManager

AccountancyManager is a cloud-based software built by accountants, for accountants.

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