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How Accounting Professionals and CPAs Can Use the Microsoft Cloud to Their Advantage

We find that accountants and CPA firms have the most to gain from their office 365 licenses - here's how!



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We'd wager that the typical accounting professional or CPA firm is using really only using their Microsoft 365 subscription to provide email and office applications to their employees. What we find a lot of them don't know is that there is SO MUCH MORE to that subscription that they're not leveraging. We want to spend a few minutes explaining a few of the things that you can do to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your firm by 20% in a month simply by utilizing the tools they're already paying for! We've broken this down to 4 functions: file sharing/editing, remote access, automation, and general workflow improvements.


File sharing/editing

We elected to have this one first because it really is the lowest hanging fruit. When we talked to our accounting customers about what frustrates them in their work, a lot of them spoke about the pain in butt that is file sharing with their clients.


It's 2022 people, we have the ability to collaborate in realtime and share files seamlessly and the best part of this is that nearly everyone is already paying for this ability. Through the use of Microsoft Sharepoint and OneDrive, we have really leveled up our accounting and CPA customers, by properly configuring these tools that allow realtime file-sharing and file collaboration.


Remote Access

In a close second to the file-sharing frustrations, we heard our customers talk about quickbooks logins; some of them use a remote access tool like TeamViewer to get into their client's local machines, some forced their clients to move to Quickbooks cloud, and SOME of them were still driving people around town sitting at their clients' computers...


No more of this! We've mastered the art of Quickbooks Classic in Azure. This allows for better collaboration for their clients on a day-to-day basis and when it comes to reconciling for tax season, it's about as seamless as it gets.


Automation

We spend a lot of time and energy identifying places where our customers can insert automated workflows in the place of human power. This allows them to be faster, better, and more scalable as they add more business. We accomplish this by utilizing Power Automate and Power Apps to streamline the process of adding clients and employees.


Imagine a world where accounting firms and CPA companies can simply use an automated process to make sure that when they pick up a new client, they're added to email distribution groups, Microsoft Teams and have been granted access to the appropriate document libraries in SharePoint. A notification can be sent to the client onboarding specialist and the client once these tasks are complete. Game. Changer.


Workflow improvements

We put this one last, but there's still a lot of magic to unveil. Namely, Microsoft Lists, Microsoft Planner, and MS Teams. These tools all play so nicely together that we sometimes forget they're separate applications. Once our accounting customers get the hang of lists, they like to use it for everything from office supplies inventory to tax planning sheets. Microsoft planner for accountants is super powerful too. For example, when business operators have successful weekly or quarterly meetings, they should walk away with a list of SMART tasks that need to get done before the next meeting. Planner is the gold standard for tracking these things, tasks can be created, assigned, and given various levels of urgency all while being distributed to the appropriate team members for accountability. It's a great tool.


Lastly, we wanna talk about Microsoft Teams for Accounting Professionals and CPA firms. This really should be table stakes at this point since Coronavirus sent businesses home to fight for survival just recently; however, we still see companies not fully leveraging the capabilities of this powerful tool.


Conclusion

I know this is a lot of info to take in, but if you have a single takeaway, let it be this. If you have Microsoft/Office 365 licenses for your employees, know that you've got all of the ability in the world to take your firm to the next level and create digital transformation for your business and the businesses/individuals you serve. If you have any questions, reach out to us and we'll be happy to walk you though all of the ways you can level up your business!