If there’s anything this year has taught us it’s that being able to work from anywhere at a moment’s notice is vital. But many tax professionals were caught off guard by the different demands of a remote environment.
It’s not enough to just set up your laptop in a home office and expect that your business will run the same. Luckily, there are tools that are easy to use and set up that have made running a virtual business possible.
Here are some of the tools that are vital when running your practice virtually. Additionally, be on the lookout for more details on our partnership with TaxDome in the coming weeks and how it can serve as a 360-degree software solution to manage your practice.
If you’re going to get your clients scheduled easily, an online calendar can help. Let your clients choose times and book a meeting with just a few clicks. You can put this calendar on your website or send a link to clients via email.
An online calendar is also an easy way to let prospective clients schedule time with you. Simply put the calendar booking tool on your website or link to it in an email and prospects can book a time to speak with you.
Some online calendar tools you might consider are Calendly and Acuity Scheduling.
Make it easy for your clients to work with you from the comfort of their own homes by providing easy video conferencing. Sure, there are times when a good old fashioned phone call will do the job. But for bigger discussions (ones that would typically take place in person), a video meeting will be a great alternative.
Zoom and Google Meet offer good solutions.
How do you and your clients exchange tax documents which contain sensitive information? Client Xchange allows you an easy and safe way to exchange documents with your clients. All documents are encrypted and clients can send them to you from their home using their phone or computer.
Client Xchange is available to TaxAct professional members.
Work with any team members? Working remotely by sending emails to each other all day long makes it easy for details to get lost. If you want a way to easily check in — the way you would if you were in the same office, set up a messaging platform. These allow you to stay in communication and easily reach out for a quick answer to a simple question.
Some popular messaging platforms include Slack, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams.
If you need to pack up and work from home (or anywhere) you need to have access to all of the same documents that you would in the office. That’s where cloud storage really shines. Get access to anything, anywhere, and know that all of your important documents are backed up safely in the cloud.
Cloud storage options include Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive.
Project management software
When you’re working on multiple projects, tracking can be a challenge. This is especially true if you’re not the only person on your team. By using a project management software, you can keep track of your projects no matter where you are. Get a quick overview of the status, write notes, send messages, and assign tasks.
Project management software options include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp.
Using an e-signature service is now pretty much standard in most industries. If you haven’t started using a service like this, it’s never been a better time or easier to start. Signature tools create a trail of who signed what and when and also have tight security, so sensitive documents remain private.
Consider Docusign, signNow, and HelloSign.
Working remotely doesn’t look like it’s coming to an end, so be prepared for this tax season. Sign up and test out tools that can help you run your practice well from anywhere.