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4 Ways Accountants Can Improve Operations With Microsoft 365

Jefferson Keith
Posted by Jefferson Keith on Dec 13, 2021 10:02:50 AM

Adopting new and innovative technology enables accountants to stay updated with current standards and market trends, critical to ongoing success. Many had begun their digital transformation by adopting cloud technology when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and accelerated the migration. Cloud technology became necessary for accountants to maintain operations in a virtual setting and produced many additional benefits and rewards. As the world emerges from the pandemic, most companies will maintain a virtual aspect. By leveraging the right cloud solutions, accountants can empower their businesses and succeed in the new normal.

With the advanced technology, tools, and capabilities of Microsoft 365 (M365), accountants can run their business remotely and service clients anywhere. M365 provides access to the industry-leading applications most accountants have come to rely on, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. And with additional tools like Teams and SharePoint, they can easily collaborate with coworkers and clients in real-time. Additionally, M365's enhanced security features ensure that sensitive information is protected and accessible to only intended parties. Accountants can unluck new ways to grow their business by adopting M365 and improving operations in the following four areas.

Access to industry-leading applications

Accountants utilizing M365 have access to Microsoft's industry-leading applications to conduct activities required to run their businesses effectively. Word is an innovative word processing solution with features that translate languages in real-time, read back content to identify errors, and offer intelligent suggestions to improve users' writing. Microsoft's leading software program, Excel, enables accountants to quickly develop comprehensive spreadsheets through commands and formulas while learning their patterns to organize data and save time. And with PowerPoint's capabilities, accountants can design impactful presentations containing embedded animation, videos, and images. Accountants will elevate their abilities through M365, providing refined documents, assets, and presentations to their clients and colleagues.

Enhanced collaboration

The collaboration tools provided by M365 were vital to accountants and their continued success over the last two years. Hosting meetings virtually through Teams and viewing and editing documents in real-time with SharePoint enabled them to maintain operations remotely. While working from home required these innovative solutions, it also exposed their additional benefits. The ability to attend meetings regardless of location increases interdepartmental collaboration. The automation streamlines several manual processes by enabling the quick and easy sharing and editing of documents, increasing productivity, efficiency, and revenue. The benefits produced through the increased collaboration allow accountants to increase their workload and focus on more revenue-generating activities. By adopting M365, accountants will complete projects quicker, grow their account base, and improve overall performance.

Increased flexibility

M365 empowered companies to succeed throughout the pandemic and delivered a new business approach. Previously, most accountants worked in an office or were visiting their clients. With M365, they can work from anywhere, increasing responsiveness and reducing time off. The solution also allows accountants and their employees to easily transition between devices, picking up projects where they left off to ensure a continuous workflow. And because accountants can grant document access to their clients, they can keep projects moving without seeing clients in person. These capabilities will be vital in the hybrid workplace and allow accountants to expand their client base into new regions, giving them a competitive advantage.

Strengthened security

Cyberattacks can be crippling to accountants who manage their clients' sensitive information. Fortunately, M365 provides advanced security measures and configurations to keep accountants and their data safe. In fact, Microsoft's advanced SharePoint platform serves well as a component of the data security plan accountants need. Microsoft protects its data by storing it at highly guarded data centers throughout the country, where only a limited number of people have access. It protects data in transit through advanced encryption technology, ensuring only the intended parties receive it, and an anti-malware engine scans files at the upload time to ensure they are virus-free. M365 uses Azure Active Directory (AAD) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) to verify users before granting access to programs, files, and data. It also allows the administrator to control access to devices, files, and public Wi-Fi, ensuring data remains protected on unknown networks and computers. Additionally, accountants can easily set permissions at the user, site, and document levels, providing access to those who need it while keeping sensitive information secure. With M365, accountants will strengthen their security posture and reduce the opportunity of dangerous threats and attacks.

Accountants have utilized cloud technology to sustain operations throughout the last two years and have also realized the significant benefits it offers. While some will prefer to head back into the office post-pandemic, the advanced capabilities of M365 enable accountants to work in the environment they prefer. Incorporating M365 into their technology framework will empower them to work in new and innovative ways and thrive in the hybrid workplace. And through the automation it provides, accountants will experience improved productivity and efficiency through streamlined processes, increasing time savings and revenue growth. With the advanced technology and features of M365, accountants will provide better value to clients and expand their business, empowering their incredible success. 

Learn Setup and Usage Best Practices

Are you ready to implement M365 in your practice or improve your use of it? M365 and the included apps are functionally easy to use, but can quickly become disorganized without a well-planned, comprehensive setup. Woodard's Microsoft 365 Implementation Boot Camp will walk you step by step through setting up many of the Microsoft apps and best practices in using Microsoft's suite to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your practice operations. 

Topics: Business Technology


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