Improving Your Practice Operations with Microsoft Planner and To Do

Jefferson Keith
Posted by Jefferson Keith on Dec 3, 2021 12:39:54 PM

The accountant and bookkeeping business models have expanded significantly over the years to include critical services like tax preparation, financial planning, and management consulting. Each of these services requires the work of many people and comprises various steps and processes. While managing projects is not their area of expertise, it has become a crucial part of an accountant's business. For those with several projects happening simultaneously along with their usual daily workload, staying on top of tasks is even more vital. Accounting professionals should implement technology solutions that streamline processes and improve collaboration to manage projects and deadlines effectively.

Fortunately, utilizing Microsoft 365 with access to the advanced applications Planner and To Do makes it easy to manage and prioritize projects, plans, and tasks. The integrations with other applications, such as Outlook and Teams, provide automation capabilities for continuous workflows and improved efficiencies. Instant notifications update users on recent status changes, and the advanced features allow them to track tasks across several devices easily. With Microsoft Planner and To Do, accountants and bookkeepers will become more effective, deliberate, and productive, providing greater value to their clients while growing their business.

Microsoft Planner

Strengthen Collaboration with Planner

Accountants and bookkeepers often work with other individuals both within their company and their clients. Depending on the size and scope of the work, this could include input from many people and several steps. Efficiently managing activities is vital to the proper and timely completion of projects. Furthermore, changes and setbacks can occur as projects progress, and the accountant must quickly update and prioritize the tasks. They can manage their projects effectively, keep everyone focused, and ensure timely completion with powerful cloud applications.

Through Microsoft 365, the advanced planning application Planner offers a simple way to organize teamwork visually. The cloud-based tool allows users to access files from anywhere and on any device, allowing them to update tasks as they switch between laptops and smartphones. Accounting professionals can keep their projects moving forward and adjust expectations as needed with the ability to set deadlines. Because Planner is part of the Microsoft 365 suite of products, it integrates into Teams and Outlook, streamlining processes by removing several manual steps.

Each time a plan is launched, a new M365 group is created, providing team members access to a shared calendar to manage the project and a Teams channel for group communication. Users receive project updates through Planner, Teams, and mobile push notifications, and the project lead can use visual status charts to track progress. Additionally, the accountant can grant access to external users, making it easy to collaborate with clients.

To Do

Enhance Task Management Through To Do

The productivity enabled through Planner empowers accountants and bookkeepers to expand their client base and increase their workload. As their business grows, so will their responsibilities, making it essential to manage their calendar and daily tasks strategically. As needs and deadlines change, the ability to easily adjust and prioritize tasks is also critical. Manually managing actions is time-consuming and can result in human errors. By leveraging advanced cloud solutions to maintain their workflow, accountants will increase efficiency, ensure task completion, and focus on revenue-producing activities.

With Microsoft To Do, also available through M365, users can easily organize and complete their personal tasks by creating daily lists, reminders, and due dates. The application integrates with Planner, allowing the accountant or bookkeeper to pull their assigned tasks across all client projects. And through its Outlook integration, they can create a task from an email and sync due dates to their calendar. To Do moves uncompleted tasks to the following day's list, keeping them top of mind until completed or deleted. Users can also share their To Do lists with other people to inform them of their workload and progress. Practices who deploy To Do's advanced capabilities manage time and activities efficiently, increasing productivity and effectiveness.

Improving Your Operations

Growing a successful practice requires you to adopt new technologies and tools that enable efficiencies as they scale. As you increase your services offering, add new clients, and launch more projects, the breadth of your workload will expand significantly. Through the power of cloud technology, you can automate manual processes and streamline daily activities, allowing you to manage projects, timelines, and tasks better. Using M365 and leveraging Microsoft Planner and To Do will significantly improve your operations and increase collaboration as your business evolves.

Learn Setup and Usage Best Practices

Are you ready to set up Planner and To Do? Microsoft 365 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, including Planner and To Do, 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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