Why Practice Management Software is Important During the Holidays

Carl Coe
Posted by Carl Coe on Dec 13, 2021 10:03:05 AM

The holiday season is upon us. While it’s an enjoyable time of year for many, it can also be a time that poses challenges for all businesses, including accounting, bookkeeping, and tax preparation businesses. Like many other organizations, your employees and clients will likely be taking vacation days to spend time with family and recharge for the new year. This means there could be long gaps in communication, non-traditional hours worked by employees, and other issues that arise. 

Accounting practice management software can help alleviate some of the stress of managing your business during the holidays, and this article will detail some of the features a good software suite offers. 

Easier Scheduling, Time Tracking and Billing

Many employees will take time off during the holidays. Others may work shorter days, work remotely, or request other flexible arrangements based on their specific situations. Schedules can change frequently and with little notice. It goes without saying that this makes managing workloads and deadlines more difficult.

A good software package will have robust time tracking and billing capability. This makes holiday scheduling easier by giving the manager a bird’s eye view of all employees and open projects. This feature allows you to allocate the appropriate resources to each project and make sure there is enough coverage. 

The software will also help with allowing communication through multiple devices, including mobile phones and tablets. This is a must when many employees will likely be on the road during the holidays. 

Process Automation

Even with key people out of the office during the holidays, their duties still need to be completed. A good practice management software will help fully or partially automate these duties so that a person providing coverage can complete them. For example, the software should automatically perform tasks like sending invoice reminders to clients, processing payments, and aggregating timesheets.

Reduce Client Requirements

During the holidays, many of your clients’ personnel will be off as well or working fewer hours. That means you won’t want to burden them with time-consuming requests unless absolutely necessary. Seek out software solutions that can help make your clients’ lives easier. 

For example, suppose you need your client to sign an engagement letter. Your software allows your client to log into a client portal and sign via e-signature. Think how much time is saved with e-signature versus the alternative, which would involve faxing or emailing the engagement letter to your client, and then them printing, signing, scanning, and sending it back to you.

Security Over the Holidays

Keeping your clients’ sensitive financial information secure is vital any time of year, but especially during the holidays. Many folks will be traveling and working remotely outside the office, and they may be tempted to use personal devices to view and send work files. You must have the tools in place to keep your files safe.

Look for software that offers secure file sharing – even sending files through work email accounts can be risky. The most secure sharing methods offer file encryption, which means the file is encoded so that only authorized users can view them, typically via a private and secure login.

Conclusion

The holidays are nice, but they come with challenges for businesses. Staffing constraints at both your organization and your clients’ can make life difficult. However, if your accounting practice management software has the right features, you can tackle the challenges head-on and start the new year right.

Topics: Practice Management


 

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