How Senta has supported accountants though the Covid-19 crisis
In the last couple of months, we have worked closely with our clients to support them through what has been a very challenging time. Senta users all over the world have had to manage their practices whilst guiding their own clients and help their businesses survive.
With the information we received from our clients, CircleLoop and Senta have come together to help practices work more efficiently from their home by offering accountants and bookkeepers an exclusive offer during this pandemic.
Now that the most urgent part of the crisis is over, we have asked our clients about the changes they have made to their own practices and their client communication during the last couple of months.
After many weeks of uncertainty and hard work, things seem to be slowly going back to normality, and over 80% of our clients said they were fairly happy with how things are right now.
Most accountants have found their routine has changed. They no longer had to commute and go to the office, but they had to face the challenge of working remotely every day. Some of the accountants we surveyed mentioned they have found it hard to juggle business and personal life.
“It's hard to keep work time separate from family time,” said Clare Haynes, owner at CJ Bookkeeping. “I had to set up an office on the kitchen table, which is frustrating as we have to clear away every night to give us the kitchen table back.”
To help their teams find balance and work more efficiently, many firm owners have decided to implement daily meetings, which are essential to keep in touch with colleagues and plan work - but also, some well-deserved virtual coffee breaks via video conferencing.
“We keep in regular contact, still take time for random chats in slack or via zoom,” said Cheryl Sharp, founder of Pink Pig Financials.
And especially during these difficult times, our clients have understood the importance of trying to keep their team happy. “I’ve sent the team a card towards the beginning and a positive message, and last week a box of brownies each to make them smile,” said Cheryl.
Supporting clients and satisfying their need for information has also been an important challenge. However, over 80% now say that their relationship with clients is stronger than ever, probably because of the increased frequency of communication and because they have been able to help those clients that have been adversely affected and demonstrate their value as trusted advisers.
“We have spent time allowing clients to talk as long as they needed, particularly in the early days of lockdown,” said Fiona Hill, director at AFH Payroll Solutions Ltd. “As a payroll provider, we were the first call for clients who were suddenly faced with seeing their business revenues drop and questions around employees.”
Tech to organise a remote practice
Some of the accountants we surveyed said working from home hasn’t caused a big disruption for them since they were already using cloud software. We all know about the advantages of cloud systems, but the last three months have certainly been a real test for these tools and many have seen how valuable they can be.
Those accountants who were used to working from the office full-time have found they had to rely on new applications to keep in touch with their teams, such as Trello or Slack, or install new communication tools, since communicating via video calls with their colleagues and clients is now essential.
Of the accountants we surveyed, over 85% said Senta has been more useful than ever.
The communication tools seem to have been especially popular, and many have been using the email feature in Senta to send emails, newsletters, text messages and bulk emails to keep their clients informed of the new government measures to help businesses - a much easier approach than emailing clients separately.
Haynes highlighted the importance of communicating regularly with clients. “We adapted our business to ensure we were sending out regular communications and then having lots of phone/zoom conversations with clients as business aid was being announced,” she said.
“This really helped us demonstrate the value we provide to our clients as well as our compliance work. Having Senta to send out emails to multiple clients in one go was very helpful.”
Senta can help you and your team operate remotely by communicating with clients, managing your work and automating your administration. To help you achieve this, we are offering a bundle of Senta and CircleLoop, our new telephony integration, with 50% off both for three months - click here!