“On the 12th day of Christmas AM gave to me…”
No matter how many lords a-leaping and maids a-milking you have, unless they have some serious accountancy skills, they’re no help during busy season. Instead we count down 12 of the most useful things about AM.
1. A fully branded Client Portal
On AM, each of your clients gets their own Client Portal. Here, you can securely upload documents for your client to look at and e-sign. Your client can upload ID documents and access anything they need… including their accounting dates and deadlines, tax returns and details like their UTR.
Hark! The accountant sings. Could this be the end of sending documents (unsecurely) over email, having to organise documents internally and finding information for clients? Yes, it is.
Now make the Client Portal look like your website
One of our biggest releases this year was ‘white-labelling’ the Client Portal. So now you can make the portal look exactly like your website – your colours, your font, your web address. Arguably the best bit is your choice of background for the sign-in box.
From the client's point of view, it looks like they're logging into a Future Cloud portal, but it's actually AccountancyManager.”
- Charlotte, Future Cloud
The Client Portal login page on Future Cloud’s site (that’s Charlotte on the left, Francesca on the right and no AM in sight).
2. Completed Custom Forms
You know those online questionnaires you can build on websites like SurveyMonkey? This very functionality is included in AccountancyManager. You choose what kind of answers you’d like: text, tick boxes, etc. So struggling to format in Microsoft Word is history.
Add your form to your Clients’ Portals for your clients to fill in – entirely online. No downloading, scanning or deciphering dodgy hand-writing.
A ready-to-go custom Self Assessment form
You can use Custom Forms for all kinds of things, but the most popular is gathering Self Assessment Tax Return information. We’ve built an SA form in AccountancyManager together with an accountant. You can tweak this form to suit you, or build your own.
3. Free email and phone support
There’s lots of videos and guides to help you get to grips with AM. But sometimes it’s nice to talk to a real person. They don’t get much more real than Rachel, Matt and Ayman. For our support team, no question is a stupid question and they’re happy to help with even the tiniest problems.
If you don't know anything, don't be afraid to ask. Just send a quick email*. They will reply straight away.”
- Francesca, Future Cloud
*You can call too.
4(0) Email and text templates
The number of different emails you send to your clients throughout the year is staggering. Cutting out this repetition and wasted time was one of the main reasons James, AM’s co-founder, created AM.
AM comes with over 40 pre-written emails, these cover: Proposal and Registration emails, Letter of Engagement, Record Requests for every service, Tax Payment Reminders, 64-8 code reminders, Latest Action Requests and Missing Details Requests.
Personalise every email with 100s of different variables
Use variables like %FIRSTNAME% to personalise each email. AM will automatically populate emails with any client-specific data. There are over 400 variables you can use.
5. Task deadlines
The automatically generating Task List is like mission control for our users. The Tasks generate according to your clients’ accounting dates and deadlines for each service. These dates are pulled through the Companies House sync when you onboard new clients.
It gives us structure. Every team member knows their tasks and deadlines. And a manager can know exactly where every team member is.”
- Will Sterling, Sterling Accounting Solutions
You can filter your Task List in loads of different ways. You might want to see all upcoming deadlines, just deadlines for a specific service or client type or even deadlines for all clients that have supplied the records you need (or those that haven’t).
You can also add your own Target Dates to set internal deadlines. This keeps your team ahead of the game and is useful for setting KPIs.
6. 64-8 codes requested
Submitting 64-8 agent authorisations is one of those annoying tasks that – unless the system changes – will always take months. AM makes it a little easier at the start.
Something as fundamental as 64-8s and getting that right... it just proves that you're for accountants.”
- Aaron, Boffix
Instead of having to enter in your new client’s details manually, AM already knows it – because it’s in the client’s file. (You can even get your client to enter their own details through their portal.) So just click a button and off the requests go to HMRC. You can then choose to switch on automated reminders asking your clients for their codes.
7. AML checks and risk assessments
Similarly, with AML ID checks and credit screens, you can automatically fill in your clients details – then submit your checks through AccountancyManager. Your AML checks are then stored in the ‘Risk’ section of your client’s file. This again, stops you from having to use yet another software in your onboarding process. And keeps everything in one place.
Along with your AML checks, you can complete a risk assessment for each client. We’ve created a questionnaire that’s built-in to AM, to guide you through the questions to ask. You can also (privately) assign your clients risk ratings. This section was designed with help from a former senior HMRC tax inspector.
You can create invoices – branded with your logo – in three different ways. From scratch, by clicking ‘New invoice’, from Time Tracking (or ‘Work in Progress’) and directly from a Task.
It's the fact that I can create an invoice - and at a click of a button, it's gone to them. Rather than taking four or five steps to send an invoice.”
- Kasser Abbas, Butt & Co
Send invoices to your clients by email or share them through the Client Portal. You can also sync invoices with Xero. This integration also means you can generate recurring invoices in Xero and send them through AccountancyManager.
“...And the invoice is recorded on the timeline as well. It's just really helpful.”
- Kasser Abbas, Butt & Co
You can quickly search and find any invoices you’ve sent on the Client Timeline. You can see whether your client has opened the email – and resend any emails in one click from the Timeline.
When AM is integrated with other software you use, you can sync information between the systems. This guarantees every software has the same, accurate information. If you change something in AM, it’ll show up in your integrated systems. In most cases, this works the other way round too (two-way sync). Our users tend to use AM as their ‘master’ database.
We’ve been adding integration after integration recently. Our grand total now stands at nine. Although with the possibilities offered by Zapier, you can add a few zeros to that:
We integrate with:
- Companies House
10. Custom Tasks
As well as your automatically generated Tasks, you can add your own Custom Tasks to manage everything else on your plate. You can assign these Tasks to your team, allocate them against clients, set deadlines and make them recurring.
I've told my teams, if you're going to do anything which will take more than ten minutes, create a task in AM, so everything is in there.”
- Praddy Financial Consultancy
Praddy at Praddy Financial Consultancy says, “We have some clients where we want to do monthly bookkeeping rather than quarterly VAT turns. So we’ve created a custom monthly bookkeeping task.”
11. Automated Emails and Texts
What if you never had to worry about asking your clients for their records again? How many emails would that take off your plate, across every service you provide?
It saves us at least 75% of the day. We were spending a lot of time on maintaining clients, sending them reminders…”
- Zia Tahir, Spherical Accountants
The Automated Record Requests and Reminders again use your clients’ accounting dates from Companies House. Using the email (and text) templates together with automation, AM will queue up and send every email for you – accompanied by a text too if you’d like. You can always pause the queue and check over the emails before they go out.
Boom, boom, boom, before you know it every client has a tailored email asking for what we need.”
- Ben Steele, Steele Financial
Then you can decide exactly when your clients should be automatically chased if they don’t get back to you.
Finally, we have an almost traditional one: bells a-ringing. AM will keep you up to date with all kinds of things happening across the system. You’ll get a notification when a client uploads or signs a document, completes a form or updates their details. Other notifications include: deadline approaching, new Tasks assigned to you, changes to your Tasks – and many more.
Reduce the number of notifications you receive
Some users don’t need to see everything AM shows them. So there is a way to manage which notifications you get and which you don’t. You can do this in two places:
1. Settings > My Settings.
2. Settings > Automation Settings > Email Settings
Here you can switch on and off ‘Use Task owner as Sender of Automated Emails’.
Treat yourself to a free trial this Christmas
As you tuck into your turkey (or veggie alternative) sandwiches, why not watch a few how-to videos within AM? If you sign up for a FREE 30-day trial now, you could be a pro by New Year…
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