Bringing Safety and Security to Your Firmby
What we do as accounting professionals is subject to numerous deadlines, high stress, high standards and high expectations. Asking for that help is hard and making the decision to use people or technology is a leap of trust. But not having the right tools around you just makes things more difficult and can put a huge bottleneck in your firm.
Having the right tools can help to bring safety and security to your firm and give you peace of mind, if utilized wisely.
Safety and security come in many forms. At times, we feel like we police these policies at the tax and accounting level, and we have to. It’s our job and our licensing. But we often forget about other things we must keep secure and safe. Outside of the client data, there is the firm’s data, the firm’s process and BI (Business Intelligence).
Having the work of your clients inside someone’s head, or on a sticky note, is not a good thing to do. What happens when someone gets sick, or is on leave? Or worse, leaves the company? That information is in the worst possible place and may be irretrievable. Not having the work in a central place leaves you vulnerable. No one can step into help.
Choose a platform that will allow you to keep all the work in a centralized place, even if it’s just for yourself. Email integration is a must, and you want to make sure the other integrations offered work with your other critical apps or are an improvement on them. Think of yourself as the cowboy bringing in all the stray cows back to the ranch.
There cannot be enough said about BI. Business Intelligence is key to your firm’s growth and development. Not centralizing your firm’s process will not give you BI. One key element to look for in all your apps is what you can extract into Excel.
There are incredible tools to analyze your BI if you can extract it from your apps. Seek apps that aid you in not only collecting this data, but also give your firm’s data the safety and security it demands. User permission levels are another key criterion you should be on the lookout for. Being able to control who sees what is important.
Remember too that collection of data in a centralized place is best done with collaboration, not only of the users, but also with automation and integrations. Check the safety of your client list with your integrations and make sure those automations won’t create an even bigger mess.
Safety and security would not be a complete conversation for us without our duty to keepsake our client’s sensitive data. This data has more definition and a different sensitivity than the above, defined by TINs, date of births and bank account details to name a few. Technology has given us many tools that we didn’t have before to keep this data safer than it’s ever been. We just have to turn it on.
Turning it on means subscribing to the apps that achieve the highest level of encryption and other data protections of the moment. We live in an alphabet soup of acronyms and to delve into another set of what is acceptable or not is not the interest here. In short, shop your companies!
Get their current standards and see if it fits the bill. If it does, next see what their commitment is to keep those protections and security compliances current. Turning it on also refers to your admin center. Look there, be it Microsoft or the settings of your new or potential app. Ask yourself, what’s in there you can turn on to keep things even safer and more secure?
We speak so much about the client’s data security, and the client’s needs, we often forget the needs of the firm, or ourselves for that matter. Picking the right tools makes all the difference when your entire team is out sick with Covid, or you have team members that have moved on to another job.
Even if it’s just you, this centralization lets you take a break and maintain the lifestyle you wish you had right now. The right tools will allow you to get help, get it quickly and efficiently.
Again, technology will help, if used wisely. For live users, they can plug into your matrix, pick up and go, full steam ahead. Remember, everyone needs help sometimes. Everyone wants to feel safe and secure and it’s okay to ask. It’s also okay to receive help, but what’s not okay is to not be ready for it.
Canopy is more than just a cloud-based accounting practice management suite. We offer client, document, workflow, time, billing, email, and staff management. That’s all of your firm's mission-critical functions in one seamless platform.
Client Management gives you one place for client communications, records, and interactions—including a global inbox, custom client portal, and bulk actions.
Document Management allows firms to stop wasting time (and patience) wrangling document sprawl. You can use Canopy for document storage, file organization, working on documents (no more need to leave Canopy for something like Adobe Acrobat), document sharing, eSignature and more.
Time & Billing enables firms to invoice and accept payments all in one place. With the industry’s most robust QBO integration, that means no system-switching and no double entry necessary. (Can we get a hallelujah?)
Workflow helps you manage your projects, processes, and productivity so your firm can do more. Manage productivity, projects, and tasks with custom views & filters. And don’t forget to leverage Canopy’s new and improved workflow automation features to help reduce the mental load that goes into setting up and managing your work.
Is it time to unclunk your firm? Try Canopy for free for 30-days.
You might also be interested in
Susan Tinel, EA, heads up April 15 Taxes, Inc., a full-service, cloud-based firm offering services in tax, accounting and entity filings. Based in San Diego, she works with more than 150 clients across the country, in Canada and the United Kingdom, 75 percent of which are small businesses. She is a QuickBooks ProAdvisor and certified in...