Great Article Finola.
We agree that now is the best time to ensure your workflow management and production systems are robust building up to 31st January deadlines.
AccountancyManager practice management system focuses on just this. With a workflow system that is automatically generated from the clients deadlines it orders the workflow by deadlines approaching in the next 30 days, followed by records received.
This works perfectly for Self-Assessment cases. We believe the most sensible way to complete your SA cases is in the order the records are received (it is essential to check that a complete set of records has been received). A completed checklist of information sent to all of your clients is a good way to achieve this.
If a client expects their accounts or returns to be done sooner, we would recommend offering an express fee for those clients who want to be moved up the pile.
Regarding payment, we recommend this: Never submit a return without first having received full payment. There couldn't be a better way to ensure your clients pay with the looming threat of a penalty from HMRC.
AccountancyManager allows you to update your tasks with progress notes ensuring that you keep on top of each stage, including approval and payment from your clients.
Record your time easily in AccountancyManager to ensure you're charging the correct fees.
Deliberately built for the self-assesment tax return period, we provide the ability to communicate easily with your clients by either SMS text or Email. We recommend a text message sent to all clients who you haven't heard from or still have outstanding records as you approach the deadline and we give you free SMS text messages to achieve this.
You can select which clients to email / text based on every variable you can think of within AM.
If you have mulitple staff members AM organises their workflow into weeks as well and helps the managers and partners ensure nothing slips through the net.
With the ability to communicate with all your clients easily and with staff by sending notifications through the system, everything is logged in the clients timeline ensuring no communication is missed.
Finola is right - communication is the key!
Great article Richard, we believe automation will be the key to a successful accountancy practice in the future.
Our vision at AccountancyManager is exactly this, with automation at the heart of our operations.
We agree with Glenn Martin regarding the onboarding process, streamlining this is essential. That's why in AM the system automates proposals, letters of engagement and allows clients to fill out their information online with as little hassle as possible. To support this we've also built the function to automate requests of information from previous accountants.
And to remind clients of their deadlines once onboard (a common request from clients), we recently we just added "Client Deadlines" to their online portal.
Olly Evans has a point, collecting data from clients is very time consuming but already we are beginning to automate this process with the ability to set up automatic record requests and more importantly, currently developing an intelligent new system which will know when 'part records' are outstanding and automatically communicate this to the client.
And like Andrew Perrett says, "automate anything that reduces or eliminates the potential for (human) error" - this is what we're all about.
We should also mention that the opportunity that Alex Davis mentions regarding systemising the workflow using automation, again is something AM has already achieved. Our system works from the deadlines in the clients file and orders the workflow (specific for each staff member) in order of deadlines and then records received.
We do however agree that the fully automated practice is still a little way off. That's why our dream at AccountancyManager is to provide this, along with a "1 stop shop" from providing everything from marketing tools (hint - it's in the pipeline) to the final stage of filling accounts.
We're happy to work with other software in the market to produce this provided they share the same dream and are as passionate as we are about transforming the accountancy profession.
Of course - they have the option to enter this information with a link our system generates for them and also gives them access to their own online portal. This also allows them to update details if for instance they change address or phone number.
Glad to hear you are interested in coming onboard.
Didn't mean it to come across that way. FD4Cast are providing something of value for free.
As the idea behind the post is 'Never miss a client filing deadline', just wanted to let people know about AccountancyManager, which is a non-free but more comprehensive solution to this problem.
This sounds like a nice tool for accountants not ready to move from Excel.
If there are any accountants looking for a more robust system, with automatic record requesting, SMS deadline reminders and self generating task list. Please take a look at AccountancyManager Practice Management.
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Thanks for your question.
Our pricing favours the less expensive approach. Which is based on individuals. So if you have 50 limited companies with one director who also want self assessment, you'll only be charged for 50.
Regarding security. We follow all best practices to keep everything secure. We also have optional two factor authentication. Our terms have a section stating, "In compliance with the UK Data Protection Act. AccountancyManager will not sell or pass subscriber's or their client's information to third parties". We also have auditing systems in place for internal threats.
Thanks for your comment. To demonstrate the value of the software for those who are initially put off by the price, we're reducing the monthly cost to 25p per month per client (for life), for those who sign up before 31st May (https://www.accountancymanager.co.uk/pricing).
Thank you for your comments.
With regards to pricing, we know from experience that the time saved with the automated features is worth more than what you might pay a member of staff and without the human error. However, we understand that the only way to demonstrate this is by accountants using the software.
Due to the fantastic response and much welcomed feedback from this article, we have decided to promote our software in these early stages, reducing the monthly cost to 25p per client (for life), for those who sign up before 31st May (https://www.accountancymanager.co.uk/pricing).
To answer your query regarding MTD - the software has been built within a practice and continues to be used, therefore it is essential that we are able to modify client data files with MTD deadlines which will then feed into the automatic task management feature. Integration with other softwares such as FreeAgent and Xero is essential and we are currently looking in to the best ways to do this.
Our software has been built to make accountancy firms more efficient, in turn making them more profitable. We hope that the value of our software is realised over the coming months - we already know how much value its added to our business and what it can do for other practices across the country.
Just to add to the discussion. Richard recently wrote about our practice manager (https://www.accountancymanager.co.uk) here: