Too many apps? Qwil could be the answerby
The myriad communication tools that came to the fore during the pandemic have enabled many accounting firms to interact with clients in fresh ways. But now a single solution is needed to bring all these channels together.
The pandemic led to a proliferation of tools that enabled video meetings, cloud storage, secure messaging, e-signature and various other solutions for secure and remote working. However, with so many different tools often only used for a single service or process, practices and their clients can struggle to keep on top of all the different logins and face increased costs, unless they can find a single solution that meets all their needs.
The rise of communications tools such as WhatsApp and the near-universal adoption of smartphones has fundamentally changed the way many accounting firms look to engage with their clients and importantly how clients expect to engage with their accounting firms. But countering the challenges of managing client contact via multiple channels, and doing so securely in a GDPR-compliant way, is increasingly difficult.
Next-generation communication platforms
Efficiency gains and process improvements are always important for practice leaders, but the next generation of communication platforms has thrown up problems for many firms as they adapt to the ever-changing tech landscape. Data privacy and security are increasingly an issue for accounting firms to manage, with existing compliant solutions often falling at the hurdles of convenience and ease of use.
This type of challenge has given rise to a number of solutions aimed at accountants and other professional service firms. One solution that promises to offer convenient, secure enterprise messaging and much more is Qwil Messenger. Co-founder and CEO Laurent Guyot explained why more firms were looking to improve and streamline the way they communicate internally and with their clients. “We’ve found that accountants love the way they’re able to have simple, secure communication with their clients, either on a one-to-one basis, multi-party or broadcast to segments of their client base,” he said.
“Although tools like portals and secure email have been around for a while now, they’ve never been popular with accountants or their clients. What people want to do is be able to use an app that is as simple and easy to use as WhatsApp, but many of these tools are simply not appropriate in a business setting.
“The idea for Qwil came from our background in financial services where the need to be able to share personal information and have secure chat between firms and their clients with enterprise-level security led to us developing our platform,” Guyot continued. “After the success of Qwil in financial services, with clients both large and small, including all of St James’s Place Wealth Management practices, accountancy is a natural next step for us.”
Integrating communications and files
As well as offering security and compliance, the ability for the platform to work with multiple firms is seen as a real benefit for clients who can communicate via Qwil with an accountant, financial adviser or law firm with just a single application.
With broadcast communication, video calls, document storage and shortly e-signing, being able to have all this within one secure, branded platform has proved popular with Qwil’s clients in financial services, and is also proving appealing for accountancy firms who’ve started using the tool.
One practice owner commented: “Being able to use the secure application as a mobile or browser app and easily add all your clients means you can quickly set up and start seeing the benefits. The integrated suite of tools, with secure chat, virtual meetings, document management and e-signature also means that we can cancel many of our single-use software subscriptions.”
Get ahead of the game for self assessment season
Now the new tax year has started, many practitioners will be thinking about how they can improve efficiency, and response rates from clients, starting with getting clients to send documents and information securely and not getting lost in a busy inbox.
One accounting firm that has recently implemented Qwil is planning to use the new tool to improve communication and data collection for self assessment: “With just a few clicks, I can send all my clients a message announcing the start of the new tax year and asking them to submit their documents. This is the easiest way to kick off the 2023/24 season. I can also provide an update on the tax changes and Budget in the same way.”
Could this be a WhatsApp killer for businesses?
Guyot summed up the benefits to accountants, saying: “With a tool like Qwil, you can easily coordinate across your teams, both front and back office. With a compliant audit trail, you can manage comms and broadcast a message across your whole client base. You can quickly jump on a video call within the platform, share your screen or send an individual message and get the agreement signed. You can build a really personal service very efficiently and cost-effectively, and it’s so simple to use there’s no training required.
“The File Manager lets you find files in any conversation, all the messages and documents you’ve ever sent or received with a client are in one place. With issues around staff shortages, quick communication and getting the right information quickly from your clients is key. We’ve also worked hard to ensure that the service is affordable, so with Qwil Messenger, you only pay for staff user licences. Clients and partners are free, so you can even introduce a lawyer or financial adviser you partner with to a client.”
Get in touch with Qwil for a demo and see how you can have your own branded communication solution, with a special discounted offer for AccountingWEB members.
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