Let us look into tools and technologies available for accountants to work remotely, to communicate with the clients and get everything done within time, without having the need to file extensions.
Disclaimer: You could be aware of most of the tools mentioned in this. So, appreciate it if you could add other tools that worked better for you or something that is not covered and could help accountants and clients sync up better.
As an accountant, you might have to communicate with your client on the status, discuss questions and provide clarifications, etc., You can already do this with Facetime. But, if you have to do more actions during this call, like explaining by showing documents, the audio and video quality, so you don’t miss any details — you would have to use a professional video conferencing or meeting software.
Zoom has been a pretty standard choice of meeting software by a lot of technology folks and can help you here with your needs. You can just get this software, start a meeting and provide the link to your client via chat or text message. Both can get connected easily and can start talking and share screens when necessary.
Google always had video calling at the customer level. You can call your friends and parents and talk with them. Then Hangouts was introduced in Google suite, where you get email, drive, spreadsheets and more to incorporate in a more enterprise environment. If you are an indie accountant or an accounting firm and already using Google Suite, then this would be the right choice.
Hangouts have good options to share screen and highlight things. This can be flexibly used on Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop with one account.
Cisco WebEx is a video conferencing software used widely by corporates for meetings between teams and resources located globally. This has been one of the first enterprise-level video conferencing software allowing various things to be performed, like sharing the screen, taking the ball to present something and more.
With more adoption, they are expanding into small business space with plans suitable for everyone. Give it a try if you are interested in enterprise-grade support.
Apart from this if you have to share screen to show your client on what has to be done and what are the final numbers that are going on the tax filings or to highlight something you can use tools like Google hangouts a zoom meeting where you can share your screen and show it to your client and highlight some parts of it
Most of the tax filing software will allow you to share documents. An important thing which you’re doing person could be getting the documents verified with your client, getting the signatures and asking for more information or explaining more information. You can leverage Google Drive or Dropbox to share documents. To collect e-signatures, you can leverage DocuSign.
To summarize, there are plenty of tools to help accounting professionals to work remotely and still communicate with clients. These situations that we are in with COVID-19 is definitely pushing us to innovate and get things done despite the challenges. Let us know what you are practicing and how you are handling clients remotely in the comments below.
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