The busiest time of your calendar year is almost over, and soon you’ll be able to focus more on improving and growing your business. One of the best things that any freelance accountant can do is fill up their digital toolbox.
There are thousands of amazing tools for freelancers and accountants that make your job easier while improving the quality of your services. This year, consider picking up the following tools favored by accountants everywhere.
Before you can file any client tax documents, your client must sign off on it. When you’re working freelance, the process of receiving and recording that signature is usually done electronically. You could send a digital copy of the signature agreement to your clients. They’ll sign it and then scan it and send it back to you. This is time-consuming and difficult if your client doesn’t have a printer/scanner.
Eversign is the perfect solution! It’s a way to send and receive legally binding electronic documents and signatures. It takes just a few moments of your client’s time, and best of all, it’s free!
There are three options for gathering essential information about your client’s taxes and accounting needs: phone call, email, or video conferencing. You’ll probably use a combination of all three, but you can often accomplish the most during a video conference.
Skype is one of the most used and trusted video conferencing tools. It’s reliable, easy to use, and widely accessible to your clients. It’s also free, so there’s zero risk in trying it out.
You can’t offer accounting services in the 21st century without QuickBooks. You need to be well-versed in its use to help your clients, so you might as well use it for your own accounting needs.
It can be somewhat pricey for a year’s subscription if you’re using it commercially, but most CPAs find that it’s well worth the expense. If you’ve been using a subpar, free accounting software, you’ll want to switch ASAP for greater efficiency and client satisfaction.
Having a system that makes it easy to backup, file, manage, and share the thousands of documents you handle on a monthly basis will make your life infinitely easier. DropBox is among the best options because it’s easy to use and offers excellent space and security.
DropBox is also easy to use for your customers. With a simple tutorial, they can learn how to access all shared documents, edit them, and re-save them so you don’t have to use email for sending documents back and forth. It reduces confusion and enhances organization.
If you’re like the average freelance accountant, you’re usually juggling several projects at once. During tax season, you may be handling hundreds of client requests within the space of a few short months. Staying organized will be tough if you don’t have a project management tool to keep you on track.
Basecamp is a popular project management tool for freelancers because it allows you to create unlimited tasks and mark them off as you go. You can create subtasks for each one so that you don’t forget to do anything before completing a project. You’ll work more efficiently and have higher client satisfaction rates as a result.
When working with clients who don’t use QuickBooks, you’ll probably need a couple of external tools to handle accounting basics. WagePoint is one such tool that makes doing payroll a cinch.
You can make direct deposits, handle payroll taxes automatically, file 1099s and W-2s, process year-end reports, and provide clients their employee pay stubs online. This tool requires very little effort on your part, but looks great to clients who have a simple way to keep track of payroll, thanks to you.
Many projects can be invoiced on a project-to-project basis, but sometimes you need to bill an hourly rate. At this point, you need a reliable, simplistic time-tracking tool. TSheets is among the most popular time-tracking tools for accountants.
TSheets lets you track your time as well as any other contractors or employees you’re working with. It’s about $16 per month and well worth the investment for hourly projects. It will make you a more effective, efficient accountant.