As a cloud-based practice owner, I dabble in lots of apps. Want to get me off-track? Tell me about a new app that solves a problem I have, and watch as I go down the rabbit hole. However, when Murph asked me to write about my five favorite apps, these rolled off my fingers as fast as I could type.
- Slack- By now you have probably heard of Slack. If texting and email had a baby, it would be Slack. Other than my accounting platform, this is the app I spend the most time in during the day. My staff for Aguillard Accounting is spread across the country, but we communicate seamlessly over Slack. Need to see each other face-to-face or work on the same document? Just throw a Zoom link (see #3) in Slack.
- Teamwork- Teamwork Projects is the workflow and project management tool we recently adopted for the firm. A little overwhelming at first, we have nailed down how to make it work for our practice. We can save permanent notes in notebooks attached to clients, log time and time budgets, and visually see what deadlines are coming up and who is responsible.
- Zoom- Just this morning, I had to record a podcast using Skype, the interviewer’s choice. It took thirty minutes to get it up and running. The version preloaded with Windows 10 got stuck so I had to figure out a workaround via the marketing website. Contrast that with the ease of use and stability of Zoom. Zoom just always works. Whether I’m at my desk or on my phone, I can easily schedule and start virtual meetings. I have accounting clients across the country and we use Zoom exclusively to meet because I know that even the tech-anxious can be online in less than five minutes. It’s just that intuitive. We use it internally, too. The other cofounders of my strategy firm, Bluewire Strategy, are in New York, Florida and Ohio. We meet weekly via Zoom and it’s like we are in the same room.
- Acuity- Acuity is a scheduling tool. Guests are allowed to self-schedule meetings based on user created parameters and availability. My Acuity account is linked to my Outlook calendar, so clients will only have the option to schedule meetings during times I am available. Even better is that I also have it linked to Zoom, so clients will get a meeting link at the time they make an appointment.
- Buffer- There’s a certain amount of social media presence required for accounting practices these days. Buffer is a social media tool that allows me to plan out posts in Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter from one page. I usually dedicate about thirty minutes a week to loading Buffer. I can pick a certain day and time for content to drop, or allow Buffer to post on it’s suggested optimal schedule. There’s a Chrome extension for Buffer so when you stumble across content that you want to share, it’s seamless. The biggest timesaving feature, though, is the ability to Re-Buffer posts with a click. Buffer will track analytics so if there’s a post that catches a lot of eyes, you can use it again.
It goes without saying that all of these platforms offer mobile apps. I am often working on the go (I spend an inordinate amount of time waiting for my children) and can not be tied to a desk. I honestly could not have a successful virtual practice without each of them.
Want to chat about apps? You can self-schedule a Zoom chat via Acuity at the bottom of my website- aguillardaccounting.com