Most bookkeepers use QuickBooks and a handful of other software solutions during their day-to-day workflow, but they aren’t taking full advantage of planning, communication and automation tools that could save them time, stress and money.

Let’s take a look at five popular tools for bookkeepers to simplify their workflow and how Client Hub combines the benefits of these tools into a single all-in-one platform.

There are many different planning, communication and automation tools designed to help bookkeepers become more efficient at their job—here are our favorites!

#1. QBO Accountant

QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software solutions in the U.S. with an 80% share of the market. From freelancers managing their expenses to manufacturers with millions of dollars in annual revenue, QuickBooks handles everything from inventory and invoices to projects and people while integrating with many other popular software solutions.

QuickBooks for Accountants & Bookkeepers, or QBO Accountant, makes it easy to work with clients that are already using QuickBooks during their day-to-day operations. QBO Accountant makes it easy to quickly access clients’ business performance, close their monthly books, generate reports and run payroll with minimal input on their end.

Some of the most helpful features include:

  • Automate payroll, time tracking, expense management and data collection.

  • Pre-filled QuickStart templates to eliminate manual prep and ensure consistency.

  • Work Notifications help you stay organized across your firm as projects progress.

#2. Trello

Trello is a popular collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards with cards—a lot like a whiteboard with sticky notes. At a glance, anyone can see what’s being worked on, who’s working on what and where something is within a workflow. The tool is helpful for a wide range of different industries and use cases, including internal bookkeeping workflow.

Example of Trello being used for client onboarding. Source: Trello

In addition, Trello can be easily integrated with other workflow tools. You can create cards from notes in Evernote, turn emails from Gmail into cards, track time with Toggl and much more. Zapier provides even more integrations with different online platforms, including QuickBooks Online if you’re creating client-facing Trello boards to keep organized.

A common bookkeeping workflow might include:

  • Creating a unique card color for each client. That way, you can use the same board for multiple clients and quickly differentiate each one of them at a glance.

  • Creating columns for different workflow statuses. For example, you might have columns for “Templates”, “To-do”, “Doing” and “Done”.

  • Creating template cards for each client in the “Templates” column that can be easily copied into the “To-do” column for common tasks, such as end of month tasks.

  • Creating checklists, assigning a point person, creating a due date for each card and then moving it into different columns depending on the status.

#3. SmartVault

SmartVault offers secure, cloud-based document management and storage built for the accounting and bookkeeping industry. If you’re still sending and receiving files via email, SmartVault can help you migrate to a cloud-based solution that meets high security standards and provides an easy way for clients to sign in and share files.

SmartVault’s client-facing file upload interface. Source: SmartVault

In addition to file sharing, SmartVault supports e-signatures and KBA with DocuSign. You can send files electronically for signature to clients via a DocuSign integration, which makes it easy to collect tax returns and other signatures. Workflow automation tools even let you send files to certain folders in order to avoid “one big folder”.

#4. Streak CRM

Streak CRM is a unique customer relationship management (CRM) tool that keeps everything in the inbox—Gmail in particular. If you’re constantly juggling client communications via email, the platform provides structure to these conversations with a lightweight CRM tool. You can create a client workflow and organize emails within that workflow.

Streak CRM’s capabilities. Source: Streak

The platform is also helpful as a deal flow management tool—especially if it’s a one-person operation. You can create different categories for leads, pitched and closed deals along with assigned colleagues, deal sizes and other metrics. You can even create reusable “snippets” for conversations, schedule emails to send in the future or snooze emails to follow up later.

#5. Client Hub

The problem with all of the solutions that we’ve covered thus far is that they only handle one part of your workflow. For example, Trello provides an internal workflow tool but doesn’t help with client communication and SmartVault stores files but doesn’t handle communication. Ideally, we want a single tool that encapsulates all functionality in an easy-to-use way.

Client Hub was built by bookkeepers to do just that—it provides everything you need in a single easy-to-use solution that integrates with QuickBooks Online. In addition to being an all-in-one platform, Client Hub provides automation capabilities to streamline your workflows and a built-in client experience that includes secure file sharing and messaging in a portal.

Client Hub’s messaging and other capabilities. Source: Client Hub

Some of the most important features include:

  • Jobs and Tasks: You can create recurring jobs and tasks that contain checklists to streamline workflow and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.

  • Client Communication: You can message clients through the client portal in order to keep conversations out of email and ensure everything is in one place.

  • QBO Integration: You can instantly create client tasks to resolve uncategorized expenses and access other information from a client’s QBO account.

  • Secure File Sharing: You can easily share files with clients, as well as keep internal files and folders organized with an auto-downloader to sync in Mac and Windows.

  • Dashboard: You can access a Trello-like view of practice-level jobs and tasks to see where everyone is at and ensure that everything is running smoothly.

In addition to these internal capabilities, your clients will have access to a branded client portal and a mobile app that makes it easy to reach them on-the-go with messages and tasks. Email and mobile notifications, along with deep links that go directly to their client workspace, make it easy to keep them engaged and get the information you need in a timely fashion.

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The Bottom Line

There are many different tools that can help simplify bookkeeping workflow—there’s no excuse to use email and spreadsheets anymore! While Trello, SmartVault and other tools can be incredibly valuable, bookkeepers seeking an all-in-one solution to streamline their practice may want to check out Client Hub to keep everything running smoothly and efficiently.