Collaboration is key to the success of any accounting practice. By working closely with clients, accountants can better understand their needs and provide more effective solutions. Whether it's working on tax returns, financial statements, or other financial projects, effective collaboration is crucial for providing accurate and timely service to their clients. However, effective client collaboration is not always easy to achieve.
One of the key challenges for accountants is the need to share and access large amounts of financial data with their clients, which can be difficult to do using traditional methods such as email and file sharing. Email is a great tool for communication, but it is not the best option for client collaboration. This is where an engagement platform for client collaboration becomes critical for accountants to collaborate with clients more effectively.
If you’re still relying on email to collaborate with clients, here are five reasons why your organization should consider alternative methods:
Lack of security: Emails are not secure, and they can easily be intercepted or hacked. This is a major concern when dealing with sensitive client information. Emails can be vulnerable to phishing attacks, in which an attacker poses as a legitimate sender to trick the recipient into providing sensitive information. According to this survey by Verizon, 96% of phishing attacks arrive by email, and research from Symantec shows that throughout 2020, 1 in every 4,200 emails was a phishing email. Additionally, emails can be also hacked by using malware. Alternative methods, such as secure file sharing or client portals, provide much better security, by providing encryption, two-factor authentication, and the ability to control access to your team and clients.
Limited collaboration: Email is not designed for collaboration, and they are primarily intended for one-to-one or one-to-many communication rather than real-time, multi-way collaboration. They also lack features such as document editing and commenting, task assignment, and project management that are found in client collaboration platforms. As well, relying on email to collaborate can become overwhelming and difficult to keep track of when multiple people are involved in a project, making it challenging to stay organized and on top of deadlines and tasks. The issue of multiple versions can can also be problematic to keep track of or to know who has seen which version. A benefit of using a cloud-based collaboration tool instead is that make it easy for multiple people to work on the same document at the same time and see each other's changes in real-time.
Difficulty in organization: Email can quickly become cluttered and disorganized, making it difficult to find important information. Emails often come in large quantities, can be sent from multiple sources, and can contain a variety of subjects. While some people often use their inboxes as a to-do list, this can make it difficult to distinguish important emails from less important ones. Without proper organization and maintenance, an inbox can quickly become cluttered and overwhelming. Alternative methods, such as project management tools, provide a centralized location for all client information, making it easy to find what you need.
Time-consuming: Email can be time-consuming, as it requires constant checking and organizing. Emails also can be overwhelming in volume, causing individuals to spend a lot of time sorting through and responding to them. Furthermore, emails can be difficult to understand or interpret, which can lead to back-and-forth exchanges or confusion that takes up a lot of time. Another concern with relying on email for collaboration is that often people feel pressure to respond to emails quickly, which can lead to interruptions and a lack of focus on other tasks. Instead of depending on emails to collaborate with clients, client portals enable clients to access their information 24/7 in real-time and reduce the need for constant email communication.
Inability to track progress: Email does not provide an easy way to track progress on a project. Most email thread lacks clear organization or structure, making it difficult to understand what has been discussed and what still needs to be done. With most emails, there is no clear system for tracking tasks or action items within the email thread which can make next steps for clients, or outstanding tasks for your team to get lost in a cluttered inbox.
There are definite limitations in tracking progress through emails, an additional benefit of utilizing a client collaboration tool for client collaboration is that it allows your team to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress in one central location which ultimately saves your organization time and increases efficiency with your client.
Ultimately, while email is a great tool for communication, it is not the best option for client collaboration. Accountants should consider alternative methods, such as secure file sharing, cloud-based collaboration tools, project management tools, and client portals, to provide better security, organization, and collaboration for their clients.
A platform for client collaboration allows accountants to securely store and share financial data with their clients in real-time. This means that clients can access their financial information whenever they need it and can also provide feedback and input on financial decisions. An increased level of transparency and collaboration can help to build trust between the accountant and the client, as well as improve the overall accuracy and effectiveness of the financial advice being provided.
In addition, a platform for client collaboration can also help accountants to streamline their workflow and improve efficiency. For example, a platform might include features such as automated data entry and document management, which can save time and reduce the risk of errors.
Overall, a platform for client collaboration can be an invaluable tool for accountants, allowing them to better serve their clients and build stronger relationships. Also, an engagement platform like Auvenir, can help accountants to provide more accurate and effective financial advice, while also improving efficiency and streamlining their workflow.