Nowadays business owners, your potential clients, want to focus solely on their businesses, thus more and more of them start using online accounting solutions. Thankfully accounting software providers know that no business could exist with its respective trusty accountant and bookkeeper, thus they developed accounting solutions for these invisible guardian angels as well.
If you are an accountant who doesn’t use such software yet, you are about to discover that moving into the cloud will not only make your own work a thousand times more effective, but it will help you get more clients as well. Jump right in front of your competitors by becoming a user of an accounting solution for free or for a reduced price. You can obtain a certification for the accounting software, and manage the books and accountings of your new and old clients anytime from anywhere.
Why Work with Online Accounting Software
The simplest reason behind using an online accounting solution is that this is the ongoing trend. Business owners want to focus on their work as much as possible while automating everything they can – and online accounting software can do that. However, doing more complicated things like taxing, preparing financial reports etc. is still a challenge for them, thus they will turn to accountants and bookkeepers; especially those who are certified by the online accounting software provider or use the same solution. So it is pretty obvious that you, their potential accountant, should also adapt to them.
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By getting an online accounting solution your job becomes much easier. Your client can provide access to his/her account so you can enter into said account and work simultaneously with your client. You don’t even have to be at the same place as all data in the accounting software automatically update the moment they are entered thereinto, thus you can prepare all necessary reports no matter where you are. Furthermore, you can handle multiple clients at the same time from the same accounting solution, becoming more efficient, boosting your revenue and growing your practice.
And let’s not forget that becoming a user of an online accounting solution gravely reduces the subscription fees of your clients if they decide to choose you, an officially certified accountant of the accounting software’s provider.
Advanced Accountant Solutions
Accounting solutions for accountants come with dashboards that work as ledgers; so you and your colleagues can see what needs to be done with their books. The continuous data flow always lets you know what your clients are doing with their respective businesses, thus you can give them advice on how to be more profitable after a single glance. Reports are auto-created by the software, so all you need to do is check them if they are correct, enclose the necessary attachments, which can also be shared via the software or the add-ons, and you can file them for tax purposes directly or via through a third-party software to the IRS.
Using the handy accounting apps you are able to access all data, and in certain cases you get your own online accounting software account to manage your own books without paying a dime. And last, but not least, as an accountant you have the option to become a certified member by attending webinars which makes you eligible to be featured on the accounting solution provider’s website and get exclusive discounts you can give to your clients.
Integrating Other Software & Services
A huge advantage of online accounting software is that if they miss any feature you and your client needs, that feature can be substituted by replacing it with hundreds of third-party add-ons. And after the integration with such an add-on, data from the complementary software will appear not only in the client’s account, but yours as well.
These complementary software range from CRMs, payment processors, invoicing software, time trackers, payroll tools, expense management add-ons to document management systems, inventories and ecommerce services. Some of these third-party apps include:
Gusto (formerly ZenPayroll)
This software lets your client set payrolls to run on a recurring pay schedule and get payroll taxes auto-calculated, paid and filed.
A clever expense reporting tool with which your client can simply capture receipts and store them in the cloud, therefore you don’t even have to ask for an attachment to ask for refunds.
One of the best-known file hosting services in the world that not only works as a desktop client, but it can also be integrated into accounting solutions as well. By using Dropbox you will always see when your client updates, uploads, moves, or deletes a file.
Acquiring New Clients
Like we mentioned before, working with an online accounting solution for accountants is one of the best ways to get more clients – and accounting service providers gladly help you achieve your goals.
First, you will be featured on the online accounting software’s marketplace, thus potential clients from all over the world will see that you are also a user of the software. However, you cannot sit back and wait for clients to drop from the sky; you have to compete with other accountants and bookkeepers who might be featured higher on the accountants’ hit list. How can you get a better position on that list? By attending webinars organized by the accounting company after which you will get a certification that you are an expert of the software in question.
Another way to acquire new clients is by offering subscriptions for them. Clients are forced to purchase accounting solutions for the standard price, while accountants always get discounts. When business owners see that you, a reliable accountant, are selling a preferred solution for a reduced price, it is more likely he/she will turn to you for not only the software, but for your services too.
Certification for Online Accounting Software
You might be wondering why you would need another certification when you are a certified accountant already. The answer is simple: because you want to show your potential clients that you have the expertise to work with the online accounting solution’s services with ease. Certifications by the accounting company will not only increase the number of your clients, but they also entitle you to promote your services via the accountant search engine of the accounting company and get dedicated support.
The certification process is relatively easy: you either have to apply for webinars, watch tutorial videos, download self-study guides and additional materials about various subjects including basic accounting knowledge and the use of the software you have chosen. Then you need to take an online test which has an 80% pass mark; should you fail, the company will evaluate your test and show you which answers were wrong, so you can retake the exam. If you have passed, you get the certification and will be featured in the accountant search bar as a certified expert.
Attention: the certification expires after a year, meaning that the test has to be repeated on an annual basis to remain a certified accountant.
Recommended Online Accounting Solutions for Accountants
There are plenty of fantastic online accounting solutions, but due to their popularity amongst business owners, we decided to concentrate on the leaders of the market: Xero, FreshBooks and QuickBooks Online.
Our no. 1 choice is trusted by over 600k users worldwide due to its simplicity, boasts 400 add-ons, fantastic mobile support and extra features such as online taxing. The completely free of charge version developed for accountants is also simple and user-friendly software that you can access anytime from anywhere. Your clients’ info is stored at one ledger from which you can also access the respective reports and cashflows with ease. You can prepare financial statements and accounts for your clients accurately, create reports on the things that matter while also managing your practice at the same time.
FreshBooks, a pretender of Xero, offers a free of charge Accounting Center account for accountants. After an also free of charge webinar and exam you become featured in FreshMap where potential clients can search for you. Once you get connected to a client you can get access to all of his/her journal entries and all of the many business reports the software automatically creates. The journal entries can be exported to QuickBooks, but your accountant also receives FreshBooks for a test drive completely free.
QuickBooks Online Accountant features a simple and straightforward dashboard, a bookkeeping tab that lists only the tasks needed to be completed, a toolbox with only the most used features and a free document sharing tool with 10GB of storage. It lets you print and e-file the tax papers of your clients, and includes a free subscription to QuickBooks Online Plus – the top product – and the ProAdvisor Program. Moreover, QuickBooks is the only company of these three that lets you give discounted subscriptions to up to 25 clients at the same time.