carie-randlePost written by Carie Randle, Accounting Manager

Working virtually (in the cloud) is the new and improved way to do business. For a lot of businesses, there’s no longer a need to be tied to an office location, a workstation or even a particular computer. Today’s technology and tools allow us to work virtually anywhere and from just about any device.

Just like being able to check our email from a desktop computer or a mobile device such as a phone, tablet or laptop, there are tools that make it possible to work from different locations and/or on the go. Below are five tools that we at Virtual BeanCounters love that make virtual accounting and bookkeeping possible!

1.GoTo Meeting (by Citrix) #gotomeeting

gotomeetingThere’s no longer a need to travel to conduct or attend a meeting. GoTo Meeting is a web-hosted service for online meetings with desktop sharing and video conferencing that provides the ability for team members and clients to meet virtually, share screens for easy collaboration, and conduct financial reviews with clients, making it possible to drill down into the details (as opposed to just providing summarized reports), with absolutely no physical presence necessary. There’s even the ability to give or take keyboard and mouse controls. Mobile apps are also available for this service.

2. Bill.com #billcom

bill-comStop printing checks and wasting the company owner’s time signing checks with this web-based bill management system that integrates with accounting and banking systems, providing the ability to pay bills without the physical presence of a check signer. Enter and store scanned copies of bills and bill payments (including cleared check images) and pay vendors via electronic payment (direct deposit) with Bill.com.

Vendors can enter their bank account information themselves, so there’s no need to obtain the sensitive information, helping vendors feel more comfortable. All payments are processed by Bill.com, so even with physical check payments, there’s no need to print, stuff envelopes or put checks in the mail. Other features include bill approvals, automated bill entry, A/R management, and a mobile app for iOS or Android.

3. SmartVault #smartvault

smartvaultNo more paper! SmartVault is an online document storage and secure file sharing site for intercompany and client documents with user permission customization and additional portal options for each user’s preference. It integrates with QuickBooks and custom branding is available. The iOS app is great for access to documents on the go, and Android users can use a variety of WebDAV applications to connect.

We use SmartVault to securely send, receive and store all client documents. It allows us to ensure that each client’s documents end up in the right place, and no one client’s documents get intermingled with another client’s documents.

4. Right Networks #rightnetworks

rightnetworksForget about having to back up, messing with accountant’s copy, importing changes and being tied to a local network to access your QuickBooks data file. Right Networks is a hosted desktop connection for QuickBooks Desktop, endorsed by Intuit. You can access QuickBooks Desktop data files anytime and anywhere from Internet Explorer, a Remote Desktop Connection, or even a mobile app. This provides the mobility of QuickBooks Online for QuickBooks Desktop clients who have needs that QuickBooks Online doesn’t provide.

5. AERO WorkFlow Manager #aeroworkflow

aeroNever forget a task again! A web-based, customized, industry standard workflow management system, AERO WorkFlow Manager is designed to manage multiple staff performing multiple tasks for multiple clients. It has the ability to track time and can be synced to QuickBooks for billing and payroll.

It provides a cloud-based solution built for staff working remotely. Setup one-time and recurring assignments/tasks with step-by-step details and links for quick access, monitor deadlines and re-assign work. Email and CRM integration are also available, and client information is stored within for easy reference.

This amazing system combines so many things we were having to do separately before. Our calendars are no longer overflowing with tasks, so we can easily identify and schedule meetings. We know exactly what we’ve completed and what’s left to do, not only for assignments as a whole, but also every step of an assignment or task. We consider it an essential tool to ensure nothing falls through the cracks, even with multiple recurring tasks performed by multiple people for multiple clients.

In addition to these tools, QuickBooks Online has a mobile app that allows for conducting business on the go as well! At a customer’s site and need to look up their account balance? No problem! From the QBO mobile app, you can see customer account details and even send them an invoice on the spot! A vendor calls you while you’re waiting to board a plane for a business trip to ask about a past due bill… you can immediately look to see if the bill is in the system and the details of the payment! No need for any further phone calls or correspondence. Everything is right at your fingertips!

All of these tools are reasonably priced, especially for the value they provide. Our clients benefit from these tools just as much as we do, if not more! Working efficiently and productive is reliant upon finding ways to streamline your processes and workflows. We’re here to help you do just that!

Thank you for taking the time to read the Virtual BeanCounters blog! If you have any questions about this post or any other questions, give us a call at 913.649.1040.