Intuit’s Accountant Segment launched its first set of Practice Management tools within QuickBooks Online Accountant (QBOA) in May 2017. Since then, the team has consistently added new capabilities – all of them based on customer feedback – to help make Practice Management features within QBOA even more impactful. Two of the newest features are Quickstart Templates, which help streamline common firm workflows, and Work Notifications, which provide real-time communications on projects and tasks.
“We knew there had to be a better way for firms to spend less time creating projects and managing their tools, and more time serving their clients,” said Harsha Jagadish, a product manager with QBOA. “With Practice Management features in QBOA, we want to give accountants, bookkeepers and finance professionals the confidence that nothing will fall through the cracks. Now with Quickstart Templates and Work Notifications, accountants can streamline and automate all their workflows across their team, all in one place, making them more productive.”
In speaking with customers, Jagadish and his team discovered that most of the work done inside a firm is deadline-driven, repetitive, standardized and even manual; a firm would have to take the time to duplicate a project across a firm, even though most project tasks were the same. Firms needed a common workflow they could rely on to get their client work done as efficiently as possible.
Quickstart Templates are designed to do just that: create a set of standard templates for the most common accounting workflows that firms can then use to create projects. Accessible from the Work tab in QBOA and created in consultation with leading global firms, the templates for users in the U.S. can be used to set up projects and tasks for monthly bookkeeping, payroll, client onboarding and year-end tax work.
With Quickstart Templates, accountants can:
- Save time with fast and easy setup of projects and tasks.
- Ensure consistency in work processes across a team.
- Tailor templates to a firm’s unique needs by creating custom templates.
After Practice Management features went live last year, the number one request from users was a way to automatically notify firm team members when there was a new project assigned to them.
“Flying blind is no fun and entirely unproductive when it comes to keeping up with client work. Without some kind of notification, how could you possibly know something was there to work on unless someone told you or took the time to send a message?” asked Jagadish. “Our goal, again, is to make sure firms work on their business instead of in their business, and we knew we had to make the process smooth and familiar.”
To address these concerns, the team added Work Notifications. With notifications, users receive automatic updates and reminders on projects and tasks via email or Slack, enabling firms to stay on top of a team’s progress and ensure everyone is informed when there are changes made to projects and tasks. While Slack notifications have been available since May, email notifications, which can be customized to each user’s individual preferences, began rolling out in September.
“We know that many of our users want to try to get away from email,” said Jagadish. “More firms are using Slack for real-time internal conversations, so it made sense to not only provide traditional email, but also include Slack for updates, so that there are now two easy ways to get notified about Work projects.”
Quickstart Templates and Work Notifications are available to QBOA users in the U.S., Canada, UK, Australia, France, South Africa and Singapore. For more information, view this video demo and plan to visit the Intuit booth at QuickBooks Connect 2018 in San Jose, Nov. 5-7.
Scott H. Cytron is president of Cytron and Company, a public relations, marketing and communications firm that niches in accounting and finance. He is also editor of Intuit’s Firm of the Future and QuickBooks Online blogs. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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