In this increasingly digital world that we are living in, easy, efficient and frictionless  communication is important for offering a modern service experience for your customers and an efficient experience for your team. Heading into 2019, what are the best communication apps for accounting firms on the market today? Let’s have a look!

1. Slack

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Stop sending emails to your team! I can count on one hand the amount of emails I send to my team on a weekly basis and it’s been like that for a long time now. No doubt, one of the best communication apps for accounting firms has to be Slack.

For those of you living under a rock, Slack is a chat app where you can informally chat with your colleagues using their web app or desktop app and it has been successful in eliminating a huge amounts of my email load. No subject lines required and several clicks are saved each and every time I want to communicate with someone on the team. Basically, Slack eliminates a ton of the friction (friction which you might not even notice) from communicating with your team and cuts down significantly on your emails received.

You can also have various chat channels. You can have a tax channel, a payroll channel, sports channel, etc. It’s a good way to segregate discussions and to only have relevant team members included in those discussions.

On top of that, if you’re a bit more tech-savvy, you can integrate 100’s of different apps into Slack which can help automate a variety of administrative functions at your firm. If you need to notify team members upon certain events happening at the firm (a new client that needs to be onboarded, meeting reminders, etc) or if you want to link your project management system to Slack so that tasks can be created based on messages in Slack, all of this can be automated & streamlined directly from within Slack.

Whether your team is remote or not (though it’s clear things are trending towards a remote workforce), Slack is at the top of the list for the best communication apps for accounting firms.

2. Zoom

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If you are working with clients remotely at times, replace your phone calls with video calls. As someone who ran a virtual firm for 5+ years with virtually no in-person meetings, I relied on tools to help bridge the physical distance between myself and customers. There are a ton of web conference apps on the market, but Zoom is a relatively well known one. A few reasons why I really like Zoom:

First, it’s relatively easy to connect with. Sometimes with some web conferencing apps, getting all participants to easily connect is an issue.

Second, it works very well with larger groups. As you can see in the image above, I really like the thumbnail view where you can see all participants easily.

Thirdly, it integrates with Google Calendar to help setup meetings in your calendar invites with the click of a button.

 

 

Last but not least, I really love the record feature. If you have a particularly heavy meeting, record it and come back to it at a later point. It works great for internal trainings or for when you need to refer to something with a client at a later point.

In terms of web conference apps, Zoom is my fav and is a top contender for best communications apps for accounting firms.

3. Loom

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Mostly everyone has heard of Slack and Zoom, but not many know about Loom. Loom is a big up and comer, especially since it’s totally free.

Loom is a Chrome extension app (ie. it’s integrated within your Chrome web browser) that allows you to record videos of your screen with the click of a button. Why is this helpful? Sometimes a complex email can take 15 – 30 minutes to write whereas the alternative to the email would be a meeting, which could be 30 minutes+. Avoid either of these scenarios by recording a video instead and sending the link off in an email to your client, colleague or whoever.

I have successfully cut myself out of many meetings thanks to Loom. The more meetings I can eliminate myself from, the better. Because of this, I consider this one of the best communication apps for accounting firms.

This is also an interesting tool for trainings. Record on your own time and save the videos in a central place for all to see whenever they want.

4. Skype

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Let’s face it. Since Microsoft acquired Skype, it just has not been the same and I know a lot of people starting to move away from Skype in favour of other video calling apps (Zoom being one of them). But you still can’t beat the network effect that Skype has. Everyone is on it. Which means that it’s easy to connect with whoever you need to. For this reason, Skype is in my top communication apps for accounting firms list, but it may not stay there for long if some of the competition begins to make some moves.

Any others?

There are plenty of other apps that I like, but the ones above are the ones I use on a day-to-day basis to talk with my team or with clients. Other apps that I use to communicate with are project/task management related apps, which I may cover in another post. If you have any questions about any of the apps above, feel free to shoot me a message and I would be happy to have a chat.

 


Ryan Lazanis

I’m Ryan Lazanis. I’m a CPA by trade but definitely don’t consider myself a normal accountant. I identify more with being an entrepreneur and I love disruptive technologies and business models. My aim is to help modernize the old, traditional accounting profession by giving firms the tools they need to modernize. Each week I send off a curated newsletter recapping the top 5 things on the internet affecting your modern firm. Click here to subscribe to my Future Firm Top 5 Weekly newsletter today!