I wanted two things when I started building Reconciled.
- A team of stellar bookkeepers who could work from anywhere
- Operational systems that used best-in-class tech tools to provide efficient, accurate services to our clients.
I think we’ve hit the mark with both, and we’re getting better every day.
So what tech tools are in our toolbox?
As an online bookkeeping business, QuickBooks is at the top of our list. We manage QuickBooks Online accounts for our customers, and we use them for our own invoicing and financial management. It’s the best program out there for small businesses because it’s effectively balancing the growth that allows it to provide plenty of apps and connections to other programs while remaining agile enough to respond quickly to changing customer needs. We absolutely love the free online ACH payments feature and memorized customer invoicing.
With Bill.com, you can make your entire accounts payable process electronic. It’s like Paypal for businesses – but better. The program sends an approval request before making payments and keeps an audit trail. As an accounting professional, I highly recommend using a technology that creates an easy-to-use trail of your financial activity.
Every small business needs a way to keep track of expenses, and typing it all into a spreadsheet when you get back to the office takes too much time and creates too many opportunities for error or forgetfulness. The Dext app is right there on your phone and syncs with QuickBooks Online. It couldn’t be easier.
Creating expense reports seems to be everyone’s least-favorite task, and our employees are no different. With Expensify, an employee can easily submit receipts to be reimbursed, and the direct deposit of their reimbursement is completely automated. So it’s a win-win for the employees and the business owner.
The reconciled team is completely remote, so we need ways to connect online that are more functional than an email thread. With Slack, I’m able to facilitate conversations with groups of employees or contractors. I can have a separate channel just for administrative issues or a particular client or bring everyone in for general issues. It’s a bit like running into someone in the hall and chatting briefly, but it’s all online.
I set all of my employees up with a Google account. Besides using basic functions like email and calendar, we create and upload documents and files to share. The functionality is so improved over the days of sending giant attachments.
Video conferencing is critical for an online services business, especially one like ours with remote workers. A phone call is great for relaying a bit of information, but a video call lets you feel more connected to the person you’re talking to. Zoom calls have great quality, and inviting people to join is easy.
With all the day-to-day work of running a business, marketing can fall by the wayside pretty quickly. We were keeping up with things to some extent but didn’t know whether we were getting a return on our investment. Hubspot helped us automate our processes and analyze our performance so we can put our dollars where they give us the most benefit.
If you’re in the business of seeking out new clients, then you probably create a lot of proposals. Practice Ignition is an online proposal system that automates the engagement letter process for services businesses. It has saved us a ton of time and creates sleek proposals. It’s geared toward online accounting businesses, but I think any services business could benefit from it.
Every online services business needs a great website, and if it’s one you can easily update on your own (for free), that’s even better. Weebly has modern templates with drag-and-drop functionality, and it provides analytics. Eventually, you might want to upgrade to a system that you can customize a bit more, but if you’re just starting, this is the way to go.
We’re always interested in new tech tools that help businesses become smarter and more efficient. Let us know what tech tools you’re using that keep you at the top of your game.