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How microsoft 365 can improve your accounting firm

Microsoft 365 is designed to make your workday easier and more organised. It’s also a great way to modernise your business and make it more efficient. If you own an accounting firm, you’re no doubt busy and need every advantage you can get. 

Microsoft 365 can help your firm improve its efficiency and effectiveness through data analytics, automated tasks, and streamlined workflows.

Easier collaboration

If you work with clients and prospects on a daily basis, you know how important collaboration is. It’s the core of any team-building effort, whether in-house or outsourced. Collaboration relies on communication, both verbal and written. In the accounting world, communication can be especially tricky due to the confidential nature of the work.

With Microsoft 365, your team can collaborate more effectively than ever before. Teams is the suite’s chat-based collaboration hub, helping your colleagues work together in real time from any location with text, voice, video, screen sharing, and document sharing abilities.

Better client relationships

As an accounting firm, you’re likely dealing with many types of businesses and individuals. Some will be your ideal clients, while others may be ideal candidates for your services. It can be easy to forget about the people you do business with, especially when you’re busy working.

With Microsoft 365, your team can take the first step toward building better client relationships by automating routine communications. Outlook can easily be set up to automatically send routing communications – such as follow-up emails – to your clients. It also enables calendar synchronisations and meeting scheduling, with personalised reminders for various deadlines, and time zone adaptation for meetings or calls.

This can help you keep your clients informed and maintain a consistent relationship with them, while saving you time.

Data analytics and business insights

Data analytics is one of those buzzwords that we hear about all the time, but few understand exactly what it means. In layman’s terms, it’s the process of using data to understand trends, make predictions, and generate insights.

Microsoft has been at the forefront of data analytics for years, thanks to tools like Power BI, which brings data visualisation and easy-to-understand reports to the masses.

Power BI allows you to analyse and visualise data to gain insight into your business operations and make better, more informed decisions.

One of the most important features of Power BI is its ability to simplify complex financial data by providing interactive visuals without any programming knowledge or experience required on your part.

For example, if you want to share a report on expenses from a previous year, you can use Power BI to connect invoices from different departments within your business. This can provide a detailed breakdown of the data obtained, which is easy for everyone involved to read.

Automated tasks

There are certain tasks you perform repeatedly in your accounting practice. For example, you may need to send tax documents to your clients or prepare annual reports for the authorities.

To make these tasks easier, you can use automation. In particular, Microsoft 365 provides tools to help automate tasks with an intelligent assistant called Cortana. Cortana can help you manage your day by setting reminders and creating meetings for you; it can also make online purchases on your behalf if you so choose.

Microsoft 365 also has features that allow you to automatically update your files and documents when they are edited by someone else on a shared folder. This saves time on updating changes to multiple files at once.

Stronger security

Your accounting firm takes charge of a lot of sensitive data and customer information, from bank details and financial records, to private information like home addresses and phone numbers. A cyber-attack that steals any data would have a catastrophic effect on your business, not the least of which is reputational damage.

To protect your firm from these threats, you need a strong cybersecurity program. Microsoft 365 provides enterprise-level security

Microsoft 365 comes with built-in security tools that can help you protect your data and stay secure. These features include: 

  • Advanced Threat Protection
  • Secure email
  • Data loss prevention
  • Information protection
  • Data encryption
  • Identity and access management
  • Security and risk management

The Microsoft 365 security centre allows your administrators to manage and protect your business data with its security solutions. Further, the Microsoft Compliance Manager will help you stay on top of data privacy and information security. With the Compliance Manager, you can be sure you’re always up-to-date with regulations.

Get the right solutions

Microsoft 365 can help your accounting firm improve its efficiency and effectiveness, but first you need to know where you’re starting from. To get the most out of Microsoft 365, you’ll want to first assess your firm’s needs and see where Microsoft can help. 

Microsoft Gold Partner Linktech Australia can help you integrate Microsoft 365 into your accounting business and show you how to utilise its apps and features to enhance your daily operations and workflows. Talk to them today and discover more.