Sage Summit: Tools to help your cloud accounting

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Paul Donno from 1Accounts says that his online accountancy firm benefits from using many online and cloud services, which sets him apart from many others in his field vying to play catch-up.

So much so that Donno was chosen to present his cloud-heavy know-how to international attendees of the Sage Summit in New Orleans recently.\

Recently, he was able to extend his family vacation to Egypt from seven to 11 days, due to the efficiency and reliability of these services enabling him to do more work remotely.

In his session dubbed “Tools in cloud accounting,” he began explaining how “accounting has become more productive using software and clouds.”

He uses Evernote, which connects him to all of his devices. One benefit he derives from it is when he tackles writing company newsletters and blogs. His wife is able to access the documents on her device, making suggestions, and later his marketing assistant recommend further edits, all done effectively on any device they wish at any location; and from there, the document is placed online.

“Social media,” he added, “has transformed the way we use and do business.”

He tweets “continuously” – and was doing so during the lecture even without logging into his account – with the benefit of HootSuite’s scheduled tweets. That way, he says, he has a steady stream of tweets at scheduled intervals.

Donno suggested that businesses not always talk business when tweeting as it could sound monotonous. “Add a human element,” he says.

When he tweeted the time he was walking his dog to the pub, and ordered a drink but had forgotten his wallet at home, he discovered that had become a popular retweet.

Other tools can ease office-familiar challenges. Docusign is “speeding up how we get a hold of a client”, Donno said, alluding to the online service that enables clients to send their e-signature on forms or invoices. Additionally, he noted, a benefit is that the receiver knows the IP address of the sender, leaving a further “confirmation paper trail.”

For more accessible spreadsheet sharing, he recommends Google Drive over Dropbox. He said that the easy of use and pricing plan of the former bests the latter. “You can also have note taking and share that as well.”

Zendesk is a service he favors to “avert the deluge and rubbish that you see in email.” For questions, complaints, and questions, that service issues a numbered “ticket” to the client and directs the request to the specific employee. When the task is complete, the ticket is “closed.” Moreover, it follows through with an email asking the client if they were pleased with the response and opens a feedback opportunity for clients to send in.

In a similar vein, Donno is a proponent of the Trust Pilot online service, embedded into a corporate website enabling public consumer feedback.

“Hopefully they like what we do, but if someone has negative feedback, they’re allowed to input it, and it gives us the opportunity to publicly address it.”

Reportage by Dave Gordon

For more Sage Summit coverage, visit our recent reports here and here.

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