Five Amazing Client Collaboration Apps for Accountants

Onboarding/ working with new accounting clients involves a fair amount of paperwork, organization, and reliable communication. Additionally, meeting with clients during a pandemic can be challenging. However, there are new arising platforms that ensure reliable communication between accountants and clients. Further, these new arising platforms help automate workflow between firms and clients. So, what and who are the latest collaboration apps that are assisting accountants? In this blog post, we list the five top collaboration apps for accountants. 

Symphony

Symphony is a team collaboration tool made for the finance industry. Symphony offers:

  • Data encryption
  • Compliance and certifications
  • Bots and apps
  • Automated trade flows
  • Messaging, file sharing, and conferencing 

Pros

The great thing about Symphony is that it works great with people inside and outside your company. The platform offers “rooms,” which allows accountants to stay connected with other team members and clients in an online workspace. Also, Symphony offers everything you need to hold large or small meetings securely over the internet. 

Finally, Symphony offers compliance and certifications. Through their compliance feature, Symphony enables data loss prevention, user entitlements, room monitoring, and automatic content archiving. In terms of their certification feature, independent security and privacy experts regularly conduct audits to certify their safeguards.

Cons

Based on several review sites, users have commonly noted the needed improvement of connecting to other tools. Additionally, some users complain that the product is difficult to navigate through. For those looking for a collaboration app that is easier to use, Symphony may not be the wisest choice; however, other tools deliver simplicity without harming the communication and collaboration between accountants and clients- like AirSend. 

AirSend

AirSend is an excellent tool for collaboration between accountants and clients. With AirSend, accountants can: 

  • Keep everyone in the loop
  • Share and organize everything
  • Track your tasks
  • Find messages and files fast
  • Create tax and audit notebooks
  • Works with email
  • Office 365 Integration
  • Audio and video calling

Pros

The highlight of AirSend is that it works with email. Working with email means that clients do not need to create an AirSend account. Instead, they can send emails to their accountant’s AirSend email address, and the message will magically appear in the AirSend channel. 

The second-best highlight is that AirSend seamlessly integrates with Office 365. Having this integration makes editing and uploading documents easier. Further, anything you edit will be saved to the original file uploaded to AirSend- no more deleting or uploading the same file.

Cons

Currently, AirSend does not carry all the features accountants need. For instance, auditing capabilities and budget processing through bots. However, those who are not accustomed to bots will be sufficient auditing through AirSend. 

Wire

Wire is a modern-day collaboration tool that meets advanced security and user experience, a massive plus for accountants. Similar to AirSend and Symphony, Wire focuses on business-to-client and team-to-team communication. Wire features: 

  • Guest room access
  • Personal and group chats
  • Conference calls
  • Availability status
  • Mentions
  • Integrations

Pros

Through integrated apps, Wire allows accountants to securely add calendars, financial information, development progress, corporate news, or CRM information to conversations. As a finance manager, you want to ensure a positive return on investment and optimal expenditure on tools to make the business more efficient.

Through recent reviews, finance teams and accountants who use Wire indicate that the tool is great for checking in on

  • The daily business 
  • Budget processing 
  • Audits 
  • Financial statements

Cons

One of the few downsides to Wire is that they do not carry built-in task management. The platform is also limited in what financial teams can use with customers. Finally, according to several use cases, calls within Wire frequently drop. 

Slack

Slack is a radically simplified workflow collaboration app for accountants. As Slack preaches, “Unlike email, which is based on individual inboxes, Slack consolidates information and project history into channels,” (Slack financial service landing page). By creating a simplified environment, financial teams and accountants can work seamlessly through third-party integrations.  Slack offers:

  • Over 500+ Integrations
  • Channel search history
  • Slack Connect (Check out our blog to learn more about Slack Connect)
  • Voice and video calls
  • File sharing
  • Bots
  • Workflow builder

Pros

The biggest pro is Slack’s integration. Accountants can integrate with practically thousands of apps (if they really wanted to). Integration makes working with clients and other team members somewhat easier. Additionally, Slack bots help with your workflow needs- and who doesn’t want a robot helping them out? 

The other big positive to Slack is its enterprise-grade security and compliance. Accountants and clients won’t have to worry about their financial information being compromised. 

Cons

Slack is designed originally as a communication tool. The negative, which is also a positive, is its use of integrations. Not many clients or accountants like the use of integrations- usually due to the lack of security in some integrated apps and the amount of app switching that happens within Slack. As noted from a study, switching between apps can cost up to 40% of someone’s time wasted. However, if you do not have a problem with integrations and instead favor them, Slack is an excellent choice to conduct your business. 

GSuite

I am sure, as you all know, GSuite is a fabulous collaboration tool. It is precisely like Office 365, but for Google users. In GSuite, accountants and clients can connect via 

  • Email
  • Hangouts
  • Direct messaging through email
  • Direct meetings through email
  • Docs
  • Slides
  • Sheets
  • Drive
  • Keep Notes
  • Calendar

Pros

GSuite is an excellent collaboration tool for those who like to stay connected and quickly jump into any app related to Google. The platform is extremely user friendly, convenient, and efficient. The beauty behind GSuite is that communication works through email- though there are alternatives that Google offers for those who do not want to communicate with email, such as Hangouts. 

The more prominent highlight is that GSuite is perfect for multitasking. Accountants and clients and simultaneously edit documents together. Managing multiple email accounts is also great, especially when emails are attached to Google’s shared features- drive, docs, and sheets.

Cons

GSuite is expensive. Sometimes not everyone can keep up with the inflated prices that Google offers, and therefore have to keep with a basic plan, which lacks in some areas. Additionally, some users fear that Google will shut down integrations that are often used.

Summary

Comprised in this blog post are our favorite collaboration apps for accountants. Each app has its pros and cons. However, when choosing the right app, it is essential to choose the platform that best fits your client’s accounting needs.