Congratulations on making it to the end of the financial year after what has to have been one of the most harrowing times across the world stage in recent memory. I’d be remiss not to mention that it’s the accountants and bookkeepers that are the ‘heroes of the hour’, having spent countless hours supporting small business both emotionally and through the financial ups and downs. To add to the pressure, we’ve seen the shifting sands of ever-changing legislation rolled out in waves with deadlines that tested even the most experienced within our industry. I’m extremely proud to have seen the industry pull together to support one another and work as one to share ideas given the collective weight of the demands placed on your shoulders.
If I were to be totally honest though, in all of the discussions I’ve had over the past few months with other accountants, this whole situation has generated positive change in the way that we work and interact with our teams. We often talk about the desire to change, to become a better version of ourselves (both in business and personally), but life gets in the way and we end up being too busy to take the time to investigate and instigate change. So 'next year's change' becomes an ongoing recurring theme.
What I’m seeing is that change now has actually been triggered out of necessity, which will then serve to protect us should (when?) we go through such an event once again. This is good and will only serve to make us more efficient, more capable and more valuable to our clients and ultimately, it’ll help us enjoy life all the more, even though the journey to get to where we are has been rather traumatic.
So, I tip my virtual hat to you for all that you’ve done for us. Thank you.
The year that was
Looking back on our focus here at AccountKit, we’ve been supporting you with calls and bespoke training whilst continually evolving new features and polishing current tools to boost your efficiency and provide visibility across your client base. The entire list of changes and updates are too long to mention in this blog (all of the detail is here if you're interested), but these are what I consider to be the highlights of the past 12 months.
This is hot off the press having only just been released today. A small touch, yet it enables you to strengthen relationships with your clients and team. Nothing says love better than reaching out with a little birthday cheer on someone’s special day. ❤
Inter-Entity Loan Tool
The inter-entity loan tool has been through a series of major upgrades over the years. This year is no different with the introduction of a summary tab for quick visibility of all loans within a family group and massive optimisations resulting in snappy reconciling and posting of entries. My favourite addition though has to be the copy coding function. This enables you to code one entry, then apply the same coding and proportionate split to all selected transactions. Think of it as Xero’s cash coding for inter-entity loans.
Division 7A Tool
I've covered this before but it's worth mentioning again. It's become a new favourite amongst the team in my own practice, taking an otherwise cumbersome and time-consuming process and turning it into something quick and fun (something only an accountant can say with a straight face).
With the Division 7A Tool, you have a simple grid with key details including all loans, benchmark interest rates, repayments and dividends which not only gives you a great overview, but also enables you to more effectively communicate the implications to your clients. When you’re done with tweaking your dividends, you can then push them straight into Xero.
The Client Map has also gone through some major upgrades this past year to help you create diagrams faster with oodles more flexibility.
If I had to choose my favourite enhancement, the ability to build software maps to communicate a proposed software stack for clients would be my #1. This would be closely followed by the auto-save function - no more lost maps after spending hours building your pieces of art. We’ve made many more updates recently to make this tools as user-friendly as possible. It’s no wonder it’s a favourite for many AccountKit users.
Earlier this year we built out a new cashflow commitments report. This is perfect for assisting with the creation of cashflows for your clients and helps show where some of your clients’ profits are flowing out of the business.
More recently, we released a simple deferral event to enable the pushing back of payments within your clients' schedules.
Other significant releases for 2019/20
The above scratches the surface of a myriad of changes throughout the year (you can check them all out in Latest Releases), but here are a few other significant releases we've made:
Amortisation Scheduler - further refinements in the trek towards full release.
Client Notes Register - we've added the abillity to save client specific notes across a family group and surface them where you’re working. These are the little points of tacit knowledge held by long standing team members or current events that not everyone on the team may be aware of, but should be whilst sending out mail or returning phone calls.
Document Management Integration upgrades - we've added a new context sensitive menu that enables you to access your clients' documentation from many different places across AccountKit. This includes a new file browser and the ability to see all linked client folders in one view on the client group page.
Xero single sign-on - we introduced the ability to sign in to AccountKit using your Xero credentials. Just one less password and two factor authentication to worry about.
Client filtering - detailed client filters can now be saved and shared with your team from your client list page.
Correspondence Register - save draft and auto save functions have been added. Outlook and Gmail integrations are in beta.
Client History Register - now you can see who (or which integration) is changing client data both at a client level and across the entire practice.
BGL and NowInfinity integration upgrades - we’ve made significant changes to the import and exceptions report, thereby making it faster and simpler to compare client lists between systems.
Time savers - quick shortcuts for copying ABN, ACN and TFNs along with direct links to ASIC and the ABR have been added.
Inline help - new inline help enables you to check out a short video for a particular tool, as well as link directly to the help file for that tool. This can be toggled on and off within the help menu.
Looking to the future
This year has been yet another massive year of new releases and refinements. I am tremendously proud of how the team has pulled together to build some truly brilliant tools to help our accounting and bookkeeping teams reach new heights. But what about the future? Well amongst the many enhancements, we'll continue down the road to further client map enhancements, flexible user permissions, extended integrations and a significant focus on security enhancements to stay ahead of the curve.
Thanks for your ongoing support and Happy New (financial) Year!