CPAs use their knowledge in finance, data mining, and accounting to provide valuable business intelligence to many organizations. Strong communication skills are a must for accountants to deliver concise information to help their clients make insightful decisions. As in other fields, these engagements take place over the phone or via video chat. This is especially true now that most are discouraging in-person meetings due to safety concerns.
CPAs need a robust solution that enhances their quality of service and improves productivity to best support each of their customer’s financial needs. Hosted VoIP not only has a wide array of features, but can provide your accounting clients with the mobility, production, and collaboration capabilities to manage and grow their businesses effectively.
Features Perfect for the Accountant
For accounting firms, an excellent first impression is critical. Imagine a customer reaching out and immediately being put on hold or going straight to a voicemail message. However, if that firm has a hosted VoIP solution, callers will receive a greeting from a virtual receptionist and direct their call to the proper extension following one of the available options. This feature can also post relevant announcements such as a change to office hours or an upcoming holiday or play a fun or relaxing mix of melodies (not a constant drone).
Other helpful tools for your CPA clients include call reports and recordings. Those options allow accounting firms to track productivity and review employee activities and document discussions with their clients (with their permission, of course. Detailed reports let CPAs evaluate staff performance and customer interactions. Hosted VoIP is a lot more than phones. IP-based telephony allows MSPs to integrate voice solutions with applications their accounting clients use and need to run their businesses—and billing software is a great example. Providing accurate hourly phone call data in easy to read reports allows each firm to account for employee time more accurately. Since many CPAs, like attorneys, bill for most of the time their people spend with customers, these documents make invoicing simpler and more straightforward.
Accounting firms can strengthen their key business tools like customer relationship management (CRM) solutions by connecting those applications with a VoIP solution. MSPs can integrate these platforms to give users the ability to store, manage, and retrieve vital client data, such as contacts, account details, and billing information.
When a call comes in from a recognized phone (matches an existing client or prospect account), a pop-up will display information relevant to that conversation. That functionality gives an accounting firm’s employees instant access to previous call notes, upcoming dates for filings and applicable payments, tax details, and other relevant information, so they can quickly address their clients’ needs. The efficiencies of CRM integrations benefit CPAs and their customers, saving everyone time, frustration, and, of course, money.
Even before the pandemic, people in a number of industries were working remotely – from sales professional with significant travel requirements to entire workforces that, for the sake of cost, talent acquisition options, and other factors, operated from different locations. Mobility is no longer a trend but a necessity. Hosted VoIP supports staff working from virtually anywhere with a good internet connection.
Of course, voice connectivity for remote work is just one of the many benefits of VoIP. CPAs run very structured businesses and have an image to maintain. Professionalism is critical for an accounting firm.
There is nothing that undercuts that image as much as employees regularly using their personal phones for business purposes. IP-based telephony allows staff members to make and receive calls from smartphones without sharing or displaying their private numbers. Your accounting clients can route calls to any phone, or a group of phones based on the time, day of the week, or other factors.
Users can also receive voicemail to text transcriptions, allowing a CPA to read a message before listening via an email or text notification whenever someone leaves a voice message. Those phone functionalities are not limited to traditional calling devices; employees can also use laptops, desktops, and tablets.
Make Voice Count
Many companies have had to make drastic changes over the past several months. COVID-19 is now a leading driver for digital transformation, and that pace continues at lightning speed.
Other businesses are taking a more gradual approach. Wherever your accounting clients fall in this dichotomy, as an MSP, you can assess and provide the specific type of support they need to realize their objectives. Hosted VoIP is the perfect fit for many of those CPA-related goals.
If you enjoyed this blog, you might also be interested in the blog: The Four Things MSPs Need from VoIP Suppliers