From EZine Article: Taking Your Practice Online

SmartAffiliate and Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor Laurie O’Neil offers insight on the best tools for taking your practice online

It is so hard to believe we are coming to the end of the year. Many of us are starting to think about putting our game plan together for next year. As a part of that game plan you may consider transitioning your office to be more remote. Let’s take a look at some of the technology that is out there. You may have a bit of anxiety about doing this, but keep in mind you can be more efficient with your time, use technology to protect yourself and be able to take on more work. We, as bookkeepers want everything to be perfect, but the unknown often takes us out of our comfort zones.

So let’s start by transitioning slowly. You can transition by using an application service provider. There are two companies that are approved by Intuit. One is Insync and the other is Rightnetworks. You and your clients will be able to work over the Internet by remoting in to a virtual desktop. It is secure and backed up daily. You have the capability to be anywhere and print your documents, too. You can even upload and download your documents to your C: drive on your computer. If your client is in the file all you have to do is make sure they are in multi-user mode.

Other technology you can use to access your clients data remotely are Logmein and Webex. Although these companies are great to use there are some limitations. The computer you are accessing needs to be on and connected to the Internet and you may need to check with your client to see if they are going to using the computer.

Once you have the remote access area down pat, start converting your office to become paperless. Companies like Sourcelink http://www.personable.com/ and Smartvault are great to use. They are document management systems. They link the invoices into QuickBooks data files so that you can share the documents easily with accountants and bookkeepers.

Next is how do you pay the bills? Some clients like traditional methods like printing checks and federal expressing the package back to the client. This can become costly. You can use online banking or there is http://www.bill.com. This site is pretty neat. You fax in your bills, the bookkeeper can code them, it imports into QuickBooks and it sends an email to be authorized to be paid.

With these basic steps of transition you are on your way to becoming a remote office. As you are converting your practice to using some of these technologies, remember to do it step by step. You will be through your conversion in no time.

Laurie O’Neil, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks Advisor, is the founder of Innovative Financial Services, LLC a national bookkeeping firm located in Hartford, CT who offers advice to other freelance bookkeepers and business owners. For more information go to http://www.infinancialservices.com
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