In our final post spotlighting our Industry of the Month, Accounting, we are focusing on how bookkeeping professionals use Teamwork Projects. We interviewed Orla Linehan of Fidelia Chartered Accountants in Cork, Ireland, in the last two posts (this one and this one) about her work and how she uses Teamwork Projects to help manage her workload. Today, we’re sharing our interview with Louise McLoughlin of e-BAS Accounts in Torquay, Victoria, Australia, about her experiences. Orla and Louise both use Teamwork Projects to organize their tasks and handle clients’ work. In this final post in our Accounting series, Louise shares how she uses Teamwork Projects in bookkeeping and a few tips on how to make the most of it so we can share with you how bookkeepers use Teamwork Projects.
 
Louise McLoughlin of e-BAS Accounts - How Bookeepers Use Teamwork Projects | Teamwork.com High Performance Blog

Keeper of the Books

Ledgers do not keep themselves, as much as we stare at them willing it to happen, which makes bookkeepers essential to the day-to-day management of a company’s finances. Finding the right balance between keeping the books and managing a business can be challenging as a small business trying to do it all or as a multinational corporation maintaining ledgers with more zeros than a big lottery win. This is where a dedicated keeper of the books or, at the very least, an expert who checks the books each month ensures a healthy flow of financial record keeping.
Q: When did you start using Teamwork Projects?
A:  In 2010, I found Teamwork Projects and gave it a try. Within the first 10 minutes, I knew I had found the product for me. It was feature-rich but user-friendly. It had everything I was looking for and more. As with any software, its true value is only realized when it is used properly. When I first started to use it, I spent about two weeks learning how to use the features and doing some testing. When I was happy, I started to set it up in a way that would best suit my business. I still use it today. This software literally gave me back my sanity! I was back in control of my workload. My growing client list no longer scared me because I was finally managing it, or rather, Teamwork Projects was managing it for me like an extra staff member, an extra pair of hands if you like, doing the heavy lifting while I just get on with the job. Perfect!

Using Teamwork Projects

Managing multiple departments, companies, or ledgers can be daunting, just as managing multiple projects and tasks can be which is why Teamwork Projects is a surprisingly ideal fit for keeping on top of bookkeeping work. Inevitably, certain features and functions will be more essential to some users than others and a few elements be the ones that are real time savers.
Describe the way you and your team use Teamwork.com?
Louise: Firstly, I have 30+ clients. I have set each one of them up as a “Project”. Each client has specific task lists set up for them under their project; some are recurring so I have used the “repeating” function there (useful for compliance tasks that repeat like BAS lodgement, IAS lodgement, superannuation lodgement, and regular payroll) – this automates our system and makes sure we don’t forget to do anything for any client – ever! I have one employee and a couple of contractors and they are all set up in Teamwork Projects, allocated to their own clients that I have specified. They do the work and use the timer so that all time is recorded and can be invoiced out each fortnight from Teamwork.

Customizing the Platform

With the detail and levels of tasks within Teamwork Projects also comes versatility to structure your account in a customized manner. Not just your logo, but also building projects, tasks, and functions to act as your own assistant taking care of your clients like part of the team.
How does Teamwork Projects help you organize your tasks and projects?
Louise: Teamwork Projects, as with any project management software, is designed to bring your workforce together and work more efficiently as a team on specific projects. The main idea is to bring all of the projects and the personnel who are working on them together in one place so that all relevant information is kept in one central area rather than across several applications. This is great if you have actual projects to work on! I didn’t have projects persae to complete in my business because it is a service business (although I did have some business development projects, and yes, these were added to my TW portal). While I don’t have projects to work on, I do have clients to service. I decided that my projects in TW would be my clients and vice versa. This blog post explains how I approached setting up my account.

Client Portals

At the core of Teamwork.com’s software suite is that the three current products work seamlessly together and allow for a community to share tasks, projects, and knowledge internally to collaborate successfully. Louise has worked with the elements of Teamwork Projects to carve out exactly what suits her and her clients.
How have you set up your Teamwork Projects to meet your particular client needs?
Louise: I create “client portals” for each client. I have a login feature on my website and each client can login to their own portal which is actually their Teamwork project. I ask each client to upload any files related to their bookkeeping assignment there and also ask that they send messages to me or other staff via their portal – that way, all data related to a particular client stays in one place. I keep clients’ lodged tax forms etc in their portals as well – that way, if they ever want a copy, they just have to log in and grab it. I also ask clients to update their own business details should they change, via their portal – so it acts as live CRM which I know is always up to date. Lastly, I get the clients to use their calendar to input any meeting dates they would like to have with me. What I like most about doing this is that all client data is kept in one place – I don’t have to search around five different systems to find information I need – it’s all in Teamwork Projects. How I set up the client portals is detailed in two blog posts, this blog post in particular explains the process.
 
Louise, like other bookkeepers, manages multiple clients’ books which means she not only needs her own skills but a system that helps her organize and collaborate as well. Her mastering the tools within Teamwork Projects allowed her to customize her setup completely to best serve her work and her clients’ needs. If you are considering Teamwork.com for your business or have signed up but are still trying to learn the tricks and tips to make the most of your account, check out some of our helpful videos or contact us with your questions.
 
If you’re in the accounting or bookkeeping industry, what feature do you love most in Teamwork Projects?
We hope you enjoyed our June Industry of the Month spotlight on Accounting and Bookkeeping. Next month, the focus will be on how Web Design Agencies use Teamwork.com products. Stay tuned for our three-part series throughout the month of July. In the meantime, to learn more about Teamwork Projects or jump straight in with our free 30-day trial, click here.