All Your Work, All in One Place: Communication & Collaboration with QuickBooks Online Accountant

Original article by Jonathan Bello, published on the Firm of the Future blog.

I’d consider myself an organized person. For example, I use Microsoft Outlook — and as soon as a client request comes in, I flag for review so I don’t forget it. Through Outlook, I’m typically reviewing the new task list at the end of that day or first thing the next morning. When I review the task, I add a client name to it, put in a reminder time and categorize the activity. I typically don’t track start and end dates.

So, now I get my daily task list reminders, but I can’t easily identify if the task is for a client, something personal or firm-related.

I currently have a team of four, including myself, and once a week or every two weeks, I meet with each team member to go over the status of work related to their clients. I have also been evaluating third-party workflow apps. So, when “Work” or projects was announced for QuickBooks® Online Accountant, I was very excited at the prospect of having something that would help me track tasks at no extra cost to me.

The result? Implementing projects is a work in progress and getting it be a part of our regular operations is our biggest hurdle. However, the ability to easily add projects and task and assign them to a Team member or client is great. I won’t go into detail on how to do that, but here is what we’ve found to guide you:

  • While you can only add projects and tasks at the “Accountant” or “Your Practice” level, the easy work around on this is:
    • Open another Chrome User and stay at the Accountant Level
    • Open another browser
    • Open the Desktop App
  • As a team leader, my work is quite cluttered – I see every Payroll & Unaccepted Transaction, even if I filter to see just one Team member’s work. This can be cleaned up by adding a Task for every project and then just filter for Task.

There are a few issues I’d love to see solved in the next revision of the “Work” feature:

  • Notifications of new tasks added by me for a Team member.
  • The ability of team members to assign me a task.
  • While there currently is no notification of completed tasks, it does show a task as being completed in the work portal.

Some unexpected benefits of the new “Work” feature:

  • Some clients respond quicker to request thru QuickBooks Online (QBO) than email.
  • There is a pop-up for clients in QBO for tasks.

In summary, while there are some ongoing issues, I think this is an excellent first pass by Intuit® to add value to QBOA, and our team is going to give it the old college try to incorporate it into our workflow.

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