Email was never designed as an accounting tool. Using email to manage the inflow of communications and documents to/from customers and vendors may make sense on paper, but when managing multiple streams and questions from customers and vendors, email quickly outgrows its welcome for accounting teams.  

Managing accounting tasks through basic email tools no longer is “simple” and in fact causes more problems than it solves. Invoices pile up, and communications from customers and vendors overtake your inbox. With a growing number of customers and vendors, and a larger volume of requests to be addressed, things can quickly become overwhelming for your team and seemingly impossible to organize.  

If this sounds familiar, chances are you need to find a dedicated email workflow tool for your accounting team. And why wouldn’t you? Your sales team has a tool like salesforce, your IT team is using JIRA to manage internal inquiries and your customer success team is using Gainsight to manage the influx of customer inquiries and challenges.  

Here are two sure fire signs, you need to find a dedicated tool for your accounting workflows. 

No Ability to Automate and Customize 

In your email client (Outlook or Gmail), automation features are quite limited. For accounting teams, there is no way to “open” or “assign” activities to themselves or others. You can file messages and create folders by client or vendor, but the ability to “store” information in the folders is limited to your email correspondence. In Outlook today, your ability to customize is limited. And there’s no way to automate the assignment process among multiple agents, increasing the amount of work your employees have to do. 

Accountability is Difficult to Manage 

Today’s email software doesn’t allow for visibility and accountability. Once a customer email comes in, you lose track of status and accountability. You lose track of e-mails and have no idea about follow up status. Email doesn’t remind you when a question has been left unanswered for too long. When you have a team (or even need PTO coverage), accountability and visibility are sorely missed using the email platforms of today. 

Even worse, there is little to no context on past conversations in email. When you can’t track the follow ups and you don’t have easy or any access to conversations other team members have had. And, if those conversations took place outside of email, you’re out of luck. Emails get accidentally deleted, people get added and removed from email chains, and each email is tied to the inbox it was sent to, meaning you cannot easily work on an email with another member of your team. Emails facilitate multiple responses to your clients and can lead to more confusion than actual answers.  

The world’s first ever shared inbox is designed exclusively for accounting and finance, Lockstep Inbox creates an online workspace so there’s one place for the accounting team to work together, manage shared activities, and directly connect with customers and vendors. Lockstep Inbox can automatically organize emails and documents by subject and issue for specific vendors, customers, and transactions.  And best of all, it’s free.