You know the importance of accounting cycle efficiency, and yet you’re probably using plain email software to work with vendors, customers, and internal departments.  Is Outlook or Gmail holding you back?  If you’re a growing company, it will soon.  If you’re a midsize or large company, it definitely is.

What are the signs?

When you’re dealing with just two or three emails a day, email software works just good enough. It’s easy to keep track of the work and a simple folder structure works.

But once you start getting 20, 30, or 50 emails a day, this becomes impossible. Email software lacks the automation, controls, and visibility to efficiently scale your operations.  Here are the top five signs that it’s time to move off of email and into a better solution:

  1. You have to search your inbox to find vendor or customer emails. This means you’re relying on your own memory to keep track of inquiries, disputes, invoices, and payments that you or a team member has handled.
  2. Your vendors and customers follow-up on their emails. This means you’re not dealing with requests efficiently. You, everyone on your team, your vendors, and your customers should always be aware of the status of a request.
  3. You or a teammate has forgotten about an invoice. When there are too many emails, it’s easy for something to fall through the cracks. With email software, it’s impossible to delegate ownership over an email and track status.  This leads to errors in closing.
  4. Vendors complain about the quality of your response. If people are calling their buyers, because they feel like their needs aren’t addressed, you have to fix this issue yesterday.
  5. Customer hold up payments because inquires or disputes aren’t resolved.  When people have questions on invoices, they need them resolved in time to schedule payment so you can get the cash.

Email has a ton of limits when it comes to workflow. You can’t separate emails into groups or work collaboratively on a single email. And most importantly, you can’t track progress or look for process improvements.

As your workload grows, you won’t be able to systematically scale.

Lockstep is a collaborative application that boosts your accounting cycle efficiency.  Lockstep makes it easier and faster for your AR and AP to work with customers and vendors.  Learn more about Lockstep features here.

So what do I need?

Think about what features your team needs in order to be efficient. Can this need be addressed through a reorganizing of your email or are you truly in need of a better way? Chances are if you’re really running as a team, email isn’t the solution to managing the work.