When you are just starting out, using email to manage the inflow of communications and documents to/from customers and vendors makes sense. You are building relationships and managing invoices with a personal touch. This might help you get paid a bit faster. With a manageable number of clients and vendors and a small team, basic accounting inbox tools are good way to collect and store correspondence and the exchange of invoices, payment receipts, etc.  

 As you scale, this becomes a tougher ask. You find that managing accounting tasks through basic email tools no longer is “simple.” In fact, it 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. 

Collaboration is Impossible 

For Outlook and Gmail, you have two options to configure accounting email accounts, neither are ideal. Either the team has access to single AR and/or AP inbox, which can become confusing and difficult to manage, or each accounting rep uses a different inbox, which effectively silos them and makes sharing information and collaborating a near impossibility. 

Leveraging a shared inbox tool, like Lockstep Inbox, removes these limitations. This tool allows each team member their own login information and collaborate more effectively. A shared accounting inbox removes assignment confusion by letting accounting reps see assigned activities without needing to filter issues and requests that aren’t assigned to them. At the same time, when you use a tool that is connected to the accounting system and email, like Lockstep Inbox, each member of the team has access to individual correspondence and activities relating to customer and vendors, allowing them to collaborate with coworkers and complete activities much more easily. 

 Email Overload 

Volume is a primary gauge for the need to evolve from individual emails to a shared inbox.  As the number of clients grow, accounting teams have more invoices and vendors to manage. The result of course, is tracking and collaboration become exceedingly more difficult without the right tools. 

Today, the average mid-size accounting team sends/ receives over 100 emails to customers and/ or vendors each day. Managing this growing number of customer and vendor inquires can get unwieldy very quickly.  

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.