Accounting teams rely on email for so much, it’s ridiculous. These teams depend on email to communicate internally with their teams, and externally with customers, sometimes managing four or more inboxes at a time. Managing today’s accounting email inboxes with limited collaboration capabilities means teams are using Slack, Teams, productivity tools, phone calls, IMs, and smoke signals to close the books.
Email as the central communication tool for businesses is likely here to stay, but man, oh man is it broken. Especially for accounting teams. That said, for your reading pleasure, we’ve done the heavy lifting and gathered ten of the top ways email is making your accounting team see red instead of green. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing them all with you!
Email Challenge Number 1: Activity Management
Activity management for accounting teams hasn’t improved in over a decade. The email platforms of today are not designed to meet the needs of accounting teams, where adding color tags or flagging emails in a shared inbox is the only way to “manage” or assign activities. Assigning tasks and next steps for teams bigger than one requires the use of extra tools or steps that are often more burdensome than helpful. What’s worse is that your colleagues don’t know the progress of an activity until spreadsheets and profiles are manually updated. Did the customer respond to your email? Did they answer the phone? Is payment pending? Check in the mail?
Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) teams require dynamic activity management to carry out their workflow! “Dynamic Activity Management” simply means that the next best task isn’t always predictable. If an AP team receives a new invoice to pay, but has no record of the vendor, what is the next step they should take? If they receive a payment from a customer that doesn’t match an invoice, what then? The limitations of traditional email limit a team’s ability to execute activity management accurately and effectively.
Manual accounting processes are inefficient, relying heavily on email and spreadsheets to manage and organize your accounting workflows. To track and manage activities, traditional email just doesn’t cut the mustard. Without several tools held together by scotch tape, processes would break. And what happens to in-progress activities if a team member is out sick, on vacation, or quits?
This creates disparate, static information that is impossible to keep track of. There’s a better way to manage accounts receivable (AR).
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