This has certainly been a year none of us will forget, but we wanted to take a step back and try to remember it for what we’ve achieved too. It wasn’t until we saw the numbers that we realised just how busy we’ve been. Not compared to you guys, of course – AM users have sent over 3 million automated emails to their clients – but still.
We considered matching our annual review to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas, but there was too much repetition. Instead, picture it as a gushing award acceptance speech.
Thank you to our users, developers and support team for 25 new features
Big shout out to our development team this year and to all our users that suggested ways to enhance AM. We’ve released a record 25 features, not including improvements or ongoing maintenance. The response on ‘socials’ has been fantastic to see, it makes it all worth it.
Our support team – as well as maintaining a 98% or higher satisfaction rating throughout the year – played a crucial role communicating user needs to the developers and providing (qualified) quality assurance before release.
Integrations: 3 new features
- Xero integration: Sync AccountancyManager with Xero and when you change client details in either place, the update will show in both systems. Create invoices once in AM and at the click of a button they’ll be in Xero.
- QuickBooks integration: Sync client data between AM and QuickBooks, with invoicing to follow in the New Year.
- Use multiple integrations at once: For example, use Xero and FreeAgent at the same time.
Anti-money laundering and risk: 7 new features
- Revised risk assessment form: AM includes a guide for completing risk assessments that you can fill in. We’ve made this cover more elements of risk with help from former HMRC Tax Investigator, John Groves.
- Store multiple risk assessments: …and annual reviews for each client and download them as PDFs.
- International AML ID checks: Adding to our existing AML ID checks, we’ve expanded AccountancyManager to cover your international clients too.
- Quick access to client AML checks: To see a client’s AML check, just hit the new button on the client file.
- In-system credit screens for individuals, companies and international companies: As well as ID checks, you can now complete credit screens through AM – making it even faster to onboard new clients.
- Not a feature, but we’ve reduced the price of our AML credits (used to purchase either an ID check or both an ID check and credit screen) to as little as £1.25 each.
Onboarding: 3 new features
- Updated LoE templates: For all your automated emails, including those you sent at onboarding, we include a pre-written editable template, this totals over 40 templates. This year, we worked with ACCA to update our LoE templates.
- Onboarding workflow button: Kick off your onboarding tasks with just one click, thanks to a nifty new button.
- Automate ‘notes to self’ to chase up prospects: Need to remind yourself to follow up with prospective clients? Now automated and set the frequency of notifications.
Tasks, time-tracking and notifications: 4 new features
- Target dates: This made a big impact on our users. Now, as well as external deadlines, you can set internal target dates for tasks.
- Reallocate staff tasks: If your team changes, easily reallocate all tasks – and future tasks – within a client’s file to a new person.
- Pause Time Logs: When you’re tracking your time on a task, you can now pause and resume the spinning clock timer or enter the time manually.
- Notifications Manager: Stay on top of your notifications easily, with a full page view, additional filters and actions – including the option to archive in bulk.
Client portal: 2 new features
- Tax liability: Your clients have always been able to see their tax deadlines in their portal, but now they can see the amount of tax due too.
- Folders added: If you’ve arranged client documents into folders, this structure will be mirrored in the portal. Your clients can also create additional folders.
Automated records and requests: 3 new features
- Bulk SMS: Keep your clients up to date by sending SMS messages in bulk. It’s a quick and simple way to notify them, and you can filter your list to target specific clients.
- Automate your VAT payment reminders: We’ve enhanced our automation even further to include automatic VAT payment reminders.
- Avoid sending duplicate emails: To ensure your clients don’t receive the same email twice, you can now remove duplicates at the click of a button.
Other useful bits: 3 new features
- Download your documents in bulk: You can now download multiple documents at once, speeding up your internal processes and ensuring you have everything you need.
- Proposal to Strike Off: If one of your limited company clients is going to be struck off Companies House, their status will change to ‘Active – Proposal to Strike Off’, AM will notify you and you’ll be asked to confirm. Once confirmed, the client file, client list and task list are updated.
- Add additional contacts to your client file: A new tab in the client file where you can add, update and remove additional contacts.
We’ve hosted or spoken at 28 online events
When all the exhibitions were cancelled, it felt like we’d be distanced from the accountancy community – our users, our partners and our prospects. On the contrary, we’ve spoken to more people and made more connections this year than ever before.
4 hours chatting with AM users
In May we invited our users to join a webinar with James (Bryne, CEO) and it quickly turned into a stream of feature requests. So now we’ve launched our quarterly feature request group, a webinar with one key aim – to design AM around the people that use it. We’ve also started regular webinars that introduce any new features and how to use them.
11 hours of panel discussions
Except for recorded webinars, we hadn’t really explored live online content before 2020. Now, we’re pros. Thank you to everyone that joined our webinars, as guest hosts, speakers or attendees. We’re looking forward to plenty more where this came from. If there’s a link, you can still listen to the recording.
- Best practice for remote working with Rob Brown (Business Development Academy), Matthew McConnell (Certax Accounting) and Jeff Neil (Move On Accountants).
- Mental health in accountancy with Rob Brown, Andy Salkeld, Dr Helena Boschi and Vanessa Ugatti.
- The importance of marketing and branding in a post-covid world with Mike Crook (Practice Web) and Phillipa Heynes (Insight 101).
- Essential apps for your digital accountancy practice with Dan Cockerton (Digital Accountancy) and Jim Borrill (D H Tuck & Co).
- Building your firm and advisory offering with Clarity, Capitalise and Complete HQ.
- Three-part web series with Clarity – Choosing, using and proving your accountancy technology with Capitalise, Futrli and Clarity.
- Digital Accountancy week:
- New ways of working: Technology in the workplace and the tools that work best
- Digital leadership and culture: Digital leadership in a new era and the effect on company culture
- Survey results: The impact of COVID-19 on accountancy firms: Accountant’s lives during lockdown – survey results: with Dan Cockerton
8 hours of podcasts
- Geraldine Carter from She Thinks Big Coaching
- Vipul Sheth from AdvanceTrack Outsourcing
- Lucy Cohen from Mazuma Accountants
- Aynsley Damery from Clarity
- Reza Hooda from Walji and Co
- Mike Crook from PracticeWeb
- Dan Richards from MyFirmsApp
- Matt Flanagan from Appacus
2 hours speed-dating and 3 hours networking
This year, Digital Accountancy put a twist on networking between software vendors and their customers with speed-dating sessions. If you’re in the market for new software, we highly recommend them. They’re a great way to make up for pacing the UK’s exhibition halls and being roped into demos.
James spent time getting to know thought leaders in our local community, the accountancy community and the global community too. You can still listen to these discussions:
- Socks up Simon and James Byrne sit down for a chat
- Inside Coventry and Warwickshire podcast – James was a guest
- B1G1: Paul Dunn
We’ve grilled 14 inspiring members of the AM ‘family’
We might build AccountancyManager, but there are so many different ways to use it that when our users get hold of it, the results often surprise us. We interrogated 14 AM users about their practices, their experience of AM and their 2020s.
- Lucy Drake – Hassle Free Accounts and Tax in Southampton
- Barry Adams – Focus Accountancy in Bristol
- Mark Francis – Mark Francis Bookkeeping Solutions in Barnard Castle
- Matt McConnell – Certax Durham
- Jim Borrill – DH Tuck & Co in Cleethorpes
- Samantha Senior – SAS Senior Accounting Services in York
- Paddy Quinn – Paddy Quinn & Co Chartered Accountants in Dublin
- Zia Tahir – Spherical Accountants in London (Hackney)
- Bal Gora & Sam Patel – Diamond Accounts & Diamond Outsourcing – two offices one in Sittingbourne, one in Eastbourne
- Carolyn Cullen – Monton Green Accountancy in Eccles
- Johann Goree – JGBC in Perth, Scotland
- Paul Cain – Cain & Beer in Croydon
- Buhir Rafiq – Total Books in Cardiff
- Ben Steele – Steele Financial in Bristol
We’ve written 65 articles, read 16,300 times
Ok, so this one is pure egotism. Or, crazy thought, we might just be interested in the same things you are. AccountingWEB readers spent a total of 165 hours perusing our articles. That’s 6.8 days. Here are a few of our most popular articles (not including the interviews above):
- Inside the mind of an HMRC Tax Investigator
- Over 40 email templates. Infinite ways to personalise them.
- Onboarding: Accelerate your process with intelligent automation
- Why there’s no excuse for missing the self assessment deadline
- Stats & facts: Accountants’ lives during lockdown
- How to run you practice from home:
We’ve welcomed 6 people to the AM team
The AccountancyManager team usually occupies offices on Smith Street in Warwick. As of April, we created 22 home offices all over the Midlands – then took them down, then put them back up again. This year we’ve welcomed into the fold:
- Jonathan Stobart, Marketing Manager
- Marcus Bellis, Sales Director
- Nevdish Hir, Account Manager
- Nach Suphakawanich, 3-month Marketing Intern
- Ed Billington, PHP Developer
- Christian Heiler, Senior PHP Developer
We’ve cancelled 3 team days out
Last year, we played Bongo’s Bingo, table golf, baseball and curling and took on the mighty Monster – the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course. Neil broke his foot trying out Alex’s skateboard and Alex, in turn, left the Monster in a wheelchair.
Perhaps it’s for the best that this year’s planned activities were cancelled – paint-balling, axe-throwing and the annual bungee-jumping trip… We did all get new jumpers, posh chocolates and Amazon vouchers for Christmas though, so we must’ve been good.
2020 is over! Automate your admin in 2021 with AccountancyManager
We’ll be closed for Christmas from the 22nd of December to the 4th of January, but give us a call in the New Year to see how AccountancyManager could streamline your practice from onboarding to invoicing and everything in between.