What's Next For Accounting? - Issue #134

📅 Shut Up And Take My Money Apps

Over 100 accountants chimed in on social this week to share the last app they saw that caused them to throw money at their monitor and immediately purchase it.

We discussed each at length on the pod. Here are the 17 best:

  1. Scribe - This was my pick, as it makes creating SOPs super fast and easy. Shoutout to Chris Williams who shared Whale is also very good

  2. TextExpander - Canned text that can be reused anywhere with a shortcut, even share those snippets with your team! Think for deliveries, recurring requests etc

  3. My Task LMS - A learning management platform with technical tax & accounting training for your team

  4. Motion - An AI that re-arranges your days according to the stuff you need to get done, and how long you think those things will take. If your day gets blown up it auto-re-arranges for you

  5. GoHighLevel - Seemingly every marketing software rolled up into a single tool

  6. RightTool - IYKYK

  7. Pitbull Tax Resolution Software - This tool, or one like it, ought to be in the tool belt of every tax professional. I wish I knew this was a thing back in the day

  8. Ignition - Several folks called this out, proposals & payments made easy. I did a (sponsored) 5 minute demo of this that went live yesterday

  9. Snipd - A podcast player that lets you take highlights, like you would on a Kindle

  10. Readwise - A way to centralize your Kindle highlights, and highlights you make from web articles, and sync them back to Notion/Evernote wherever your brain lives

  11. Keeper - More people called this one out than anything else

  12. Brain.fm - Music to help you focus!

  13. Judy’s TenKey - Does what it says on the tin

  14. DecisionVault - Estate planning client intake, because estate planning people deserve software too

  15. Practice Protect - Like a password manager, but your team can’t see the credentials 🤌

  16. Calendly - Somehow we still haven’t reached peak scheduling app! Please do your friends and colleagues a favor and schedule responsibly

  17. Grammarly - Because everyone can use a little help writing more good

And an honorable mention goes to Sheila Paulus in the YouTube comments, who shared “A Ruler For Windows.” It’s exactly what it sounds like, in the most delightfully elegant way.

💎 This Week's Sponsor

Check out Jason’s 5 minute demo video 👇👇

📅 This Week

  • Next week I’m in Austin at RightNow. If you’re in Texas I better see you there, and I don’t want to hear anything about how big Texas is

  • Some ideas for how to attract better paying clients

  • I chatted with the inimitable Geraldine Carter about how to get down to 40 hours per week

  • This personal finance app is an interesting window into what the future of accounting ledgers may look like, handling exceptions rather than classifying everything from scratch

  • My favorite shortcuts to develop your firm faster

  • Interesting AI updates:

    • In Chrome, you can now type @gemini in the address bar to start a conversation with Gemini

    • ChatGPT also vastly improved its web search ability, now working much faster and providing citations directly in its response

    • Interestingly, Google search has never felt more meh than it does today. Top results are almost always SEO fluff, as AI-generated slop looks to be winning out

    • Remember when people would say “ChatGPT isn’t a search engine?” It kind of is now, and kind of beats the socks off Google search for everything but searching Reddit

  • An app like Zapier or Make that uses AI to make decisions for you through a branching logic process

  • Similarly, Bardeen has now repositioned what it does around AI agents that’ll tackle repetitive browser tasks for you

  • Rate my job description

🔮 Q&A - All About Scheduled Work!

Last week on the pod we devoted the entire week to firms transitioning to scheduled work. Here’s the Q&A that capped the week’s proceedings:

What if clients have their info ready before their scheduled dates, and don’t like the idea of waiting around? Link
You’re running a business that by its nature needs to spread out work because it's not possible to do everything at the same time. And somewhere along the line we chose to bear the weight of that responsibility. As if it’s our fault the amended brokerage statements go out 2 weeks before April 15th.

Some clients will understand this, others won’t. Instead let’s focus on the benefits of this approach to clients: MUCH shorter turnaround times, they have your full attention during the project, and they know exactly when they’ll get their work back. The same client isn’t happy dropping off their info ASAP then waiting 2 months to get it done.

How would it impact the timing of engagement letters if you wanted to get the dates into the EL? Link
If you’re dictating the schedule for clients, build the dates into the EL on the regular schedule. If you allow clients to book their own dates, after they pick a date, kick off the proposal & EL as the next step of the engagement.

What do we call this “scheduling of work” both internally and externally? Link
Internally, terms like scheduled work, fully scheduled work or capacity scheduling could be used. With clients, I’d avoid jargon and simply frame it as we’re now developing a fully planned year to keep you on track. Paint the picture of the work you’ll do for them throughout the year. Framed this way it’s almost a new value add, rather than an uncomfortable change.

How do you calculate extension estimates for people who end up with dates after April 15th? Link
Worst case you do it the same way you do it today, but scheduling can improve this as well. For a given block of clients, for example all the clients who will be filed in May, associate them with a pre-deadline time block for estimates. Maybe May filers get extension estimates the last week of March, you give them a hard deadline for when they get that estimated info in, and they’ll know exactly when to expect the estimate calculations.

😍 From The Community

My private peer networking community Realize for firm leaders, and it’s now reached its cap of 500 members 🎉

▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮ 500/500 members