Client Manager 2023

Hi
does anyone use a CRM to integrate with tax cycle.
the task of managing clients is increasingly challenging when good portion of practice is virtual. the numerous emails/ecouriers with slips and information, signatures etc.
thanks
cheryl

That’s an interesting question. We’re all getting more information through portals, emails, etc. and making sure all that information is captured is sometimes a nightmare, especially for those clients who send their information to you in dribs and drabs.

I can’t think of how you would integrate a CRM with TaxCycle since they’re two different programs. TaxCycle, understandably at this point, doesn’t play well with other programs.

I keep my file manager open and drag emails to my client folders when received and download any attachments to that folder, too. I use this, too, for replies to my client queries.

I’d be very interested in a better way but I haven’t seen one, yet. I keep tweaking my system each year but it’s far from how I’d like it to be.

2 Likes

@kevin
Which file manager and email systems are you using?
Are you saving the native email file, the pdf, or both?

@cheryl
I started using 17Hats to manage the various emails online with various triggers, recurring, and with automation. 17Hats has native integration with Google workspace. It is ideal for use in one person practice. I bought a multi-year bundle so I am keeping 17Hats and reviewing my options next fall/winter.

I added Pixie (usePixie) for its tax and bookkeeping task management, for its workflow documentation and automations, and because Pixie can scale. In addition, Pixie has lots of free workflow templates. Third party individuals have paid workflow templates.

I use a consistent tag/custom field system within these apps as available.

This year I am duplicating some key data points within TaxCycle as custom fields.

Neither solution has a great portal or archiving system. Some bookkeeping and tax accounting firms use Google Drive, OneDrive, or SharePoint. Others use yet one online document sharing and/or e-signature app. Some use Adobe sign.

Then again there is the choice of Client Manager only vs CRM vs Practice Manager or something else.

Which CRMs are you considering?

This entire process is less than ideal because it is disjointed.

Checkout the e-courier thread for more related comments.

@dominique_dabolczi , I use Thunderbird for my email system, but am considering switching back to Outlook. For a file manager, I use File Center. It has a very good PDF annotation module. I don’t store all my client files in the cloud so the file manager works well for disk management. I have a ShareFile portal where I exchange documents with clients but I download client-provided files from the portal or from email. I also use the Everything app for those infrequent times when I can’t remember where I’ve saved a file.

When I drag the emails into the client’s folder in File Center, it copies the EML file but I convert it to PDF (File Center has a Convert option that converts files to PDF).

The Client Manager is still a good tool for tracking TaxCycle files but has its limitations.

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Currently, i a filing system within outlook. also keep all files in explorer.
i developed a great excel spreadsheet for monitoring workflow but i am sure not most efficient
i would love to be able to store communication within crm or similar. i just keep notes in client files in outlook

thanks for the replies

that is the issue - ‘dribs and drabs’ and sometimes same information 2 or 3 times
takes time to sort through

1 Like

@kevin
File Centre
File Center is new to me. Thank you for sharing.
At $150 USD/yr for 50 GB and two way secure sharing this seems worth closer investigation.

Everything for Windows
Everything for Windows is new to me. Thank you for sharing.

Email file types
Formerly is saved my emails to pdf and archived the pdf version only. Now I save both the native Outlook and pdf versions because each has it’s use and the native version can be handy.

TaxCycle’s Client Manager
I like Client Manager for what it does. It is far superior to what Intuit ProFile has using the custom crystal reports for searches, etc.

@cheryl
The dribs, drabs, duplicates and incomplete documentation continues to be my biggest on-going pain point, especially for personal tax. Each year I get a bit better at asking for, receiving, and processing the client’s source documents.

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i totally agree. most of time is organizing and processing, rather then preparing returns.

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The FileCenter cost is $150 for the first year. Renewals are not that much. As I recall, about $70 per year to renew (per user).

Hi Kimberly,
I checked my junk folder but did not find an invitation email from base camp.
Can I have one more invite email?

Dharma

Hi Kevin

Can you show how you open and drag emails to your file centre? What email program you are using for this drop and drag?

I use Thunderbird but this works in Outlook, too. I’m not sure I can show you how to do it. I don’t double-click on the email first. I just highlight it in the list and drag it to my folder, just like dragging and dropping a file from one folder to another.

Hi Kevin,

QUESTIONS
1 - Which app do you use to drag and drop your email message file from one folder to another?
2 - How do you id your source email message in your folder in Outlook?

MY PROJECT
I am getting ready to upgrade my PC computers by the end of Jan 2023. Currently I am archiving, purging, and renaming files in preparation for my systems migration.

Desktop Outlook
I have configured my Outlook file on my pc as a *.pst file. The *.pst file stores everything, emails, calendars, contacts, etc. I create a new file every year. So my files are called 2023.pst. 2022.pst, 2021.pst, etc.

My current messages are in my inbox or sent folder.
My archived messages are in custom folders.

Outlook Message File
The recommended file type for archiving individual emails is *.msg.
From the Outlook ribbon select File, Save as.
Navigate to the folder.
Select Outlook Message Format to be able to reopen this file in Outlook.
The file type options are:
-Text only

  • Outlook Template
  • Outlook Message Format - Unicode
  • Outlook Message Format
  • HTML
  • MHT files

I am investigating these email archival and foldering options, and, technical options and tools:

  • how to efficiently and effectively save or drag and drop multiple *.msg files into client folders and archival folders.
  • which third party windows explorer alternative I prefer to more effectively find file all files including hidden ones, and, to effectively bulk rename files.
  • which third party file conversion app or apps I prefer to convert these emails into .pdf and/or .msg
  • which third party file comparison app I prefer to compare multiple versions of a single file.
  • which online client document sharing app I prefer.
  • which file and folder naming taxonomy I prefer.
  • set my file processing, archiving, and purging workflows and standards.

File and Setting guide for Outlook

How To Save An Outlook Message In MSG/EML Format
https://support.intermedia.com/app/articles/detail/a_id/10598/~/how-to-save-an-outlook-message-in-msgFeml-format

How to export Outlook email to MSG File? Complete Guide

How to export an email message to the MSG and EML format

How to Save Email in Windows File System

@lokki
I am looking to evaluate options on how to do this quickly, easily, with as few steps and choices as possible from Outlook.

So far I have found a low cost tool called DragDrop to quickly and easily move Outlook files, both cloud based and desktop based.

DragDrop

Technical explanation of Outlook file types.
My background is in computer tech starting at IBM implementing accounting systems and all the user interfaces, extracts and reports. I documented and project managed all aspects of systems conversions from specifying client business requirements, through technical spec docs, etc, until final customer acceptance. So I am very comfortable with tech speak. This resource provides more technical details about working with Outlook file types.

@dominique_dabolczi , I don’t use an app to transfer emails. I have my email program open on one monitor and my FileCenter open on another monitor (I’m sure File Explorer can be used instead). I just drag and drop from my InBox to the client’s folder. To copy a number of emails to a folder, I can search for emails to/from that client, highlight the list of emails in the email program, and then drag and drop the highlighted emails to the client folder. Most times, I’ll convert the emails to PDF in the client folder. The PDF helps if I want to annotate the email or consolidate them in the WP’s.

I’m not sure what you mean by “id your source email message”? I locate the email in my Inbox list or search for it. Sometimes I’ll go to my “Sent” box and pull my email response into the client’s folder and convert it to PDF, just so I have a record of my response to the client.

I archive all my emails so they get out of my Inbox when I’m done but can still be retrieved later.

I have a home grown CSM package built on top of Podio and a few other apps.

It integrates Phone calls, Text messages, Emails with the tax returns, the client portal, the electronic signature system, and my firm’s bookkeeping work which is done in Excel, Sage desktop, Sage Cloud, Quickbooks Cloud, and now XERO.

There is a little bit of growing pains as an employee starts, but it works.

@TimParris

Wow. I applaud you. :clap:

Does anyone use Client Track

considering this option for crm and signatures?
thx

i have gone over my limit with docusign envelopes and this year they want to increase my annual fee from $396 to the discounted price of $1600 - can’t believe it
now considering tax folder or client track