Cloud-based email clients are handy not just because you get access to your inbox on any device, but you can also use add-ons that augment the account’s standard features. For instance, Gmail plugins add extra functionalities focusing on productivity, labelling emails, managing attachments, or security. Here is our selection of Gmail plugins for accountants and bookkeepers.
Depending on what you do, email clutter is sometimes nothing more than a nuisance, but it can also be the primary source of risk for the company’s finances. The second possibility is more likely among accountants, for whom missing a single email or not being able to locate an attachment can have dire consequences.
For accountants, it is essential to organise work, track tasks, and stay focused during the day. While your inbox can be the source of chaos and distraction, there are dedicated Gmail plugins that will help you out.
1. Access your inbox offline: Gmail Offline
If you think Outlook is better than Gmail because it works offline, you may want to give Gmail Offline a try. Provided by Google itself, Gmail Offline does precisely what the name suggests — you can use your Gmail account, such as view and compose messages, without access to the internet. It has the “distraction-free” aspect too — by turning off the network for a while, you will be able to focus on whatever you do without interruptions from social media, browser notifications, or other incoming messages.
More: Gmail Offline
2. Secure your email messages: Mailvelope
Some emails sent by accountants, bookkeepers and other employees in the finance department contain sensitive information about the company’s financial stability. It’ll make sense to pay attention to email security to ensure that only authorised recipients get access to what you share via email.
This is easy to do with the Mailvelope Gmail plugin. It allows you to secure your messages by clicking the Encrypt button, available inside the “compose message” window.
3. Store emails and attachments in the Drive: Save Emails and Attachments
Accountants often get crucial information in email content or as attachments, such as spreadsheets, or scanned receipts and invoices. With the Save Emails and Attachments plugin, you can easily export any of your email messages to Google Drive and save them as print-ready PDFs. In addition to this, you can save all your email attachments automatically so that they’re secure and searchable from the Drive’s search box.
4. Schedule emails for later: Boomerang for Gmail
Boomerang for Gmail is a handy tool for setting up recurring emails or scheduling emails to be sent later. This option is particularly useful for accountants sending reminders about missing expense-related documents, tax return deadlines, payment deadlines, issuing invoices, etc.
You can also set up a notifier that reminds you when to handle incoming messages. When you do it, these emails temporarily disappear from your inbox and then return according to the timer you set up yourself.
View: Boomerang for Gmail
5. Track opens and clicks: Yesware
Ever wondered whether or not your client opened that email you sent as a reminder to pay their taxes or to nudge them about missing receipts and invoices? Yesware is a Gmail plugin that makes it possible. You’ll get notifications based on the recipient’s activity, including opens and clicks (if you put links in your messages). It’s quite a convenient tool, especially for emails that include important reminders about tax records.
6. Convert emails into tasks: ToDoist for Gmail, Drag: To Do & Task List
Making your inbox clutter-free can be a daunting task, especially when clients keep emailing you, rather than opening tasks in a project management tool. This is particularly common for accounting firms that deal with various clients with many backgrounds and varying levels of technical knowledge.
ToDoist for Gmail is a powerful, yet clutter-free plugin that helps you convert emails into tasks with just one click. You can add due dates and labels to your tasks, as well as assign tasks to projects. There are options for team collaboration and task tracking. ToDoist synchronises across all devices and even works offline.
Another option for transforming your inbox is called Drag: To Do & Task List. It turns your inbox into Trello-like boards (a layout called “Kanban”) so that it’s an organised and manageable workspace.
7. Receive emails in batches: BatchedInbox
One of the most useful productivity hacks is to make sure you don’t check your email incessantly but only in specified periods during the day. This is especially important if your job needs you to focus and work in a well-organised manner.
Thus, accountants may want to consider BatchedInbox for Gmail which makes emails visible in your inbox in batches. These batches appear only at specified hours that you can set up yourself.
8. Look up company emails: Clearbit, Hunter.io
Some accountants, especially self-employed, handle both the marketing and selling of their services. When they do, it may be useful to be able to look up company email addresses to reach out to the right person when you don’t know their email address.
If you install Clearbit for Gmail, you’ll be able to enter the company and position, and then the plugin will suggest contact information.
You may also give Hunter.io a try which comes in the form of a Chrome extension. It searches for email addresses based on the website you’re currently viewing.