With automation high on every company’s agenda, no department is more tuned in than the accounting department. That’s why Sage acquired Lockstep, the application that allows users to automate workflows between company accounting systems.
Because traditional accounting systems lack any native inbox integrations, it’s no surprise how generic email solutions remain the number one way accounting teams are forced to communicate with customers and vendors.
Lockstep has become known for supplying the first (and only) free inbox solution for seamless customer and vendor workflows from a single application.
“Lockstep Inbox streamlines accounting workflows so you can send out invoices and pay vendors faster, keeping you organized and your business running soundly. And it gets even better. It’s free-forever.”
One of the motivations attracting Sage to Lockstep includes the accelerated quest for accounting automation and gives Sage a boost in its pursuit to become the most trusted network for small and medium businesses.
More than 90% of accounting professionals use personal email inboxes and spreadsheets to manage digital accounting workflows. This same percentage lacked any automation capabilities connected to their accounting inboxes through collaboration software. Now they don’t have to.
By allowing accounting teams to manage and automate receivables and payables workflows in one place, the accounting department improves efficiency and cash flow for the whole company.
Who is Lockstep Inbox For?
Any accounting professional working with customers and vendors can benefit from Lockstep’s shared inbox, which is meant for individual or team accounting departments.
With functionality across both AR and AP, Lockstep delivers workflow automation to the accounting department by connecting the ERP software and email software (like Outlook or Gmail), allowing more straightforward and intelligent accounting activity management.
What Does Lockstep Inbox Do?
Eliminating the need for multiple spreadsheets and email folders to track customer and vendor communication, Lockstep integrates email software and an ERP system, allowing companies to automate accounting workflows.
4 Signs Your Accounting Inbox Needs Lockstep
Using email to manage communication and documents to/from customers and vendors is normal. And why not? For small companies just starting, basic accounting tools are an excellent way to manage correspondence, exchange invoices, store payment receipts, etc.
As companies grow, managing accounting tasks through these email tools and spreadsheets causes more problems than the process solves.
Collaboration has become impossible
Outlook and Gmail offer two options for configuring accounting email accounts, but neither are ideal:
- Accounting team has access to a single AR and AP inbox
- Each accounting rep uses a different inbox
A single AR and AP inbox for the whole team becomes confusing, while separate inboxes create silos and prevent collaboration.
Companies remove these limitations and collaborate more effectively with this shared inbox tool.
Inbox overload confusion disorder
Tracking and collaborating become significantly more difficult without the right tools. That’s because email volume is a primary driver for needing a shared inbox.
An average mid-size accounting team on an average workday sends and receives over a hundred emails to customers and vendors. As the business grows and accumulates new customers, the accounting department has more invoices and vendors to manage as a result.
Lockstep creates one workspace for the accounting team to collaborate and directly connect with customers and vendors.
Lack of customizations and automation
Email platforms like Outlook and Gmail offer limited automation features for accounting departments. For example, there is no functionality to open or assign activities to accounting teams and limited capabilities to store information in email folders. There needed to be a way to automate the assignment process for multiple roles instead of adding manual workarounds and creating more work for accounting staff.
That’s where Lockstep comes in by automatically organizing emails and documents by subject, vendors, customers, and more.
Need accountability for accounting
The essence of accounting is visibility and accountability. Critical customer correspondence slips through the cracks when accounting teams lose track of emails and follow-up status.
Traditionally, the accounting team receives a customer email in their typical inbox. Immediately the agent lost track of its status and follow-up capabilities. Traditional emails cultivate multiple response threads, leading to more confusion than answers. Emails can accidentally get deleted, people get incorrectly added and removed, and teams cannot easily collaborate with another member of your team.
What’s more, Gmail can’t remind accounting teams when a question has been left unanswered for an extended period as Lockstep can.
Lockstep delivers context on past conversations in email, offers easy access to conversations other team members have had, and lets companies track follow-ups more effectively.
Lockstep: Your Inbox Automation
Every accounting team knows how frustrating email communication can be. It’s a necessary evil for most accounting departments. But just like you would use email to replace Salesforce, email platforms like Outlook and Gmail were never intended to be accounting tools.
While these platforms may seem intuitive for managing email communications with customers and vendors initially, email quickly outgrows its usability for accounting teams who run multiple communication streams.
Now there’s an accounting automation tool explicitly aimed at automating accounts receivable and accounts payable for accounting pros.
Contact one of our Sage experts if you’d like to learn more about how Lockstep can bring automation to your accounting team.