The trouble with email, and how we are fixing it.

Each day, more than 205 billion emails get sent around the world. In the average accounting firm, around 90% of communication is conducted this way. And almost certainly, it is the most common way you send and receive information with clients.

Despite the development of new products for internal and external communication, email has stood the test of time. It is widely accepted that the first email was sent at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965. Fundamentally at least, not all that much has changed since then.

Messages get sent from one person to another, or a group of others. It is siloed in the inbox that the email was addressed to because that is how it is designed—to communicate one-on-one, like a letter or a phone call.

So, the question must be asked: are the fundamentals of email still suitable for the environment in today’s modern accounting firms? How do we justify using this as our primary source of communication and workflow management? Particularly since email has never successfully been integrated into the workflow of a business.

The rise of Slack (and similar tools) identified a huge issue internally for businesses of all types—internal email is relied on for discussion with colleagues around the world, or even from desk to desk. These tools may have reduced the reliance on internal email, but they are not a solution for all communication.

Typically, an email serves as the center of the conversation. It is the initiator of the document, client information, job, task, or discussion piece. But we are yet to see a wholly integrated system, where email is intrinsic into the workflow that you establish with your colleagues, clients, or stakeholders.

To alleviate the lack of visibility, we have seen copies of emails made available against the contact record in systems such as CRMs. But they are just that—a copy. There to look at, but not to contribute to.

In contrast, seamless collaboration in nearly everything else has been made possible over the last 5-10 years. Modern solutions allow teams to work successfully together on everything from documents to tasks, workflow and client relationships. But email—something we rely on for so much—has been neglected.

Which is why we have done something to change this.

Karbon has developed email commenting to revolutionize the way accounting firms share and collaborate on emails, and allow them to work so much more effectively as a team. Our customers already have visibility over all communication related to their clients and jobs, but this is a brand-new way to carry out instant discussions right where they make sense.  No more silos. No more roadblocks.

This is fundamentally different not only to other practice management systems, but to how any organizational management system works. For the first time, the starting point of the majority of your firm’s output is 100% integrated into your workflow. It is available to collaborate on and contribute to, by anyone who has something to offer.

Email has so many advantages, but the fundamental issues associated with it are dramatically affecting productivity, efficiency and effectiveness in accounting firms. Karbon’s email comments give you the power to change this. 

Learn more about email comments in Karbon, and discover how your team can communicate, collaborate and work more effectively together.

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