Systems Systems Systems!

Systems can play a critical role in how we do our business – and there are so many amazing ones out there that help us ensure we’re staying on top of things effectively. While I still thrive with a classic pen-and-paper To-Do list, I definitely have found some systems that have become integral to my business over the years. Finding systems that work for you, as an entrepreneur and business owner, especially in this remote World is SO important!

Now, before I go into what systems help keep Willow Oak moving, as your friendly accountant, I would be remiss to not gently remind you that watching your monthly subscription costs are key to ensuring you’re not oversubscribing. There are a lot of cool systems out there and they can be so intriguing to buy with their reasonable pricing and bells and whistles. Make sure you’re reviewing your monthly subscriptions regularly to ensure all of your systems are still providing you with enough value to justify the cost. 


Now – on to the 4 key Systems of Willow Oak:

Email, Team Collaboration, & File Storage: Gmail 

How many of you use Gmail?

Photo : Krsto Jevtic

Okay.. Now how many of you use Gmail to its full potential?  ⁠

Seriously, Gmail and Gsuite are amazing tools for collaboration, organization, and communication. With one subscription, you have your email interface, your calendar, your professional tools, and your document storage. ⁠

I used Dropbox for the longest time, but then realized I could save on my monthly subscription by using the built in feature Gmail has while getting the same benefits. It took some getting used to initially, but now that we’re up and running it is so nice to have all my professional tools all in one place. 

My favourite feature of Gmail is the ability to collaborate with your team on spreadsheets, word docs, and presentations. No more issues with version control – everyone has access to the same document at the same time. ⁠

Task Management: Asana

Photo : Forbes

Next I want to talk about Asana, the tool we use to manage our team tasks. 

Asana is an incredible internal tool that is designed to support team communication, goal achievement, and task management. It allows me to know what the exact progress is in all the things we have going on, and gives us a single source of truth as we work through packed calendars and client turnaround times.

It also allows me to manage any internal tasks (like social media posts and client newsletters!) by allowing me to categorize the tasks, assign due dates, and assign owners. Me and my team can just log in, see our list of tasks in order of due date, and get shit done 

Now that’s what I call a powerful tool.

Client Relationship Management: Dubsado 

Photo: Dubsado

We signed up for Dubsado in early 2020 and it has provided so much value to our business. We use Dubsado primarily as our CRM system. I needed a tool to manage all of my clients so I knew exactly where to go to access my clients information, as well as manage my client onboarding and house all of our contracts and important client documents. 

Dubsado checked all these boxes! 

With financials, there’s a lot to remember about each client; business numbers, filing requirements, names, multiple emails and the list goes on. Dubsado is a user-friendly system that stores all this information, and allows me to build new fields as I need them. 

We also needed help to streamline our onboarding process. Dubsado stores our branded contracts and canned emails for simple, streamlined workflows. My favourite is I can edit each one before sending in order to personalize as I see fit! I love automation but at Willow Oak, that personal relationship is very important to us!

PS: if you use our code “willowoak-dub” when purchasing Dubsado, you can get 20% off your first month or year!

Accounting/Invoicing: Quickbooks

As an accountant, I have to mention the system we use most, Quickbooks Online. I use Quickbooks as my online accounting software as well as working with it with 90% of my clients.

Photo : apps4rent

Quickbooks online is a very intuitive online accounting system. A few of the benefits that I love

  • Great financials reports and ability to dig deeper and navigate within these
  • Clean and organize interface; easy to navigate
  • Connects with your bank and credit cards to allow for each transactions and reconciliations

There are a lot of great accounting systems out there but if you haven’t chosen one yet, I recommend putting Quickbooks into your picks!

I hope you can use the blog post to guide you in your decision making if you’re trying to figure out where to invest in your business. It can be scary to make these decisions blind – so I wanted to give you all a little peek into the systems that have been helping us move forward so quickly at Willow Oak. 

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