As I am sure all of you are aware, the role of the accountant is slowly but surely changing. Your job now extends beyond number crunching and advising to being regulatory policeman too. Thomson Reuters found this week that iXBRL filing, a compulsory regulatory process, adds an average of seven hours and twelve minutes or more to each set of your accounts, contributing to the many time pressures accountants now face.
If you combine these extra hours with other time intensive tasks demanding your attention such as end of year reporting, it’s easy to see why over servicing clients can easily happen. To make sure this doesn’t, you need to adapt internal reporting practices and measure the time spent on each activity to more effectively forecast and plan resources.
This is not achieved by inputting rough estimates of time spent on activities into a spreadsheet at the end of the week, but by accurate and real time reporting that is aligned across the company within an integrated ERP system. As they say, knowledge is power, and clear insight into exactly where time is being spent and on which client ensures your firm uses its resource in the most effective way. Doing so reduces over service and impacts positively on profit margins in the long term.