25 Tasks You Need To Stop Doing Immediately
It is well known that accountants (and partners) spend an inordinate amount of very expensive time on all kinds of low-level admin tasks.
That is like saying, ‘Andy Murray, please come and help because we need someone to put up the net on the tennis court. Usain Bolt, help because we need someone to paint a white line on the running track. Richard Branson, please help serve some drinks in the plane’s cabin.’
With all due respect, I am absolutely certain that if any of those individuals were actually asked to do any of those tasks, they’d be more than happy to oblige. But that isn’t the point. The point is that we all have strengths. And weaknesses. And when we play to our strengths — that is when it all works beautifully.
When a £500 per hour partner (or £100 quite frankly), spends time filling in admin forms, or moves around a box of paper, or makes a photocopy, or calls up a client to chase them for X, Y or Z, which could as easily have been done by a £15 per hour person, that is just plain wrong thinking…
It is a vital step towards profitability to list everything that is done by expensive people (who could earn money by doing expensive things) that could just as easily be done by lesser expensive people, even with only a bit of training or some checklists.
It is estimated that an average of two hours per day per accountant is wasted on admin tasks that could as easily have been done by a less expensive admin person.
Here is a list of 25 such tasks that are typically done by accountants that should be done by a much less expensive admin person who has the right training and checklist to follow:
- Client additions and deletions
- Returning client records
- Typing of letters and simple reports to clients
- Dealing with client correspondence
- Making and changing appointments
- Fee preparation
- Preparing checklists of information required from clients
- Reviewing and checking client source documents when received against checklists
- Contacting clients for any missing information or general queries
- Logging of each job on the Job Register
- Collation and preparation of electronic work papers
- Preparation of the first draft of job budgets
- Monitoring of WIP
- Monitoring workflow
- Advising clients of VAT registration
- Advising clients of personal income tax assessments
- Advising clients of tax file number
- Review and forward clients’ running balance account from Inland Revenue
- Printing and binding finalised annual financial statements, taxation returns, etc.
- Incorporation of companies
- Completion of annual company returns
- Monitoring work checklists to meet Inland Revenue due dates
- Review and chase debtors at the end of each month
- Systems writing and updating
Want to have some fun with a simple exercise?
Do this sum for your own practice:
1. # of accounts staff: _________________
2. # of hours per day potentially to be handed to an administrator: _________________
3. Average charge-out rate: _________________
4. Total of the top 3 multiplied by each other: _________________
5. Times by 23 working days per month: _________________
6. Times by 11 working months: _________________
7. Total: _________________
Scary number, isn’t it? That’s the number of hours and profits you are wasting.
So how can you remove yourself from these low-level tasks so that you can focus on growing your practice?
I've found it can be as simple as 3 steps.
Click here to discover a simple 3 step process for removing yourself from low-level tasks in your practice.
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Rudi Jansen is a practice owner just like you. He also runs a mastermind & coaching programme helping practice owners to achieve their goals by overcoming the challenges and maximising the opportunities that come with running and growing an accountancy practice. Rudi is also a best-selling author and a sought-after speaker at accountancy...