Accountant's Coach | Practice Owner | Author & Speaker BlackBelt Mastermind & Coaching Programme
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25 Tasks You Need To Stop Doing Immediately

26th Oct 2016
Accountant's Coach | Practice Owner | Author & Speaker BlackBelt Mastermind & Coaching Programme
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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:

  1. Client additions and deletions
  2. Returning client records
  3. Typing of letters and simple reports to clients
  4. Filing
  5. Dealing with client correspondence
  6. Making and changing appointments
  7. Fee preparation
  8. Preparing checklists of information required from clients
  9. Reviewing and checking client source documents when received against checklists
  10. Contacting clients for any missing information or general queries
  11. Logging of each job on the Job Register
  12. Collation and preparation of electronic work papers
  13. Preparation of the first draft of job budgets
  14. Monitoring of WIP
  15. Monitoring workflow
  16. Advising clients of VAT registration
  17. Advising clients of personal income tax assessments
  18. Advising clients of tax file number
  19. Review and forward clients’ running balance account from Inland Revenue
  20. Printing and binding finalised annual financial statements, taxation returns, etc.
  21. Incorporation of companies
  22. Completion of annual company returns
  23. Monitoring work checklists to meet Inland Revenue due dates
  24. Review and chase debtors at the end of each month
  25. 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.

Replies (3)

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By khan1944
28th Oct 2016 11:45

Yes, but you sometime need to do something 'menial' as a diversion.

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By tracey2412
28th Oct 2016 12:18

someone once told me 'just because you can, doesn't mean you should' - as a reminder to delegate 'stuff' or outsource to maximise your earning potential. So I absolutely agree with the principle of the OP - though I'm a ways off yet!
And, yes @khan1944 sometimes a menial task is what is needed. Personally I like shredding - very therapeutic!

Thanks (1)
By Tom 7000
31st Oct 2016 13:42

26. Lunch
Get someone to eat it for you
a. You get more work done
2. You wont be so fat
iii/. You will save the £5/ day = £1000 a year and in 40 years when you retire buy a Porsche with it.

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