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How to juggle your team between tax returns and tinsel

9th Dec 2022
Brought to you by
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Award winning CRM & practice management software

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Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

We hear it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the time when staff are driving (or flying) home for Christmas. Although festivities are in full swing, sadly, the work doesn’t end. 'Tis the season for annual leave, plus an increase in staff requesting more flexibility to work remotely over the festive period. 

As your task delegation is most likely stretched too thin over Christmas already, this poses some issues: 

  • Are your staff equipped to deal with the tax return season workload remotely? 
  • Can the available team handle the incoming workload while you’re short staffed? 

You need a system that helps you delegate tasks strategically and manage your team easily, regardless of where they are. Bonus points if you can lighten their festive workload too. Did you know that last year, 2827 Self Assessment Tax Returns were filed on Christmas Day? This year, we want to make sure that you don’t have your tax with your turkey. So here are some ways you can find balance between busy season and your brussels sprouts. 

bright christmas

Total visibility (with a side of mince pies) 

Remote working can be tricky to manage (cue the 2020 flashbacks of ‘you’re on mute!’ 50 times a day). No more team coffee runs to discuss the day ahead, or swivelling your chair over to the next desk for a two-minute check-in. You need to know exactly what’s going on with your team and your client base from the comfort of your sofa, mince pie in hand. 

Bright’s cloud-based practice management software, AccountancyManager, lets you see what everyone is working on in real-time. Your whole team works from one system simultaneously, with any changes tracked and timestamped. Simply start the timer when you begin a task or enter time manually, whatever suits you. When your team are working, you can see who’s logging time. You can also export the time logs and create invoices from them in AccountancyManager.  As well as giving you visibility across your team’s home offices, it’s all valuable data for assessing internal resources, work levels, pinch points and bottlenecks as well as the team’s capacity to take on new work ahead of the new year.  

Clear communication for stellar client service 

It’s party season, and holiday hours can be difficult to manage. It's especially tricky when multiple staff members are covering the same clients. Communication is crucial. 

By using a client timeline that updates automatically while you work, you can see what tasks the team has progressed for each client while you've been out of office. It’s handy over the holidays, letting team members pick up seamlessly from where another colleague left off. This includes any emails, texts or records you’ve sent or received from clients too, fully tracked and timestamped for your convenience. That means no more phone calls or WhatsApp pings from work interrupting family dinners. Clients can share files with your firm directly through the software from their browser too, so any activity from staff or clients will pop up on the timeline. You can also filter tasks by staff members, services, dates, and much more. 

Administrative indigestion? Take smaller bites 

While stuffing yourself with turkey sandwiches is all well and good, you’ll need to leave some room to digest all the work your firm needs to get through before the end of January. Sure, Santa can eat all the cookies in the world, but us normal folk just aren’t blessed with such talents. (Boooooo.) 

AccountancyManager’s workflow feature makes it easy to break down your team’s tasks into bite-sized pieces. This makes the workload easier to digest. You can see the progress of each subtask and delegate to specific team members too, giving a more structured and manageable approach – like an antacid for your firm. This efficiency, consistency and visbility is key when you’re handling staff absences and remote working. 

Automate your time-consuming tasks 

Being short staffed for the holidays can often leave your team spread too thin. Basic tasks like sending email reminders and record requests can eat up all your valuable (and little) time, increasing unbillable hours. So what’s the solution? 

Setting up automated emails can nip all those tasks in the bud. If you use a practice management software, like AccountancyManager, you can send emails in just a few simple steps: 

  • Pull out a template and edit how you see fit. We have 40 different template options with over 500 different variables you can pick and mix with 
  • Choose your email recipients from a wide range of filters 
  • Pick the dates and times you’d like the email to be sent out and schedule 

Getting records from clients can be a pain at any time of year, and it’s exacerbated when communication dwindles over Christmas. You can easily find yourself stuck in the snow for weeks, unable to move on to the next steps. You might find you’re spending a lot of time at your keyboard writing up record request reminders, with little to nothing to show for it. 

Automate these record requests with practice management software. If you use the Companies House integration in AccountancyManager, your clients’ deadlines are pulled through automatically, with record requests sent out at the dates and times of your choosing. When you have what you need, you just mark the task as complete and the chasing emails stop. 

Intelligent automation and smart time-saving features are like an extra member of staff for your firm – but without the overheads. With MTD for ITSA in the works, client work is digitising rapidly. The tech train is leaving the station, so now is the time to jump aboard (while you still can.) 

The time I’ve saved means I haven’t had to hire a receptionist. We’re talking hours and hours a week.” - Mark Francis, Francis Bookkeeping Solutions Ltd.  

Give it a go 

The proof is in the (Christmas) pudding. Why not book a demo of our multi-award-winning practice management software today to see it in action. 

Book an AccountancyManager demo

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