It’s no secret that an accountant’s life is busy. With managing multiple clients, juggling meetings and keeping up to date with tax and accounting developments, it’s no wonder firms are increasingly on the lookout to streamline their processes to make life easier.
Below are some tried and tested ways that can help make your practice more efficient. Although every tip may not work for your firm, it’s about experimenting and seeing which changes can boost efficiency.
We’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another – you have a task to complete, but rather than pass it on to a junior member of the team, you take it up yourself in the belief that it’ll take too long to hand over to anyone else.
While it’s true that it takes some time at the start to delegate a client or administrative task to a junior staff member, that initial investment time should pay off in the long-run when that person learns to complete the task just as competently as you can.
What’s more, delegating frees up time for you to focus on higher priority tasks, meaning that you can get more meaningful work done.
If you need to keep track of the tasks you’ve delegated, there are programmes out there to help. Taxfiler’s practice management software, for example, lets you assign team members different client tasks, so you know which client jobs are being handled and which need to be assigned.
Avoid getting bogged down by emails
The debate about how often you should check your emails during the day has been raging for years. Some recommend checking your inbox just twice a day (once in the morning, once in the afternoon) while others suggest three to five times a day is plenty.
Although no-one seems to have found a magic number as of yet, there’s a lot to be said for limiting the amount of time you spend in your inbox, as it can be a real drain on your time.
Try to answer emails when you’re on the go (for example, on your way to or from a client meeting) or set dedicated times during the day when you’ll answer emails. That way, you can spend the rest of your day focussing on other, more valuable, tasks.
Make the most of technology
The good news for firms looking to boost their efficiency is that there are plenty of software solutions that can make an accountant’s life easier.
Cloud-based software, for example, is a cost-effective way to keep track of and work on your clients’ financials. It also allows your team to collaborate on a client file, wherever those team members are.
Taxfiler’s award-winning cloud-based solution can help your firm when preparing and filing your clients’ accounts and tax returns, and is also connected with popular bookkeeping software such as QuickBooks, Xero and Kashflow.
Additionally, consider the benefits of going paperless in the office, as a paper form can often be completed online in less time. Plus, the environment will thank you for using less paper!
Use practice management software
Another simple way to improve your firm’s efficiency is to make use of practice management software.
Taxfiler’s practice management software lets you keep track of your clients and the services you provide for them (from the administrative to accounts production and beyond) while also giving you an overview of your workload via the dashboard. This means that you can keep on top of client deadlines, and easily see which jobs and tasks need to be prioritised.
For further information on Taxfiler Practice Management, contact us at [email protected].