Brought to you by
Receipt Bot - logo
Receipt Bot is a robotic data entry assistant for accountants and bookkeepers. Leveraging the...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Your action plan after a busy self-assessment season

15th Feb 2024
Brought to you by
Receipt Bot - logo
Receipt Bot is a robotic data entry assistant for accountants and bookkeepers. Leveraging the...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

The self-assessment busy season is a critical period for accounting firms, marked by tight deadlines and high client expectations. As the busiest time of the year, it’s natural to just want to breathe a sigh of relief but it’s also a key opportunity to review how your firm fared.  

Priorities for accounting firms after a busy self-assessment season
Receipt Bot

Once the dust settles, it’s essential to reflect on the practice's operations, client management, and service offerings to find improvements for the year ahead.
Think of self-assessment season as a stress test – the ultimate check on how your workflows cope with high pressure and demand. Looking back and thinking ahead, it is time to assess and incorporate the tools and strategies that can streamline processes, creating space for growth and enhancing service delivery. 

1. Review Your Client List

As an accountant, your work starts and ends with clients – their goals, their habits and the relationships that underpin your service.

The end of the self-assessment season is a great time to evaluate your client list critically and assess the profitability and sustainability of each relationship. Are some clients requiring disproportionately high levels of work compared to the fees they generate? Are there opportunities to improve working habits and communication? 

This is also a chance to analyse your margins and consider whether your fees reflect the value and effort you provide. It may be time to adjust your pricing model or even consider parting ways with clients who consistently drain resources without adequate compensation. While this seems harsh, a clear eyes assessment ensures your client base contributes positively to your firm's growth and sustainability, allowing you the time to focus on service rather than firefighting.

2. Update Your Processes

In the aftermath of a mountain of work and deadlines, this is a key chance to reflect on your current workflows and identify areas where manual work and bottlenecks are slowing you down.

This is particularly common with bookkeeping, a foundational service for accounting firms and clients but one that often involves tedious data entry and document management. Implementing solutions like Receipt Bot, which automates document collection and data entry of statements, bills and receipts, can drastically reduce manual workloads, allowing for more accurate and timely bookkeeping. 

The value you generate as a firm relies on having reliable data and an efficient process to analyse that data for any anomalies and errors before preparing accounts. Therefore, it will be helpful to look at the end-to-end process from different perspectives;

  • Zoom out to evaluate your processes for collecting, processing, and analysing your clients’ data. Develop an estimate of hours spent per client on these essential but non-value add tasks.
  • Look for opportunities to integrate technology that streamlines these tasks, improving efficiency and freeing up resources to focus on higher-value activities.

3. Plan New Service Offerings

While reducing manual work is essential for margin and scaling, it's also an opportunity to redefine your focus. With a significant reduction in time-consuming tasks through automation and better data management, firms can add new service offerings that add more client value. With the UK still facing high interest rates, inflation and credit uncertainty, this is a key chance to support clients when they need it most.

Cash flow advisory, forecasting, and management accounts are critical areas where clients often seek expert guidance. Still, firms often lack the time and resources to do them without the right tools. By using accurate, real-time data, your firm can provide insightful analyses and strategic advice, helping clients navigate challenges and, capitalise on opportunities and avoid cash flow risks.

4. Update Your Training

While technology can have a major impact on your efficiency and growth, it’s only as good as the people using it. Making the most of new tools and services requires a dual approach to training. 

  • Firstly, ensure your team is well-equipped to deliver these services effectively. This may involve formal training sessions, workshops, or online courses to get them up to speed on the latest technology and methodologies. 
  • Secondly, prepare your clients to engage with new offerings and software to make sure they use what’s available. Client-facing training materials, webinars, and one-on-one sessions can help ease the transition, ensuring clients understand the benefits and how to use the tools you implement so that both they and you can reap the efficiency gains.

Take control of the year ahead.

As SMEs continue to face a challenging growth environment, accounting firms have a unique opportunity to reassess and realign their operations to ensure that they’re delivering maximum value. 

At every stage, having the correct data, resources and workflows in place will be critical, whether you’re offering bookkeeping services at scale or looking to invest in value-add offerings. Receipt Bot is an intelligent bookkeeping and document management hub for accountants and bookkeepers. Combining AI-powered data extraction, digital document management and seamless cloud integration, we help advisers spend less time on manual work and more time helping clients.

To find out more, get in touch with our team today.