Accounting companies can only be as effective as their employees. So if your workers struggle to be efficient in their roles, your business will work as a result overall.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on optimizing workflow within your business. Doing so could improve your accounting firm’s overall results by making it easier for your team to do its job.
We’ve put together this article to cover six strategies you can use to optimize your accounting company’s workflow. Let’s get started.
Begin with an Understanding of Your Workflow
You need to understand your existing workflow before you can improve it. For example, you should know how you:
- Divide your workforce
- Manage time
- Use software
- Determine who you will assign different tasks to
- Keep clients involved throughout this process
When you start with a comprehensive look at your current workflow procedures, it becomes easier to see where you should begin while looking for improvements.
For example, maybe you’ll discover that you don’t have any concrete workflow practices for some aspects of your accounting business. That would be an area you would want to focus on first while looking for optimizations.
Ask Your Employees For Their Input
If you’re a manager, you don’t have an on-the-ground perspective about what it’s like for employees completing various accounting tasks. Unfortunately, that means you may be missing something vital that you won’t be able to find out on your own.
It’s why you should ask employees for their input about your workflow procedures while looking for opportunities for optimization.
Employees have the on-the-ground perspective that you’re lacking. They may be able to help you discover an opportunity for optimization that you wouldn’t have recognized on your own because of that.
Plus – this will help your employees feel more engaged overall, leading to a 25-59% decrease in turnover rates.
Use the Right Software
Perhaps the most significant opportunity to optimize your accounting company’s workflow is finding and deploying the right software.
Automation software can be especially effective for accounting companies that want to save time. It will automatically complete many of the low-level tasks that your accountants work through every day. That’s why the market for workflow automation is growing at 20% per year.
You may also want to invest in something like accounting project management software. This tool automates the delegation and tracking of every project that your team is working on, so you don’t have to worry about doing that yourself. As a result, it makes it easier to collaborate and keep essential tasks falling between the cracks.
Minimize Your Interruptions
Most people intuitively understand that interruptions and distractions are bad for worker productivity. But you may be underestimating just how bad they are.
The bottom line is that if you want to optimize your workflow, simply focusing on minimizing interruptions throughout the day could have a considerable impact.
Some level of interruption may be unavoidable. But you can reduce the number of disruptions that your workers have to deal with by reducing the frequency of meetings throughout the day and instituting new rules for disrupting workers.
Make Communication and Collaboration Easier
You can also do a lot to optimize your workflow by focusing on simplifying communication and collaboration. When it’s easier for team members to communicate and work with one another, they waste less time on these tasks.
There are lots of applications out there that can help you do this. For example, you could set up something like a Slack server for each team segment. That way, workers don’t have to worry about constantly checking their email to ensure they’re not missing anything.
This can be especially valuable in light of the points we made in the previous section about minimizing interruptions. So, for example, when communication and collaboration are part of an employee’s typical workflow, they don’t have to waste time interrupting their day to accomplish those tasks.
Track Your Performance and Adapt
As you work to improve your company’s workflow, one thing you should know is that this isn’t a one-time process. If you want to optimize workflow, then it’s something that you’ll need to track with some consistency.
Tracking your performance is also the only way to honestly know whether the changes you’re introducing have the desired effect. So make sure that you’re looking at crucial productivity metrics consistently to figure out how your processes evolve.
You also need to be willing and adapt when your workflow processes aren’t having the desired impact. For example, simply tracking your performance won’t be enough to achieve your goals.
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