Efficiency is the key to growing your practice and avoiding waste that eats away at your profits. Accounting firms need to be able to streamline their procedures and their technology in order to run smoothly.
Streamlining with technology
CPAs and accounting professionals have many software programs at their disposal to automate tasks that used to be performed manually. Tax software is continually improving, allowing your firm to stay current with regulations and avoid errors and tax penalties. Automating common workflows frees up time for you and your staff to perform more critical thinking tasks while allowing a computer to churn out the reports.
Cloud computing allows team members to perform their accounting work and collaborate with clients from different locations. Highly secure mobile accounting apps allow your firm and your clients to send invoices, add receipts, and document other transactions from their phones or tablets.
Remote web meeting platforms and project management solutions allow your team members to interact virtually to help keep projects on track.
Providing your clients and your employees with technological solutions to streamline their processes will benefit your practice because your clients will appreciate the convenience and your staff will appreciate being able to focus on higher-level responsibilities, critical thinking, and business strategizing with clients as opposed to doing rote manual work.
Developing and publishing clear policies
While having policies and procedures may seem like unnecessary bureaucracy, they are actually critical for a well-functioning practice. You should have clear policies for every aspect of the business, including:
- Technical security – firewalls, passwords, protocols about home office security, multi-factor authentication
- Physical security – what items are kept locked up, what gets shredded, and who has access to what
- How phone calls from clients are handled and how they are logged
- Employee training and mentoring
- Communication tools – for instance, decide if staff members can text client information to each other from their personal phones
Streamlining office procedures
Developing a procedures manual for the many aspects of running your business will help your business run smoothly when someone is on vacation or when you hire new staff.
Have each of your team members write down their responsibilities and then carefully track the steps they take. Share with them the importance of a clear, detailed “how-to” manual for each process in the office in order to help the firm run smoothly and improve profits, which benefits everyone.
Take the time to review your practice and see where streamlining can save you time and money, make your employees more efficient and more satisfied with their jobs, and build customer loyalty.