As your client base grows, your workload generally follows suit. Therefore, keeping your employees productive is essential for the workflow of your accounting firm.
However, you can’t expect to meet deadlines if you don’t keep the morale up and provide adequate compensation.
Additionally, you’re going to need to stay away from paper accounting if you want to increase productivity. It is possible to stick with paper for small firms, but in terms of scalability, traditional pen and paper accounting is outdated. You also want to consider how your potential clients want a firm updated with the latest technology to meet their deadlines and make things as easy as possible. But how can you implement these changes quickly? Fortunately, there are several ways to improve the workflow of your accounting company, so you can provide top-notch service and scale your business at the same time.
Keeping your workers in the zone with little interruption is critical for a steady workflow. The ironic thing is that some of these interruptions can incidentally come from you. For example, when you’re bringing clients in for a consult, ensure that you aren’t walking through the workspace, talking loudly, and distracting your employees.
You can also improve focus with soft music playing in the background – like lo-fi hip hop or meditative frequencies. Without it, the sounds of keyboards clicking and people getting up to use the restroom can be enough to distract someone from their work.
Allowing frequent breaks is a great way to avoid employee burnout. Therefore, ensure that you provide your employees with a schedule that offers 1-2 sufficient daily breaks and a proper work-life balance. If they have to work long hours more than five days a week, and you only allow ten minutes to decompress throughout the day, you’re likely going to have a high turnover rate.
If you’re short-staffed, consider outsourcing some work to freelancers outside of the company so you don’t overwork the existing employees within the office. As you hire more in-house staff, you can reduce the amount of work you need to outsource.
Staying up-to-date with technology is crucial for managing your firm and your reputation. For instance, if a potential client comes in and sees that you’re still using paper accounting, they may tell others that your firm is outdated and not secure. There are several technologies that a firm can use, and most of them are inexpensive without hidden fees. The best accounting workflow software will help you:
- Stay on top of deadlines;
- Assign tasks;
- Communicate with employees;
- Monitor progress;
- Report to clients;
- Safely store client data according to regulation.
Technology will constantly evolve, and you must keep up with it. If you provide your employees regular training on software updates and new accounting laws, there will be less confusion that causes delays when it’s time to implement changes.
If they lack the motivation to complete digital training tasks, consider holding meetings and offering incentives to those who can show they have a sufficient understanding of the changes to come. When you provide positive benefits instead of punishment, you create a more energetic workplace, retain employees, and provide an environment for company growth.
Record Progress for the Client
Transparency is the best way to keep your clients happy. Providing them with details on your company’s process ensures accountability down the line. For instance, if you require your workers to record their progress for client reporting, they’re more likely to get things done on time and perform at their best.
Clearly Define Task Allocation
Part of workflow is ensuring that every cog in the machine runs smoothly. If employees don’t know who is supposed to do what, they’re all going to become confused and frustrated. This could also result in missing or duplicate work – by and large inefficiency. Plus, your clients won’t be happy with unorganized results. So make sure to define the job description of everyone at the company clearly. Then make sure they collaborate effectively to get things done both properly and on time.
Employees are likely to work hard if they are being fairly compensated. If you pay wages where people live paycheck to paycheck, you’ll experience low morale and productivity. Additionally, you’ll have high turnover rates and a reputation for a poor work environment. This can be costly because you’ll spend more money on job marketing and onboarding new employees.
So make sure you research the current average wage of the positions offered (both nationally and within your respective state), give raises on a regular basis, and provide bonuses for employees that are going above and beyond. In addition, a comprehensive benefits package that includes insurance and paid time off is critical for retention and motivation.
If the workflow is slow-moving, that means it’s time to make some changes. Keeping your employees motivated and focused is the most effective way to increase workflow. Note that this is not a one-time thing. Keeping your workflow at peak performance is an ongoing effort that requires continual assessments and proactive solutions.