How to Sort Out Any Workflow Issues in Your New Accounting Company
Workflow is the process of initiating a task and seeing it through to its completion. Every accounting company will have workflow processes that work for them, but how do you work out the blockages in the pipeline?
The two most common workflow issues experienced by modern accountancy companies are poor workflow visibility and too many manual tasks within the workflow. Modern solutions are available for both these problems.
More and more businesses are thinking about how they can change their workflow management style, which is why the global workflow management market size has reached $6.85 billion USD. Here’s how you can build the foundations of an efficient workflow process.
Why Your Accounting Firm Must Modernize its Workflow
Starting a new accountancy firm is a golden opportunity to build a modern workflow from scratch. Building a technology-based workflow begins with an implementation plan to bring your processes up to the standard faster.
Focus on embracing new processes in manageable chunks to avoid overwhelming yourself and your staff.
Doing so successfully will provide your growing company with more time to:
· Expand your client base
· Develop better services
· Work on the fundamentals of your business
Starting your accounting brand on the right foot will give you a head-start on the competition and enable you to carve out a niche for yourself during your first few years of operation.
Automate Repetitive Procedures
Did you know that U.S. businesses have the potential to automate 51% of all work activities, according to current predictions?
Repetitive procedures take time and effort, meaning you’re getting tied down on the things that aren’t generating revenue. Furthermore, these procedures can be easily automated with the right software.
Workflow technology can make tasks like welcoming new clients a breeze by collecting relevant information through online forms, storing engagements, and automating standardized documentation like invoicing.
Automation can also benefit client work. For example, your accounting workflow software can pull up financial data and input it into work papers for review. The same software can also be used to push any finished documents into the tax office portal at the click of a button.
These are examples of how your automation solutions can drastically slash the time spent on basic accounting tasks.
Build Up Your App Stack
There’s no one solution for your workflow. Instead, several categories of app stack exist, which connect throughout your business.
Recognizing which categories are relevant to you makes plugging the gaps and resolving the flaws in your workflow easier. Instead of opting for a complete overhaul of your workflow, addressing each aspect of your workflow one category at a time can streamline the process.
The most common app stack categories include:
· Practice Management – The day-to-day operations of your practice. Vital for improving the visibility of your workflow.
· Accounting/Tax Compliance – Managing and preparing tax forms.
· Onboarding – Welcoming new clients to your organization by collecting contact details, credit card information and setting up automated invoicing.
· Communication – Managing external and internal communications.
· HR/Payroll – Manage the various aspects of employment, including rosters, staff engagement, timesheets, and employee rewards programs.
· Expense Management – Scan bills, receipts, and invoices, while extracting essential data that can be pushed onto your accounting dashboard of choice.
· Superannuation – Maintains records for a self-managed super fund.
· Corporate Secretarial – Manage the setting up of companies and organize the relationships with your ASIC.
· Document Management – Keep your documents ordered and organized, with features including optical character recognition.
· Work Papers – Control the supporting papers required for preparing and filing the tax records of your clients.
· Business Intelligence – Working with and utilizing client data to plan for the future.
· Cloud Security/Password Management – Enhancing your security through password management and added safeguards against cyber criminals.
Note that your new accountancy firm doesn’t need to cover all these bases in a single day. However, knowing your app stack and its categories will help you organize your workflow faster.
Identify Implementation Areas
Taking the proper steps to bring technology into your workflow requires following a managed and ordered approach.
The best way to handle this is to identify a specific area to focus on, find the solution, create a plan to implement it, and then actually do it.
Some implementation areas will require more effort than others. For example, you may need to set aside time to train your employees on handling a particular solution.
Naturally, you’ll need to take the time to research the various solutions you can add to your app stack. Unfortunately, not every solution will work for a new accounting firm.
Single Platform or Not?
Some accountancy firms brand themselves by only working with clients who use a specific platform. The obvious advantage is that everything becomes simpler to manage, but you’re alienating a specific part of your client base.
However, inviting any and all clients to work with you will require more effort on your part. You’ll need to teach your staff how to use several platforms and then reconcile your work to fit in with your overall accounting solution.
There’s no right or wrong answer to this. First, you must decide what’s compatible with your business plan.
Find Areas to Add Value
One of the advantages of improving your workflow’s efficiency is setting aside more time to enhance your income streams. It could mean working to boost pre-planned income streams or expanding into other areas.
Accounting practices that actively seek out areas to add value to are more likely to survive their first few years than those that don’t.
Some of your alternate activities could include business intelligence, management reporting, refining their marketing, or even helping other organizations to improve their workflows.
New accountancy firms can start in the best possible manner by working to build an efficient and productive workflow. Building a workflow from scratch is far more effective than changing an existing workflow later.
Embrace the power of technology and figure out ways to integrate it early. It’s a course of action that can bolster your bottom line from day one. You will be required to invest substantial amounts, but this investment will repay itself in the long term.
What are you doing to improve your workflow?