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Common Time Traps Across Accounting Firms

Learn how adopting a seamless technology solution can help you mend these tedious, time consuming tasks.

3 min read

Erin Gabriele

Erin Gabriele

A modern workplace calls for evolving technology and updated methodologies. If your firm is still bogged down with dated processes because they worked in the past, it’s time to audit your operations. Assess where your staff is stretched thin by identifying your firm's most time consuming tasks, and find ways to offload those tasks to technology, leaving your staff the time they need to boost productivity. 

We’ve established a few of the most dated time-traps your firm might be falling into. 

Exchanging Information

Mailing, scanning and faxing are ways of the past. If you and your staff are still waiting on clients to access the right device or find time to drop off their documentation, there is a more efficient way. Don’t let outdated processes lead you to feeling rushed and overwhelmed. Traditional document exchange methods open the possibility for delays and misplaced or incomplete information that will set you back in the long run.

The modern workplace solution for documentation transfer and storage is through the cloud with bank-grade security. Invest in technology that allows your clients to sign and transfer documents with the click of a few buttons. The ideal software can house your information in one central repository that your staff can access online at any time. That way, you can organize files into digital folders and easily search through completed client documents. Don’t let cloud-stored data deter you from making a sound software investment. Cloud technology can help your firm save time sending physical files, and it will help save money by boosting efficiency. 

Pre-screening Clients

We know not all clients are good clients, or the best fit for your practice. Unfortunately, it can be challenging and time consuming to weed out the bad ones. Simplifying your pre-screening process helps you avoid onboarding clients who will be a pain down the road. Start by positioning your firm across marketing channels that will attract target clientele. Do you want to work with small business start-ups? Update your website and establish an engaging presence on social media. Are you looking for clients who are ready to plan their financial retirement? Run an ad in the local newspaper. 

Next, funnel prospects with an automated intake form, whether that is a custom questionnaire on your webpage or an online survey through Google Forms or Survey Monkey. This allows you and the client to narrow down objectives and align goals. Once you nail down a simple pre-screening process for vetting prospective clients, your sales cycle will become more refined. Ultimately, your firm will increase its key client conversion rate and save you a significant amount of time communicating barriers down the road.

Tracking Time Without Software

Time tracking has traditionally required hours of unbillable, manual data entry. Or worse—you’ve been relying on memory recall. But spreadsheets and sticky notes are a thing of the past. If your firm is still stuck in this time trap, your firm could use some tech love. Technology delivers a huge productivity advantage to tracking billable hours.

If your firm runs a time-based billing model, invest in software that tracks time automatically to maximize productivity. Clients usually want to see an itemized invoice, and that’s where software can easily access data to back up their invoice. An accounting project management software like Canopy can help you track your time more efficiently. Through the platform, you can activate an online timer, assign your entry to a contact and title it by task. From there, add your time entries to an invoice for a seamless all-in-one billing process. Ditch the spreadsheet, stop relying on formulas and adopt an automated system. 

What Have We Learned

The lack of workplace efficiency is often associated with employee-led distractions such as scrolling through social media and chatting over lunch. But the truth is that manual tasks which need to be updated, automated, and even delegated are what tend to be the culprit of time sucking activity. Find the right balance between a program that can update old processes as well as create new ones.

Add value to your firm by investing in upgrades to old methodologies. It won’t happen overnight, but now’s a better time than any to start. Technology will help you attract and manage more clients by streamlining your most time-consuming tasks. 

To learn more about running your office like an efficiency machine, check out our        free ebook.

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