Here's how to find the value of time in your accounting firm and increase that value to become more profitable.
1 min read
Time is one of your most valuable resources — if not the most valuable. The more effectively you use time, the more profitable and successful your accounting firm will be. To start being more effective with your time, you first need to know the current value of your time. In this post, we offer suggestions for how to find the value of your time and then increase that value. Let’s dive in.
Despite the importance of knowing the value of time in your accounting firm, it can be difficult to determine the exact value. After all, the value changes dramatically depending on who is completing a task, which service is being done, how efficient the processes put in place are, etc. You likely won’t be able to assign an exact dollar amount to time overall in your accounting firm, but you can calculate the value of each staff member’s time (and time and billing software can help).
Start by looking at how much everyone in your firm gets paid hourly. Be sure to pay attention to other compensation factors besides just straight pay such as overtime pay, benefits, employment taxes, etc.
Next, assess the profitability of different services in your firm by taking a look at how much revenue those services bring in and how long they take to complete. This can be broken down by overall services or more specifically by smaller tasks associated with those services.
Once you have an idea of how valuable your staff’s time is, compare that value to the types of services and tasks they primarily perform. Are they doing things that bring in more profit than the cost of employing them? If not, look at what you can adjust about their daily workloads or your firm’s processes to make their time more productive.
To increase the value of time in your accounting firm, you need to be strategic about how staff members are using their time.
Higher paid staff members should be spending their time on highly profitable tasks. This may mean they are removed from completing services altogether and instead spend their time on things like client management strategy, identifying where processes can be improved, managing team members, and more. It’s a misuse of time for the partners and owners of the firm to spend time on small tasks that don’t impact revenue significantly.
As we mentioned previously, each staff member’s time should be used productively, but staff members who are not paid as much should focus on less profitable services and tasks than higher paid staff members because it won’t cost your firm as much.
Another way to increase the value of your time is to make sure you have the right processes in place across your firm. A good way to start improving your processes is by investing in accounting practice management software. With the right practice management solution, you’ll be able to streamline your workflow, document management, client management, time and billing, and more. You’ll be able to tailor processes to your firm and team within the software. When your team isn’t tied up with busywork, they have more time to dedicate to more profitable, impactful projects.
Our Time and Billing software includes a Work in Progress (WIP) billing feature, where you can now see a high-level view of all billable work and services in your firm, as well as increase your invoicing efficiency. You won’t have to start from scratch to see how much revenue your staff members are bringing in or which service is the most profitable for your firm. With WIP billing you can:
Adjust user rates
Automatically set the company default rate of service as well as an individual team member's rate of service.
See all billable work across the firm
Quickly get a sense of a contact's unbilled hours as well as assignee totals against service item totals. Clicking on a contact will give you a further breakdown of time entries for services completed for that client.
Add tracked time directly to an invoice
Generate invoices and add tracked time to that invoice with a few simple clicks.
Check out our knowledge base for more information on using Canopy’s WIP billing features.
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Jina Etienne, CPA, has a 32+ year career as an entrepreneur, business consultant and C-Suite leader. After a 21 year career in public accounting, including 17 years running her own CPA firm, she shifted to serving the profession as a Director at the American Institute of CPAs then President & CEO of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc.
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