In a time with a great emphasis on being productive, many accounting professionals feel like they have more work to do and less time to complete it. It can be difficult to stay productive with today’s modern distractions. So, we’ve rounded up five productivity tips for accountants to help you get more done on a daily basis.
Take back control of email
On average, office workers now spend 1.8 hours per day handling irrelevant emails, and it takes more than 20 minutes to return to a task after being interrupted by email. That’s time you could spend on more important work—helping clients, managing team members, planning strategy for your firm, etc.
Email can’t be avoided all together, but it also doesn’t need to kill your productivity every day. Unsubscribe from irrelevant subscriber lists. Close out of your email for a period of time while you focus on completing other tasks. If someone needs to get a hold of you immediately, they can call you instead.
Take breaks during the day
Many of us are under the impression that we should be working without stopping throughout the day in order to be productive, but there’s evidence that taking breaks during the workday actually helps us to stay motivated and work better.
For example, the Pomodoro Technique consists of working for 25 minutes, taking a short break, then taking a longer break after four periods of working. Whatever cadence you use for taking breaks, consistency is key. You can use your breaks to take a walk, take a coffee break, or chat with a friend. When you take consistent breaks you should have renewed focus and energy when you return to your work.
Learn to delegate
One way to make a big impact on your productivity is learning to delegate. Trust your employees with smaller tasks so that you can take them off your plate. Giving up control of everything can be difficult at first, but in the long run you’ll be able to focus on bigger projects that require your attention and expertise.
Be sure not to micromanage your team either. Set them up for success by communicating each task effectively. Effective delegation will help them develop new skills and gain confidence in their abilities. If even your employees can’t handle the workload at your firm, consider hiring more employees or outsourcing some of the work to a freelancing service.
Focus on one task at a time
Juggling several tasks at once may feel necessary to get everything done in a timely manner, but don’t mistake being busy for being productive. Studies show that with multitasking we actually get less done and do a worse job because our brains can really only focus on one thing at a time. Ignore everything (even calls and emails) while you complete one task at a time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more you’ll get done in a day.
Implement accounting practice management software
There’s a lot involved in managing a successful accounting firm, and implementing accounting practice management software helps keep everything organized and running smoothly.
Canopy’s Practice Management suite includes all the tools to help you manage your projects, team, and clients. Store all of your client email discussions in one place, along with relevant files, events, client notes, reminders, and phone numbers. You can invite other employees to work on the project, upload and store files, and contribute to discussions. Keep everyone on the same page by sharing access to client emails, calendars, and more.
Our client tax organizers simplify your workflow by automatically collecting client data for filling out tax returns and helping you spot any issues. With Canopy you can also generate paperless IRS forms. And the great thing is that there’s no software to download, so you can access all of it from anywhere. Our aim is to help you streamline and simplify your practice management through better communication and collaboration, so you can save time and focus on growing your business.
Want more productivity tips?
Check out this article about using time batching to boost productivity in your accounting firm.