As technology in the accounting sector continues to evolve, it’s important to stay on top of processes and to understand your cost base to remain efficient. Conducting an audit of your business can help you identify and eliminate any potential speed bumps. Here are five things you can do to increase your firm’s efficiency.
1. Review your workflow
If you haven’t already created a workflow for yourself, then you should consider doing it now. From document collection to data entry and reconciliations, simply list each repeatable task on your to-do list and allocate a time to complete them. This can help you identify current inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement. Time is valuable, so understanding where and how you spend it can also help you ensure it’s invoiced correctly.
2. Install a workflow management system
A workflow management system such as QuickBooks Online Accountant can save you time by automating essential business tasks such as invoicing and work scheduling. They can also be linked to services like the Australian Tax Office (ATO), streamlining lengthy administrative processes. Software like this also allows you to package relevant documents and share them with clients and other relevant parties.
3. Review your rates
A workflow and costs review may reveal that you should update your pricing structure for your business to remain profitable. Start by reviewing your overhead costs and see if these are still in line with your current rates and older agreements. To calculate a new hourly rate, add any additional staffing and material costs, as well as the time you expect to spend on the job, before quoting to prospective clients.
4. Upgrade to cloud computing
Cloud computing has been a true game changer for accountants. It allows data to update in real-time and can be accessed regardless of user location or device. The cloud not only helps make your operations more efficient, but also encourages a more collaborative approach between you and your clients. Automating processes like this also minimises the chances of manual errors.
5. Hire IT support
IT systems play an integral part in running an efficient accounting practice. An IT issue takes focus away from the core business. To avoid this scenario, it’s worth considering handing over IT management to a specialist – whether outsourced or hired internally – who can provide general IT support, up your cyber security, and prepare a disaster recovery plan should the unthinkable occur. This can help take your mind of the technical side of things so you can focus on the tasks that matter. After all, you have sensitive client data to protect.