Whether you’re a large accounting firm or just starting out, part of the challenge of running a small business is task management. With multiple clients and employees, and various projects on the go, organising your workflow can be a significant task in itself. To help your accounting firm run more efficiently, here are five tips on how to prioritise your tasks.
1 Start with the basics
In order to work better as a team, you first need to recognise the issues your firm faces and understand that there is a better way of doing things. And you need to get everybody on board. Change is never easy but it will be worth it. Reworking the way you prioritise tasks could save you, and your employees, serious time and effort in the long run. Sit down and figure out exactly where the roadblocks are and start to consider how you could do things better.
2 Review your deadlines
Accountants are constantly working to deadlines that are non-negotiable. In order to manage your workflow better, you need to build out around these time frames. Obviously parts of the year are extremely hectic, but there will be times when your firm’s workload eases up significantly. Identify the weeks and months of the year when your staff may have more time on their hands, and could potentially take on extra tasks that simply get left behind when tax season hits.
3 Set your priorities
Each firm will be different so you need to set what the priorities for the year are going to be for you and your business – and communicate this to the wider team. Depending on your overall business strategy, you need to decide what work is most important, and what tasks can be put to the bottom of the pile – or even outsourced. When you have a clear understanding of what you’d like to achieve and the time frames that you have to work within, you can start to prioritise the most important tasks for your business, ensuring they align with your overall goals.
It can be easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of work that’s in front of you. However, once you have your deadlines in place and a better understanding of your priorities as a business, you can then decide what work you need to delegate. You may be able to give certain tasks to employees within the firm or you may decide that all the tasks sitting at the bottom of the priority list can be outsourced, leaving your employees with more room to move.
5 Embrace technology
There’s no point having a plan in place if you have no way to action it and keep your team members accountable. That’s where technology can help. Project management software can keep your firm on track or you can even use QuickBooks Online Accountant to facilitate your work management. You can assign tasks, monitor progress and view upcoming projects. Having a tool that works across your firm will give you greater visibility and a better understanding of your firm’s overall work management.