Operating an accounting business comes with its own unique set of challenges. At some point, almost every accountant will find themselves wishing there were more hours in the day. While time travel isn’t possible (yet), there are a few simple things you can to do to make the most of your working hours.
1. Prioritise your workload
At the beginning of each workday, spend a couple of minutes writing down what you need to accomplish before the end of the day. Create a checklist for yourself with the most pressing tasks at the top, and work your way through it. If a job seems particularly daunting, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will help you to visualise your workload and make tackling it a lot easier.
2. Work with your calendar
Structuring your day around what you’ve got planned and any upcoming deadlines is a great way to keep yourself focused and on track. Put everything – events, meetings, work lunches, due dates – into your calendar, and schedule your work around them. Consider when you’re most productive too – for example, if the morning is when you do your best work, schedule time to complete your most pressing tasks at the top of your checklist before lunch.
3. Invest in the time-saving tools
There are a number of time-saving tools designed specifically for accounting professionals. For example, QuickBooks Online Accountant is a cloud-based accounting software that gives accountants more control over their work, their team, and their clients’ finances. From its easy-to-use dashboard you can add tasks, review deadlines, and delegate to team members. You can even save all your favourite accounting and bookkeeping tools, and create customised and automated reports.
While it’s nice to be considered indispensable, there should never be only one person on your team who knows how to do something. Ensure there are others in your practice who can take over for you, or someone else, if need be. Where possible, delegate tasks to those with smaller workloads so you can free up more of your own time to focus on securing new business or growing your practice.
5. Take breaks to avoid burnout
As hard a worker as you might be, you’re not a robot. You and your team need time to recharge so that you can operate at full capacity when you need to. Take breaks throughout the day to grab a coffee, go for a walk, or get outside. Allotting some ‘me time’ to get away from the stresses of work will help you stay sharp when you’re back at your desk and save you time in the long run.
6. Say ‘no’ to social media
Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, can help you reach new audiences and grow your practice, but they can also be extremely distracting when you’re trying to work. If you need to be active on your business accounts during the day, make sure the time is scheduled, and try not to look at your personal social media accounts until after hours.