Do you spend more time on administrative tasks than you do crunching numbers or growing your accounting firm? It’s all too easy to get caught up in day-to-day administrative tasks. You may not be ready to hire an employee to handle the administrative work, but you can automate many of the daily operational and administrative tasks to bring your focus back to your core activities.
Schedule Your Social Media Activities
Spending too much time updating your social media profiles? Not ready to hire a social media manager? If so, you may want to automate some of the process with a software application such as Hootsuite or Buffer. Products like these let you schedule posts in advance, view multiple accounts on a single dashboard, and automatically generate new leads by holding social contests. Of course, it’s still a good idea to check in on your social media accounts regularly so you can interact with people who comment on your posts.
An automated workflow helps you improve your social media strategy. Say you’re launching a new service in the middle of the month. You can create and schedule all your posts related to that launch with teaser posts leading up to the launch day, sales information once it launches, and additional information after you make the service available. Since those posts are ready to go, you can spend more time interacting with followers and making sure everything is ready to go for the launch. Once your product hits the market, you’re free to handle any issues that come up, while your social media accounts stay active with regular posts to get people excited.
Use Timers to Drive Customer Engagement
Speaking of leads, staying on top of them can be time-consuming. Client relationship management (CRM) software can help you streamline the process of following up with prospects. This software lets you keep notes on each client in one convenient spot, and it also lets you automate a number of sales processes, such as follow-up reminders, contract renewals, and support functions. For example, imagine you meet a prospective lead at a networking event. You enter the details into your CRM software, and the software automatically reminds you to make a follow-up call in a set number of days. That saves you time on setting reminders manually, and it helps to ensure you don’t lose the lead. Similarly, if you haven’t worked with an existing client in some time, the right CRM program can automatically send a marketing email inviting the client back to your company. Some CRMs can also automatically track and generate key metrics such as customer acquisition costs and lifetime value.
Streamline Remote Collaboration
Working on a project with people outside your accounting firm can help you grow your business, but you also need an organized way to collaborate with those involved. Or maybe you have employees who work remotely, and you need a way to keep everyone in the loop. Collaboration apps can automate some of the workflow and help keep everyone on the same page. In particular, these apps can send out automated reminders to team members about upcoming deadlines or updates on tasks and goals. If you add deadlines or objectives to the project, the app automatically syncs those details with your calendar so you don’t have to make notes in two places.
Pay and Send Bills Automatically
Automating both invoicing and bill paying can shave time off your own bookkeeping processes. You probably have a number of relatively consistent bills each month for expenses such as rent, utilities, internet, and other regular costs. If you can automatically pay those bills, you save time. Plus, you know the payments aren’t late, which can help you avoid late fees. Your bank may offer an automated bill-paying service, or you can set up an automatic payment with each company.
If you send invoices to clients, consider using automated invoicing apps that generate and send invoices for you. Rather than typing out individual invoices every month, you enter details into the invoicing program and let it handle the rest of the process. Some time management applications generate invoices based on the number of billable hours you log for each client, which is another way to cut down on administrative tasks.
Running an accounting firm requires you to handle a huge range of tasks. Automating administrative tasks can help you save some time without hiring extra help. Having the right software in place makes you more efficient. QuickBooks Online Accountant helps you manage projects, tasks, and clients together. Sign up for free.