If you’re looking for a way to be more efficient every day, take your bookkeeping process to the next level by ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. To do so, you should have a bookkeeping workflow in place. Having standard steps for every project ensures you are doing your best quality work while spending the least time wondering what you should work on next.
In this article, Jetpack Workflow has created a daily bookkeeping workflow to help you monitor your projects and ensure that your team isn’t skipping any steps.
What Your Bookkeeping Daily Workflow Chart Should Include
You should make sure that your daily workflow includes the following steps.
1. Plan The Day
Each day should start by planning for the rest of the day. If you don’t have a daily plan, your growing list of deadlines will fly by. Here’s what this might entail:
Review Emails and Phone Calls
Your first tasks should be checking your emails and voicemails for any urgent client messages. Anything that is not urgent can be prioritized based on deadlines. If all of your clients' books are up-to-date, then an urgent request for a financial statement can often be resolved with a quick email.
Respond to Inquiries and Acknowledge All Client Communications
One of the biggest complaints against people in the service industry is a lack of communication with clients. A simple email acknowledging a client's email or call can often stop you from receiving additional follow-up communication from them. If you send an acknowledgment email without resolving the issue, you should give the client a timeline for when they can expect a complete response. This should go without saying, but responding to potential new clients quickly is essential!
Plan Out Your Time, Including Time for Meetings and Work
You should plan your day using the best method for you, whether this is a prioritized to-do list or time blocking. Remember to leave time for meetings (and transit time if you meet your clients in person). Make sure you have time free from distractions to get the work done.
2. Get to Work (on Accounting)
Once you’ve handled the administrative tasks of responding to emails and planning your day, it’s time to get to the actual work of accounting:
Gather New Information
After determining which project you are starting with, gather the new data that has come in since you last updated your client’s books. This data can include statements, bank fees, bills, invoices, and payroll information. Ideally, you have access to these resources without having to ask the client for information through view access to their accounts. Otherwise, you will need to wait for clients to send you information (and hope they’ve sent it all).
You should enter all the transactions and activity included in the new documentation you received. All transactions should be recorded in the client’s books or imported through direct connections from the client’s accounts into their accounting system. The transactions should be reviewed for completeness, if you use automatic bank feeds.
The documentation should be filed away for future reference, whether you keep your records on paper or electronically. Ensuring that the source documents have been properly filed means you can access them in the future if need be. Filing immediately will save you from headaches (and a mess to sort through) later.
3. Request/Gather Missing Information
If you have holes in the information, reach out to the client. This lets them know that you are working on their project, even if it is incomplete. Waiting for clients to get back to you with the missing information is often the slowest part of the bookkeeping process.
When requesting information from clients, be as specific as possible to ensure they get you the information you need.
4. Finish Accounting
Once you’ve got your hands on the missing information, you can finish up the bookkeeping by taking the following actions:
You should incorporate the additional information you received from your client, if any was missing. At this point, you should also record any necessary journal entries to reclassify transactions or record non-cash transactions such as depreciation or amortization.
All the transactions should be entered at this point, and you can reconcile the balance sheet accounts.
Create Updated Financials
With all the transactions entered and the accounts reconciled, creating updated financial reports and statements for your clients is a simple process. If your client has any customized reporting, you should create that as well.
After finishing all the accounting, you should do a final review before sending the books to your clients. Once you’re satisfied that they are accurate, you can send them off to your client and get to work on your next project.
Free Daily Workflow Chart Template for Bookkeepers
To help you better organize your daily workflow, Jetpack Workflow has created a free daily workflow chart that you can access here. Make a copy if you need to edit this template.
An Easier Way to Manage Your Workflows
You can manage your workflow in several ways. You can use pen and paper to maintain an ever-growing to-do list, or you can use spreadsheets accessible by everyone on your team. Each method will become unwieldy as your practice (and client list) grows.
You need robust solutions for monitoring client projects, ensuring that you do not skip steps, miss due dates (or miss projects entirely), and that your staffing is adequate for your workload. Jetpack Workflow was built with bookkeepers and accountants in mind and contains predefined templates to help you avoid these issues. The comprehensive workflow management system allows you to monitor project progress and saves time managing your team.
The Jetpack Workflow platform includes templates for various bookkeeping engagements, including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll processing, and financial statement preparation. Jetpack Workflow allows you to customize your workflows so that they’re a perfect fit for your firm.
BONUS: 32 Other Templates for Bookkeepers
If you’re not ready for a workflow practice management system like Jetpack Workflow, we’ve created a set of 32 free workflow templates that cover all types of accounting engagements. You can download your free templates here and start standardizing your workflows today.