Starting a new business is exhilarating. Even though you’re exhausted and sleep-deprived, you’re finally doing something with your life that feels right after so many jobs felt so wrong.
Let’s recap your past few months. You hired a new team member or landed an ideal retainer client. After a brief celebration and marketing announcement, things got easier and the sales, client work, and paid invoices started pouring in and the work melted off your shoulders like butter crackling in a cast iron skillet.
Then came even more clients, and maybe you even got to increase your prices once or twice. But then something happened, and suddenly, work stopped working. Your team started scrambling and tripping over one another’s tasks and projects, and you started to feel like the honeymoon phase of business ownership was already coming to a crashing end.
What you need is a map to help you navigate this new level of business ownership. Now you need to do some of your work through your team, so that you can continue to grow the business and start enjoying the benefits of being your own boss.
In this article, we’ll share some insights in creating efficient business processes and systems to help streamlining your firm, as well as steps to help make managing your business simpler and more enjoyable.
Why Having a Bookkeeping Task Tracker Can Help Your Firm Become More Efficient
Instead of sending multiple email strings out on various projects or keeping projects in a static Excel spreadsheet, you can start inputting your data into a tool that can start to assign work to you and your team members. With a bookkeeping due date tracking system, you’ll be able to share information across your team at once with the same amount of time it takes to write and send an email.
When accounting firm owners start to experience rapid growth, the bread-and-butter of your business is your roster of retainer clients. But as those accounts become more time-intensive from a servicing standpoint, your recurring task due dates start falling through the cracks without airtight processes. Workflow management software allows companies to standardize their work processes in cloud-based software for asynchronous work schedules and remote workers. Once you have a program in place, you start to save time and communicate more effectively with your team.
The Ultimate Bookkeeping Checklist To Manage Your Clients, Your Employees, And Yourself
When you’re experiencing rapid growth or need to transition some of your administrative tasks to a new hire, redesigning and documenting processes for your firm can help you get a bird’s eye view of the total work you’ve committed your team to, as well as your team’s capacity and your desire to capitalize on this newly-created time in your workday to grow even more.
Following are the five (5) steps you should take to not only determine if a project management software for your firm makes sense at this point in time, but also use this opportunity to streamline your internal processes.
Step 1: Organize your recurring tasks by frequency to help visualize all of the work you’ve signed yourself up for.
To start organizing your accounting firm’s work, the easiest way to prioritize the work is with deadlines and available resources assigned. Then, once you have due dates to work toward, you can start forming processes to make that set of work more easily shared with your team members without your direct supervision.
A workflow software helps accountants visualize all of the work in your business in a way that post-its and meeting notes just can’t replicate. Once you know what work needs to be done when, you can start identifying areas for process improvement.
Here are a few of the categories you should consider when organizing your workflows for client work deadlines:
- Year-end financial statements and book closing
- Quarterly reporting and estimated tax payments
- Monthly reporting and recommendations
- Ad-hoc client work
32 Free Accounting Workflow Templates & Checklists
Step 2: Use workflow templates to start streamlining and documenting your processes.
To be able to scale your business for growth, you’ll need to be able to do more of the work you do with more than one of you on the payroll. Your inbox can start to get crowded without a cloud accounting tool to manage your client work and due dates. And as you spend more and more time directing staff with the same instructions over and over again manually through spreadsheets, emails, or Google Docs, your own tasks as a business owner can get lost in the shuffle.
If you’re thinking about taking Jetpack Workflow for a test drive, make sure you also download our 32 workflow templates. You can copy them into your free trial account and start to see how it feels to work in the program before investing money and time into it.
This way, when you’re ready to buy, you have a better idea of what you’re purchasing, as well as some of the implementation work already done. How easy is that?
Step 3: Learn the fine art of delegating administrative tasks.
Write this entrepreneur’s tip down right now: There’s no one that will do anything in your business just like you.
The truth is, no one cares as much about your business as you do. (That’s a good thing, generally!) But for that reason, administrative and daily work tasks can start to become more draining on firm owners because they simply care too much. Delegating work that can easily be done by another – but not necessarily in the same exact way, of course – gives you the freedom to focus on your passion projects, grow your firm, or enjoy some well-deserved free time.
When you’re running out of time in the day over and over again, write down the tasks you do each day that don’t need to be done by you. Once you have that list, you’ll have a better idea of how much you do beyond managing your business and clients, and it will give you the start of a really good job description for your next assistant or other employee.
Step 4: Automate recurring tasks and due dates.
Retainer clients are a great way to estimate workload and revenue, but servicing those clients can become a bit more difficult as you grow. By setting up a service offering with a workflow in your firm’s bookkeeping task management system, you’ll be able to ensure a certain level of service that is repeatable. You get better at doing client work more efficiently, and your clients get a consistent experience.
Step 5: Determine the best workflow software for your firm.
This can be a difficult step if you don’t know where to look. Luckily, we’ve already done this for you with our ultimate buying guide where we compare nine of the top project management software tools – including ours – through the lens of an accounting firm owner. One software tool may be great for organizing a marketing department or a side hustle, but when you’re running a business full-time, you’ll need the tools built to help you do exactly what it is you do so well. Grab the Buyer’s Guide so you can make an informed decision.
Get Started: Download 32 Workflow Templates
Rapid growth comes at a cost. As an accounting firm owner, you need to preserve your energy and give your team the tools they need to succeed, so that you can focus on growing your business and enjoying the fruits of your success.
Try Jetpack Workflow for free for 14 days so you can create a system for your firm employees to do work without your oversight or active management. Using these 32 workflow templates to try out Jetpack Workflow is a great, completely free way to see if you’re ready for an accounting firm project management tool or not.