Each month, you and your team have repetitive tasks, whether or not you’re using a project management software to keep track of everything.
Reconciling transactions, creating cash flow reports or standard bookkeeping for business clients — these “to dos” continue to pile on. If you’re not using a workflow tool, how do you ensure these tasks don’t slip through the cracks?
On top of the monthly tasks, there’s still a business to run and grow. You’re trying to balance regular (or worse, seasonal rush) deliverables with:
- Building your team
- Finding new clients
- Offering new, high-value services (i.e. budgets, forecasts, tax planning, etc.)
- Having time for family and the activities you enjoy (outside of accounting!)
In a quick sentence; process management software keeps your firm on track. It happens through organization, automation, and task-tracking for you and the entire team.
Why Process Management Software is Important
Accounting is all about accuracy. Crunching and calculating down to the penny for your clients. Numbers are clear and should always “add up” in the end, which makes process a perfect pairing for accounting professionals.
Workflows are like numbers. You have inputs and outputs. The more standardized your workflows, the more accurate they become, and the more peace of mind you have in your business.
There are multiple reasons that prove the importance of defining your processes and managing the accountability with a workflow software.
Serve Clients (and Your Team) Better
Increasing the number of accounting clients is fantastic. But it’s also a problem, in some cases.
Example: Your firm is a hit and receives a sudden influx of referrals. You actually increase business by a third within a few months. And then things start to set in — discovery calls, new client onboarding, cleaning up their books. At first it’s exciting, but after some time:
- You and your team work long hours and are exhausted, because finding time to hire takes a backburner to immediate client work.
- Some things begin to slip through the cracks, and clients ultimately aren’t served to the level of care you hope to achieve.
- You want to hire, but it’s almost like you need revenue to come in from the new clients before you can even start looking for someone! (Note: This could also be an issue with your pricing being too low.)
Maybe all of these scenarios happen.
How software helps: A workflow or process management platform allows you to list out and assign every task that needs to be completed for a new client. Nothing can slip through the cracks, because everything is delegated, time-bound, and reported. Plus, you can automate task creation, so when those new clients come in, everything that needs to be done is waiting — without having to create each task manually.
You’ll also see how much each member of the team is doing, to clearly see when it’s time to begin planning to bring on another CPA.
Work On (Not In) Your Business
As an accountant, you help clients achieve their financial goals. And as a business owner, you must work on your own business objectives. If you’re a modestly-sized firm, this is likely a never-ending struggle to find “balance.”
Just when you think you’ve got a good system, something happens and makes everything rocky, again. For instance, one of your team members leaves unexpectedly. Does it take time for you to figure out where they left the work? Or beyond a staffing problem, do you personally have to “put out the fire” caused by sudden change? Is all of this causing you to work harder in your business than on it?
This is a problem solved by process.
How software helps: Clear task management and visual reporting are critical components of any workflow tool. If something happens with either the team or clients, everything that’s done (or yet to be done) is clearly seen by anyone connected to the account. This way, you’ll be able to see how things are going and hold the team accountable, without necessarily having to dig into the work itself.
Achieve Healthy Growth
Growing unexpectedly, or seasonally, isn’t intentional growth. Steady and planned increase in business is something most business owners want. Sure, you may not want to become a massive firm, with hundreds of CPAs. But a strong business, with a positive cash flow and solid growth trajectory is something every owner wants.
Not as well-considered is the role of tools and software platforms as instruments of healthy growth. You probably understand how a task tool solves problems, but the power of process management software (used properly) sets the stage for increased revenue.
How software helps: Instead of keeping tasks for your team, a workflow management system helps you create an entire accounting business system. This happens through the ability to create templates based on things like new client intake, specific deliverables, even training processes.
A quality platform also includes integrations that allow you to connect your process management software to other key tools. For example, Jetpack Workflow connects with over 2,000 apps (via Zapier). Here are some of the most popular apps to connect via Zapier:
- Connect Slack, for communication with the team
- Jotform or Google forms for client questionnaires
- Invoice software, for clean automated billing
- Quickbooks Online
- Spreadsheet tools, CRMs, and more
Have More Time (Outside of Work)
The logical end of improving common accounting firm problems and making deliberate growth possible is having more time. Maybe it’s getting outdoors, hitting the road for a trip, spending it with family, or continuing to build your firm.
Process management software doesn’t help you decide where to spend time. However, it does provide peace-of-mind that everything is handled. Tasks are completed. And your team is ensuring clients are well-served.
How software helps: It frees up time. You can also “clock out” with a clear understanding of where your firm stands on all key assignments, giving you a sense of accomplishment and calm.
Process Made Easier by a Workflow Software
What are the current processes in your firm? If you’re always busy, but never ahead, it’s time to consider a platform to help document and track your process. The possibilities for growth are there, if you’re ready to set up the systems and manage them.
Try Jetpack Workflow for free for 14 days so you can gain full control over your business and prioritize the moments in life you enjoy more than work. We may not be able to explore and travel just yet, but by prioritizing work tasks effectively, you can leave more time to do the things you want that aren’t work-related.