workflow challenges at accounting firm.

Running an accounting firm can be a stressful, but very rewarding business. You get to help clients, deliver value, and make a comfortable living.

But running a firm, managing your team, and managing client expectations can also get overwhelming quickly. And especially if you are rapidly expanding your business.

And it’s why accounting workflows are so important to your firm and client success. However, we’ve seen how inefficient workflow management can do more harm than good.

Below you’ll find the three common workflow management challenges firms typically face and tips to overcome them.

Common Workflow Challenges for Accounting Firms


1. Relying on too many manual processes.

By manual processes, we mean tasks and ways of doing things that are tedious. These are often simple things, but will take your team’s time each week.

And we aren’t talking just a few minutes of time here. We are talking about things that can take hours away from important client work.

This can hurt productivity, create distractions that remove team members away from work that truly matters, and can hurt overall morale.

Examples of manual work are setting up project tasks, redoing tasks that can be “templatized”, updating client work statuses, etc.

What you can do at your firm:

To prevent what is described above, you need to embrace automation.

It’s understandable you want to have some control over your tasks, but much of it can be set up once and run automatically in the background.

  • Use automation tools like Zapier or IFTTT, which can easily integrate between various platforms or complete tasks based on certain criteria. They can be used for free or upgrade to access more features.

Zapier and accounting apps.

  • Use accounting workflow software. For example at Jetpack Workflow, you can easily set up automations for recurring tasks, use templates, and connect Zapier to integrate with 2,000+other apps.

  • Even look into AI solutions. You can’t escape content or people talking about AI these days. But tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, Copy.AI, and others can be useful platforms to save you and your team time.


2. Lack of workflow visibility across the firm.

A major challenge we hear from firm owners is client work falling through the cracks.

Why does this happen?

Well when your firm is growing, is fully remote, or you have multiple offices – seeing where client work is at, who is working on what, and what’s next can be challenging.

We’ve even talked to some firms where workflow tracking was off post-it notes and based on memory. Oof!

That’s how to overwhelm your team and lose track of client work progress.

To have your firm run smoothly, you need a central place for all to utilize. This is where client work is better managed, where you can quickly see if things are stuck, and who’s working on what.

What you can do at your firm:

All your client tasks can be brought into a workflow management tool like Jetpack Workflow. This allows your firm to operate smoothly and keep the whole team productive.

Besides automating recurring tasks and utilizing templates, your firm gains visibility on client statuses, who is assigned to what stage client work is in, deadlines, communication, and overall team capacity.

Now you can evaluate performance and where improvements can be made so your firm operates at the highest level.

3. Trying to standardize workflows with the wrong tech.

The amount of software and technology out there is growing like crazy. It can be overwhelming, especially for you as an accountant and firm owner.

But technology can help your firm and ensure your business continues to grow.

There is plenty of data around about accounting tech, but here’s a few:

  • Sage’s findings show that 58% of professionals acknowledge that updating technology has significantly improved efficiency and productivity. This improvement is crucial for creating the space needed to add the service offerings demanded by clients.

  • In the same report, an overwhelming 91% of professionals state that technology enables them to focus on clients or enhances overall productivity.

Yet, we’ve chatted with a few firms who have remained with clunky and outdated legacy systems. Mostly due to fear of change, having the time to learn something new, and understanding what tech they actually need.

What you can do at your firm:

The beauty of accounting workflow software is that it isn’t complicated to learn. But can be an absolute game changer for your firm.

If you consider a solution like Jetpack Workflow, we also offer set up options and training to accelerate your firm and team’s knowledge. You can learn more about our services here.

However, your technology needs to better your workflows and can go beyond workflow software as well. So it’s important to access your gaps at your firm and see what tech makes the most sense to invest in.

Don’t Let Workflow Management Hinder Your Firm

In the early days of your firm, you typically can get away with relaxed workflow processes.

But as your clientele and/or team grows, it can negatively impact your business reputation and client deliverables.

Remember, the above are very common challenges in workflow management.

So don’t get discouraged if any of these start happening to you. With our tips and the right workflow technology, you can quickly fix and improve your workflows.

Want more accounting workflow management help? We got you covered in our free guide, The No B.S. Guide to Workflows at Your Firm. Grab your copy here.


See Jetpack Worflow In Action

Get under the hood of Jetpack Workflow’s accounting workflow and project management platform. See some of the top features and how it helps your firm standardize, automate, and track client work more efficiently.