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How to find work/life balance as a bookkeeper in 2021 (and beyond).

by XBert Team ~ 4 min read

Finding work life balance as a bookkeeper in 2021 can be hard. Here are XBert's top tips for ensuring you dont fall into the trap of all work and no play.

It’s no secret the past 18 months have been the most challenging many businesses have ever seen – which means it’s been some of the most busy and stressful for bookkeepers, too.

We know right now, many bookkeepers are finding their business more demanding. Their clients need more time and attention than usual. Some are experiencing unexpected, exponential growth in their business. The work load can be overwhelming and let’s face it – work/life balance a pipe dream.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Even with unprecedented demand on bookkeepers and the services they deliver, there are things you can do to ensure you’re maintaining the lifestyle you started your business for. Here we share some top tips on how to be productive, avoid burnout and maintain some sort of work/life balance, even in your most demanding periods.

1. Use the right technology

It’s 2021 people. There’s no need to be spending valuable time on manual checks or repetitive manual tasks that can be automated. If you’re plowing through old-school style, thinking you’re too busy to implement any new tech solutions: think again. Yes, change management can be a pain in the you-know-what. However, when it comes to the (right) technology it is 100% a case of short term pain, long term gain.

Take a look at your tech stack - are you using the latest and most productive tools? Is there a tool specific for bookkeepers that will help streamline your app stack? Think about your main pain points and find out what others use. AT the very least, an AI-Audit tool should be high on the list for any bookkeeper looking to find efficiencies in the way they work. If you find one with task and process automation built in (yes, major hint; XBert) then all the better!

The right company will have assisted onboarding programs as well, to help ease that change management pain – take them up on it. At XBert, this is our Step Ahead program.

2. Have clear, defined systems in place

It seems like a no-brainer but, like most things, when we are snowed under with work, it’s easy to just get things done ‘just to get them done’ at the time. This is an excellent strategy if you have no desire to lighten your workload or ever onboard any staff. But, if you’d like to tighten up your non-billable hours, reduce rework and perhaps scale your business with staff - it's a must.

Forget desktop spreadsheets and checklists, this should be automated and online. This will give you full flexibility to collaborate and communicate with team members from anywhere, while keeping track of workflows. It will also make onboarding new staff a breeze - with clear systems there's no room for miscommunication.

3. Delegate and outsource

This is a lot more simple if you’ve got your systems in place (as per above). However, knowing when you need help is key. Outsourcing some of the work (either locally or offshore) is a smart way to help boost productivity and lighten the workload. Many bookkeepers are outsourcing to offshore teams now as an affordable option.

Fair warning though: you absolutely want to be using a transparent workflow system so you can easily manage your outsourced helpers, keep track of what's happening where, and easily communicate.

4. Get clear on your ideal client

This is just good business practice at any given time. Knowing exactly the type of client you’d like to work with will help you streamline your onboarding process, say no to those who don’t align with you and help you enjoy your work more.

We’re not just talking about the industry here – we’re talking about the type of person you want to work with. Write down a list of traits you’d like to see in your clients, and use it as a reference when a new client comes to you. This makes communicating easier, takes stress levels down a few notches and makes everything about your work day that little bit easier.

It also helps you hone in on a certain industry or sector, so you can become an expert, serve your current clients better and save time not chasing down information on particular areas you may not be 100% across.

5. Don’t give up your hobbies

This is a biggy! When we get busy, the first thing that usually gives is whatever we do for ourselves, for leisure. This is a huge mistake. All work and no play – well, you know how that story ends. Just like you’re a better parent when you take time to fill your cup up - you’re a better bookkeeper when you take time to reset, refresh and fuel the tank. It doesn’t have to be hours every day – even just 30 mins can make a huge difference.


XBert: helping bookkeepers with work/life balance.

XBert is the tool dedicated to making work life easier for bookkeepers. Built specifically for bookkeepers and the way they work, this is a product that will not only save you hours in the week - it'll revolutoinise the way you work, freeing up time to grow your business (or enjoy a little more of that 'life' part of the balance).

With 55+ AI Audit risk alerts, you can reduce your manual tasks, the need for rework and have peace of mind knowing the books are the cleanest they’ve ever been.

XBerts

Our task and process automation features allow bookkeepers to streamline and standardize their processes, automate repetitive manual tasks and have complete visibility over workload at any given time.

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And that's just the beginning. Analytics and BI reports will allow you to step into advisory with just a few clicks.

Want to know if XBert can help you find work/life balance in 2021? Start you free trial now.