How to identify inefficiencies in your bookkeeping workflows
Having smooth, clear and efficient workflows improve accountability and streamline how work gets done. It’s also important to note they can become inefficient as your business grows. The economic landscape changes, there are evolutions in the industry and new tech tools are emerging all the time that change the game on what best practice looks like for accountants and bookkeepers. And so, it’s always a good idea to reassess every so often to ensure you’re working as productively as can be.It’s important to address any workflow inefficiencies before they start to have a negative impact on your bottom line. To ensure you’re using best practice workflows, it’s important to map your current work procedures, identify any bottlenecks or communication barriers, find the right tool to help streamline those issues and then, implement it well. Here’s what we know, works:
Mapping your workflows
The shortest route to any destination is in a straight line – but we all know it isn’t always practical to go that way. When it comes to your bookkeeping workflows, it’s not always a linear process (ie – you’ll find yourself going back and forward with a client) so the workflows in your practice will look different depending on the types of clients you work with, the services you offer and the tech stack you’re using. Mapping them out, will help you identify what the shortest route is, for your practice. By nature, and certainly in reference to bookkeeping, many planned and repeatable processes are perfectly suited to automation and can be scaled easily with the right technology tools. This is particularly important if you’re looking at onboarding new staff and managing a team.
Workflow efficiency barriers
Communication is key
If you’re managing a team, certain workflows can easily move between two or three different hands - one person does the monthly reconciliation, the other prepares the reports and sends it to a manager for approval, etc. Poor communication between the team can hugely effect productivity and the ‘flow’ part of workflow.
It doesn’t matter how detail-focused you or your employees are - workflows that are performed manually are prone to human error. An employee may hit a wrong key when entering data, send a document to the wrong person, or even tick the wrong box in the workflow checklist. The more you can automate these steps, not only do you remove that margin for human error, you also remove the time spent actually documenting the work being done (and make room for more in the same timeframe).
Industry best practice
Things change, industry regulations evolve and the requirements for compliance along with them. Take Single Touch Payroll for example. Your workflows must evolve along with them, you need to be using the technology that will support evolution of your services and the growth of your business.
You have identified inefficiencies - now what?
Taking into account communication strategies, removing of human error and the ever-evolving industry, the logical answer to keeping on top of efficiencies in your business is to invest in technology that is built for accountants and bookkeepers. Partnering with an app built specifically for the way accounting professionals work provides a level of certainty that you’ll be doing things the most efficient way. Simply trialling a product can highlight current inefficiencies in your workflow, saving you time and money.
Finding the right tech tool
When evaluating a new app to add to your tech stack, there are a few questions you need to ask:
- Does the app replace or improve an existing process?
- Does it integrate with your accounting software?
- Do they have excellent technical support? Check out their marketplace reviews.
- What data is being synced between the accounting system and the app?
- How will the app scale with your business needs?
When you have thoroughly answered these questions you will have a clear understanding of what works best for you, in your business. Ask for a demonstration from the company; check out their roadmap and understand exactly how extensive their support is. Of course, implementing any new technology in your business will take an investment of your time and effort. But when you can see hours saved, non-billable hours reduced and even better – an increase of services to increase your bottom line – then it is worth it.
Put the flow in your workflow with XBert
We know from hundreds of conversations with bookkeepers and accountants, and extensive feedback from our users that prior to XBert, there hasn’t really been a tech tool that’s designed specifically for the way you work. And so that’s what we’ve built.Our expansive feature list and workflow management tools have been built in conjunction with bookkeepers and accountants to ensure it not only saves time; it also gives you peace of mind knowing nothing is getting missed. It allows you take the weight of your workflow from your mind and have quicky, easy access to what needs to be done, by when and by who, at any given time.
What bookkeepers have access to in XBert’s workflow management:
- Streamline and automate your processes with XBert’s pre-loaded processes (that are also totally customisable for your practice)
- Templates for all your recurring workflows, customisable for client types and differing schedules.
- Complete visibility and easy management of your workflows in one Dashboard.
- Easily collaborate and communicate with your team by assigning, reassigning, changing the status, on Tasks whenever you need to.
- Gain information from your clients more easily with our client collaboration tools.