Time is money in business.
However, the real value of time lies in those moments when one gets to spend time with the family during dinner or weekends. In this age when many strive for work-life balance spending time with those who matter most trumps everything else.
Many accountants attempt to finish all compliance work in the shortest time possible so they can focus on more important tasks and head home when they need to. The problem is most accountants today are buried with time-consuming work.
They are neck-deep in emails, calls, meetings and reports, among others. They spend a significant portion of their day addressing these issues and are left with little time to do actual work that matters.
These non-core admin tasks are essential in running a firm but that doesn’t mean you need to focus all your time and effort in these because they will keep you from becoming productive.
Here are some key insights from our CEO Nick Sinclair on maximising efficiency and productivity:
Imagine having to spend half of the morning combing through emails and returning calls. Accountants who are so occupied for the most part of the day will barely have enough time (and energy) to actually talk to clients.
Here are some suggestions to hack productivity so you can have time to focus more on improving client experience,
Communicate With Clients Regularly
Constant communication is vital in retaining clients. To improve client experience, accountants need to make clients feel they are front of mind. They need to be confident with the knowledge that their needs are being taken care of. This can only happen if accountants take the time to pick up the phone and check up on their clients as regularly as possible.
Furthermore, establishing communication rhythms allows teams to be in sync with each other. By being on the same page, tasks get accomplished as efficiently as possible.
Another benefit of having regular communication is it allows team members to identify areas that need improvement. Problem areas can be spotted and addressed easily.
Plan For The Long Haul
Proper time management is key to becoming productive. Accountants need to plan ahead to have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished during specific periods of time. It’s highly recommended that accountants plot deliverables, tasks and goals for the entire year and make sure to establish daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans to maximise the hours available in a day.
Planning for the long term involves identifying core strengths and areas that need improvement.
Learn more about the art of planning for the long haul by checking out our webinar on productivity here.
Most companies are not utilising the technology available to them, which is why many accounting firms are still experiencing challenges in processes and workflow. This has a negative impact on firm’s attempts at engaging with their clients.
The Outsourced Accountant also found that CEOs of leading firms are not focused on using tools available to them. What they don’t realise is that technology has been a huge enabler for the industry. It plays a vital role in improving productivity and efficiency when used properly.
Utilising tools that automate tasks, like email management, document acquisition and cloud reporting, accountants can get the job done accurately and efficiently. More importantly, they will have more time to focus on client-facing, revenue-generating tasks like financial advisory.
More Productivity Tips From CEO Nick Sinclair
In a previous webinar, The Outsourced Accountant CEO Nick Sinclair enumerated several tips on how to get more done.
- Identify your core tasks and focus on them
- Plan strategically so you can consistently provide value to your clients
- Identify where your strengths lie and capitalise on those
- Learn how to delegate
- Maximise the use of your time
- Make sure to communicate with your team regularly
- Hire the right people
- Utilise technology
- Identify “stucks”
The Art Of Letting Go
One very important tip Nick shared in this webinar is the art of letting go. This simply means learning to delegate tasks. Its benefit is twofold: tasks are completed in less time and specific team members are given the chance to excel in areas they are great at.
Once compliance tasks are out of the way, accountants will be able to focus on client-facing tasks. Transferring accounting tasks to an offshore team will make it possible for accountants to:
- Pick up the phone and call the client on a regular basis. This is an important aspect of maintaining client relationships. This is how a real accountant should be.
- Interpret and analyse data to formulate sound financial decisions. Accountants will have more time to discuss with clients what the numbers mean.
- Add more value to the services they offer.
- Improve retention rates.
- Develop lifelong relationships with clients.
Improving client relationships rely on accountants’ ability to provide high-value services. This will result from improved productivity, which can be achieved by doing the following:
- Establish regular communication with clients
- Plan ahead
- Utilise technology to automate compliance tasks
- Identify core strengths and focus on them
- Be consistent in providing value to clients
- Let go and learn to delegate
We also highly recommend you refer to this checklist:
Learning how to be productive at work will help you add more value to clients, which leads to a more fulfilling relationship. To win the war against productivity and solve capacity restraints, call us at 1300 896 522.
Download our e-book to discover effective ways to manage a successful global accounting team.