Time is a commodity in accounting. It’s not uncommon to learn of time-strapped accountants who are neck-deep in work and despite spending hours at the office, yet still accomplish nothing significant. To grow your accounting firm, it’s important to devise strategies that will allow you to get compliance done as quickly as possible so your accountants can focus on more revenue-generating tasks like financial advisory. Standardisation offers a way to get past the obstacle created by not having enough time. It is a major driver of firm performance, a method of assessing whether or not you are properly utilising available resources. Ultimately, it offers your firm an opportunity to maximise revenue. Standardising processes, workflows and templates will make things more efficient for firms. It can improve quality of work and make tasks more consistent. But doing so is not a walk in the park. Standardising processes will take time and require a lot of effort to sustain. But when done properly, it can completely transform the way the entire team performs and lead to better results. Standardisation is beneficial in many ways. First, it gets things done quickly. Take a new hire, for example. Getting a new team member up to speed with the firm’s processes can take time. It might take months, depending on the scope of the job, before they can have a really good grasp of the firm’s unique way of doing things. Simple tasks can drag on and become complicated. Putting in place certain systems will streamline processes at work, saving everybody significant amount of time. Simply coming up with standardised process is not enough, however. If not well-defined, these processes will not yield any positive result.
Set Clear OwnershipEach team member should be responsible for something—various aspects that contribute to the firm’s overall productivity. When documenting processes, make sure to identify who is responsible for what. By defining the responsibilities and ownership of each team member, you will be able to encourage individuals to be accountable for their own tasks, which is also empowering because you are displaying trust in your staff. This will also breed a good work culture, which will put your team at an advantage.
Create Best PracticesCreate best practices and document them. Implementing best practices throughout the firm will increase productivity and improve efficiency. Having a set of rules and systems that team members can follow, will eliminate going around in circles. People will know exactly what to do to accomplish certain tasks that will yield positive results. Ensure that everything is documented: shoot videos, create charts and diagrams, or prepare step-by-step documents.
Reinforce And Make Sure That Everyone AdheresStandardised processes are useless if they are, first, not well-defined and, second, not followed by everyone. It is important that all processes, systems and workflows are continuously reinforced.
ConclusionStandardisation can help propel your accounting firm to success, but you need to put in the time and effort to sustain it. It’s vital that the entire team practice discipline and adhere to the systems and processes set in place. Reinforce them or else everyone can simply regress to old, unproductive habits. It can be a struggle for firms when there’s not much time and effort invested. It is important for firms to realise that putting it off can have dire consequences. Get the latest accounting industry updates in your inbox by subscribing to The Ledger now. Click here to know more.
If you are an accountant, bookkeeper or finance firm and looking to solve capacity restraints, call our offshoring specialists at 1300 896 522 or click here to download our blueprint on how to build a global accounting team.