Are you an accounting firm that is looking to grow your business? This can be difficult in such a competitive market, especially with the added pressures of staff shortages, wage inflation, and the need to do more with less. However, with the right strategies in place, one way to achieve growth is to increase efficiency in your firm. In this blog, we will discuss some simple ways accounting firms can increase efficiency and grow.
Cloud technology has revolutionised the way businesses operate and has made it possible for organisations to be more agile and efficient. By using the cloud, accounting firms can benefit from reduced IT costs, improved collaboration, and increased flexibility. By setting up your business in the cloud, you will be able to access your files and applications from anywhere in the world, which is a major perk for busy accounting professionals! In addition, it will make it easier to share information and files with clients and staff, which can save a lot of time and frustration. It is also a more secure way to store your data should your accounting firm experience any attempted cyberattacks or other disasters.
This may seem like an obvious one, but it is worth reiterating. By moving away from paper-based processes by digitising your entire firm’s operations, you will be able to work faster and more efficiently with reduced errors.
Standardise Workflows and Processes
Often within an organisation, each employee will have their own way of completing tasks and handling clients. While this can be efficient for the individual, it can cause confusion and inefficiencies when multiple people are working on the same project or when a new employee joins the firm.
Standardising your workflows and processes is essential to avoid these issues in your accounting firm. This means creating and documenting detailed processes and procedures for each task that must be completed and ensuring that all employees follow the same steps. This will include defining the steps involved in each task, assigning responsibility for each step, setting deadlines, and creating a detailed process map. Another critical step when standardising workflows is communicating the changes to all employees and providing training.
Value Existing Clients
Acquiring new clients is essential for any business, however, this can be costly and time-consuming. Developing relationships with your existing clients is crucial to increasing efficiency and growing your accounting firm. This can be done by providing excellent customer service, being responsive to their needs and keeping them updated on the latest changes within your firm. By developing strong relationships with your existing clients, you can increase the likelihood of them referring new business to you and using your firm for future projects. Take the time to be selective with who you take on as clients to avoid taking on unprofitable projects or projects that are not a good fit for your firm.
Be Smart With Resourcing
In any business, it is vital to be efficient with your resources in order to increase efficiency and save costs. When it comes to accounting firms, one of your most important resources is your staff. To be efficient with your staffing, hiring qualified employees who have the necessary skills for the position is crucial. It is also essential to efficiently utilise your staff’s time by assigning them tasks within their skillset and providing adequate training. Administrative work or simple bookkeeping tasks can be delegated to junior staff or outsourced to save the time of your more experienced staff. Utilising your staff efficiently will free up their time to work on tasks that generate billable hours and improve profitability.
Avoiding time-consuming and repetitive tasks by automating them with the latest technology is key to improving efficiency. Automating tasks will also help improve the accuracy of your data and reduce the chances of human error. Not only does it free up staff time, but it also has the added benefit of creating value for clients by providing a higher level of service and timely turnaround of projects.
Accounting software has many features that can automate tasks, and an increasingly wide range of applications can be integrated with the accounting software that provides additional automation capabilities. Many other tasks within your accounting firm can benefit from automation, including data entry, email responses, client onboarding, appointment reminders, workflow, approvals, document management, and customer communications. By automating these tasks, you can focus your time on more critical functions.
A very popular tool for accounting firms is Dext. It is a platform that standardises workflows and helps accounting firms collect receipts and invoices from clients. It automates extracting data and categorises expenses, reduces errors, and integrates with popular accounting software.
Another popular tool among accounting firms is Divipay. It is a cloud-based platform that helps accounting firms manage their client’s business expenses by utilising a virtual credit card that captures transactional data. This relevant transactional data is then exported to accounting software, saving accountants time on data entry and manual reconciliation.
Here is a list of some other popular tools that can help automate and streamline your accounting firm:
Document management software:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Dropbox Business
Workflow automation software:
- Microsoft Flow
- Process Street
Time tracking software:
Time tracking software:
Project management software:
Outsourcing is a fantastic way to increase efficiency and grow your accounting firm. Outsourcing can help free up valuable staff’s time, allowing them to focus on billable work and client relationships. It can also improve efficiency by providing access to expert knowledge and resources who can complete tasks quickly and to a high standard while also allowing for flexibility. You pay for only what you need and have the flexibility to scale up or down as required.
Outsourcing can include anything from virtual assistants, IT support, marketing, and social media, data entry, CFOs, bookkeepers, and accountants. Outsourcing the back-office administrative tasks, bookkeeping and accounting functions, including compliance and tax services, is a popular option for many accounting firms. These functions can be easily outsourced and white labelled under your brand rather than performed in house. This means your accounting firm can focus on providing higher-value services to your clients and invest in growing the business.
Accario specialises in providing accounting firms with expert outsourcing services. We can help you save time and money by taking on tasks you don’t have the time or resources to do. We provide a range of services, including bookkeeping, accounting, CFO services, tax compliance, SMSF administration, and virtual assistants. Contact us today to find out how we can help you free up your resources and grow your accounting firm.
We hope that these tips will help you increase efficiency and grow your accounting firm. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to assist you!