Last Updated November 25, 2022
Workflows are a part of every business. While some workflow procedures are intricate and depend on numerous factors, others are simpler and easy to understand. There is always room for improvement in the workflows and procedures of an accounting business. But it’s crucial to look at the foundational activities that comprise the workflow in order to improve accounting workflow management in accounting companies.
Typically, these procedures have been performed haphazardly and unevenly over the years to accommodate changing needs. Most often, convenience above actual productivity and efficiency may have led to the development of a particular corporate practice.
It isn’t magic, and putting it into practice might be challenging, but you can learn a lot about how your business runs, where you excel, and where you need to improve.
The most forward-thinking accounting businesses of today have changed how they operate, reducing procedures and maximizing production without laying off employees. Team members who can advance in their roles without needing more resources become more productive.
What is Workflow Management?
Workflows are pre-determined, repeating sequences of tasks. It turns your numerous resources into useful services. The setup, execution, and tracking of these activities are organized through workflow management. Additionally, you can track workflows using Excel, paper, or accounting workflow software.
What is an Accounting Workflow?
An accounting workflow is essentially a means to keep track of your projects. Knowing what projects are ongoing, who is working on them, and their timetables are possible thanks to a workflow. The bare minimum of data required to establish a workflow is open projects, deadlines, and assignments.
Workflows can take many different shapes. The simplest workflow is a to-do list, which may be used by a one-person team. A shared list might work for a time as your team grows. However, the limitations of a to-do list prevent you from having the flexibility and transparency required to manage your staff as your firm expands and your projects become more complicated.
Workflow for accountants works best when they have distinct procedures for various project types and a centralized system that lets you have an overview of the workload of your team. Although spreadsheets can be used, there are powerful tools designed specifically for accountants and bookkeepers, such as My CPA Dashboard.
Workflow Management’s Significance in Accounting Firms
Five factors need to be taken care of when workflow in accounting is implemented. Whether you decide to create your own system from scratch or choose a workflow management tool, you must:
- Determine the technology that can enhance your internal and external communications.
- Define the task management framework and the tools that facilitate job completion.
- Study the company’s resources
- Distribute company resources
- Learn how to interconnect your systems on purpose.
The Major Advantages of Workflow Implementation
A standardized process for accounting firm employees can lower stress and boost productivity. There is less guesswork involved in your employees’ jobs when they are aware of what is expected of them and when it is anticipated.
Additionally, it gives them the freedom to prioritize their professional obligations (and, let’s face it, their personal obligations) so they may finish the project on their schedule while still meeting deadlines and upholding your company’s quality standards. They can also know the standards and processes needed for each project by standardizing workflows.
There are many more advantages for business owners. Monitoring employee workloads enables you to staff your business more effectively, which can result in cost savings. You’ll be aware of the situation well in advance if staff often miss deadlines. You can also give staff more work if they aren’t being used to their full potential on their existing projects.
If your clients have high expectations, you’ll be able to assess their ability to be met by your team and take proactive steps to resolve any potential problems. You can gain a deeper understanding of all these facets of your business with a workflow system.
Accounting Workflow Examples
There are many different approaches to setting up a workflow. Your team’s needs will vary depending on a number of variables, such as the type of work you do, how involved you want to be in workflow maintenance, and the size of your team.
Workflow For Simple Accounting
A spreadsheet, or its modern equivalent, a paper to-do list, could be used as part of a straightforward accounting procedure. Each project in this system has a due date and a few client details listed on the list. The due dates should also be entered on a calendar. Based on a single entry, this system collects the information that each person needs to know about the project and what has to be done.
You must review your workflow system daily to determine what needs to be completed. Calling or emailing your team members before assigning work will help to make sure everyone is on the same page.
For a small staff, a straightforward accounting approach might be effective. A list of all the open projects might be sufficient to keep your team organized if everyone is aware of the status of each of your clients. A basic method could take too much time to be efficient if you have a lot of clients or projects.
A little More Advanced Accounting Process
Most businesses move to a somewhat more sophisticated system when the straightforward task list is unable to keep up with the rising demand. Online platforms and shared task lists have replaced the previous spreadsheets and to-do lists. You can quickly assign tasks to coworkers and keep track of deadlines with these generic systems, which address some of the issues with a simple system.
The issue with these systems is that a lot of the data must be entered manually. For ongoing projects, you’ll need to select the appropriate template or create a checklist for each one. You will be able to see the duties that each team member has been given.
The issue is that these systems infrequently include time estimation capabilities, making it challenging to assess each employee’s workload across projects.
Robust Accounting Process
Your team is connected via a strong system. Each team member is able to see the tasks they have been given as well as the projects their coworkers are working on. Every project has a set of common tasks that it must do, and it also has the possibility to be customized.
Incorporating new clients and projects into the system will take the least amount of time possible with robust accounting workflow tools, allowing you to spend more time working on the projects themselves. It is easy to easily add new clients. The simple approach may be rapidly taught to employees, and including the workflow system in your current workflow will be seamless.
Strong systems will alert you to any missed dates and proactively notify you of approaching deadlines. All projects are entered into the system, so anyone with access to it may give the customer a real-time update on how the project is doing, greatly enhancing their interaction with your business. The effective workflow system will help promote internal communication, reducing misunderstandings among team members.
Simple Workflow Management
Examples of three fundamental workflow management include:
- Onboarding a new client
- qualification for sales
Onboarding New Clients
Providing new clients with effective onboarding processes guarantees they will have the greatest experience possible working with your company. These three factors will significantly determine your success:
- Length of your onboarding procedure
- How accessible and hospitable is your customer service?
- How effectively do you explain each onboarding phase
Your customer onboarding procedure can be improved to complete more quickly and generate cash for your business much sooner. Additionally, monthly recurring revenue (MRR) will rise.
Procedures For Sales Qualification
How effective are your present sales qualification procedures? One of your automated workflows that runs most smoothly ought to be this one. After all, the effectiveness, productivity, and total profitability of your company are directly impacted by how well you qualify leads.
Your qualification procedure aids your business in determining the likelihood that a specific prospect will become a client. Additionally, it offers information about how well your products match customer needs.
You’ll draw in the correct prospects if you have a robust qualification process. This prevents wasting countless hours chasing after leads that will never result in sales. It also draws attention to your approachable nature and responsiveness, which develop into a feature of your interactions with each new client.
Nothing can be accomplished without appropriate, effective communication, making this component of workflow management the most crucial. Integrating trustworthy communication procedures enhances team collaboration and client responsiveness.
Start by consolidating all communication into a single hub. This center of communication ought to be focused on individual tasks and projects as a whole. This makes sure that every employee can see and understand all pertinent communications.
Why a Workflow Management Tool Like My CPA Dashboard is Necessary
Workflow management software for accounting has many benefits. Perhaps it’s difficult to picture your company’s:
- Work in progress
- Stalled work
- Upcoming initiatives
- Employees who require a break
- Employees that are willing to do a bit more
You can see every project in your company’s workflow management software, including where it is in the process when it is due, and which projects are almost finished.
You are able to recognize dependencies, prioritize tasks, and clear bottlenecks. Workflow improvement takes time and is not a magical process. As you proceed, you’ll need to adjust and massage things. However, with workflow management for accounting companies, you can easily guide your team through the project lifecycle without having to add personnel.
Consider using My CPA Dashboard as your workflow software when you’re prepared to advance your system. Workflow automation greatly eases the task of task management. You have visibility thanks to the My CPA Dashboards online system, which allows you to keep track of the status of all your projects and assess the workload of each team member.
My CPA Dashboard takes pride in being your go-to source for the data that matters most to your business. Securely import transaction history from more than 16000 financial institutions by connecting your clients’ bank accounts. The user-friendly system offers a number of options that enable you to keep track of your tasks using a calendar or to-do list. You may assign tasks to your team members and monitor their progress in a single dashboard when they are also MyCPA users. It offers a 30-day free trial so you can discover how much time you can save by using workflow automation for your company.