Transforming your Practice: Developing Effective Workflows

Judie McCarthy
March 22, 2023

Bookkeeping is an essential function in small businesses. Accurate and efficient management of financial transactions is necessary for tax compliance, financial management, and decision-making. Bookkeepers & Accountants working with small businesses must have a good workflow and processes in place to ensure the smooth management of their clients' financial records.

A good workflow and processes can help accounting professionals work smarter, not harder. By having the right processes in place, bookkeepers and accountants can complete their work more quickly, accurately, and with less stress. An organized workflow can help bookkeepers manage their time better, prioritize their tasks, and meet deadlines, resulting in excellent service delivery.

Here are some tips for developing effective workflow habits as an outsourced bookkeeper or accountant:

Document Your Processes

Documenting your processes is a crucial step in developing an effective workflow. Write down the steps you take to complete different bookkeeping tasks, including the software you use, the data you input, and any other relevant information. This will ensure consistency in your work and make it easier to delegate tasks if you ever need to bring in additional staff or subcontractors.

Streamline Your Processes

After documenting your processes, review them to identify any unnecessary steps. Streamline your processes by eliminating non-essential tasks and automating repetitive tasks. For instance, you can use software that automates requests to clients,  data entry, bank reconciliation, and invoicing.

Use a Task Management Tool

A task management tool is essential for organizing and prioritizing your tasks. There are several options available, such as Client Hub, Trello and Asana. A task management tool allows you to break down your tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks, set deadlines, and track progress. This helps you manage your workload effectively and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Communicate Effectively with Clients

Establishing clear communication is vital for successful client engagements. As an essential part of your practice, having a communication policy sets expectations for your team and clients, reducing stress and misunderstandings. Your policy should outline communication channels, response times, and a protocol for urgent issues. Defining what constitutes an emergency can help prioritize tasks and ensure that all parties are on the same page.

Continued Evaluation

After developing your workflow, ongoing evaluation is essential to identify areas that require improvement. Gather feedback from both your team and clients to gain insights on how things are progressing and encourage honest suggestions for changes. While keeping an open mind to their ideas, remember that as a business owner, it is ultimately your decision to implement any changes that align with your vision.

In conclusion, having a good workflow & client collaboration tool like Client Hub is essential for independent bookkeepers & accountants who work with small businesses. It can help to streamline their work, build trust with clients, and avoid errors and inconsistencies. Independent bookkeepers who take the time to develop and implement effective workflows and processes will be better equipped to provide excellent service to their clients and grow their business over time.

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