If your CPA firm has struggled with workflow, you’re not alone. Even the most productive accountants—as well as all kinds of business leaders regardless of their field—find themselves facing this challenge at times. But as a CPA, you may find yourself particularly perplexed about your workflow struggles. Afterall, you’re in a profession that demands excellence when it comes to time management, accuracy, record keeping, focus, organisation, and more.
So how could it be that your workflow feels wonky and, worse, is a hurdle, costing you precious time, money and headaches?
Workflow for CPAs gets messy for a number of reasons. Some of the most common?
1. Working too much for the business, not on the business, which makes it hard to step away and focus on big-picture goals, strategies and solutions.
2. Failing to standardise certain services or aspects of the customer experience.
3. Difficulty choosing the right tech and/or maximizing current tech.
But, ultimately, most workflow issues can be attributed to a general “system failure.” In other words, your business lacks a proven, relevant workflow system or needs various improvements to make it more productive and results-oriented.
A strong, efficient system should feel organic and whole, one that may have many different parts and pieces yet connects and runs smoothly from start to finish.
And yet many CPAs get hung up not knowing which tech system to choose, whether using it for the first time, plugging in aspects of their system to something new, or updating what they have.
Fortunately, when it comes to improving your workflow so you can focus on more vital aspects of the business, solutions exist. Follow these five-steps to upgrade or enhance your workflow performance today:
1. Make the commitment. Embracing cloud-based technologies to resolve workflow challenges may feel like an overwhelming task. But if you choose the right tech solutions that are designed to support a unified, proven workflow system, startup and management tends to be easier and less time-consuming.
2. Do your homework. It’s time to eliminate all the guesswork. For starters, determine your workflow deficits or needs. Do a self-assessment, or what Practice Ignition calls a workflow mapping exercise, which is a free service that results in a digital map you can use for your business and your staff to understand your workflow strengths and weaknesses (or gaps).
3. Seek out sync. When it comes to choosing a workflow system, its components must complement each other, talk to one another, and produce results in tandem. Often, CPAs struggle with technology breakdowns because one App or cloud-based software doesn’t sync with another.
4. Do more, with less. Ok, great...but how? A seamless cloud-based technology that does all your invoicing work in a couple of hours, as opposed to spending two or more days manually combing through spreadsheets and multiple software programs to ensure you’ve billed everyone, received payments and addressed any outstanding balances. No more chasing clients, making awkward phone calls or imploring emails. This frees up all those hours so you can shift to more vital responsibilities—like growing your business or meeting in person with clients you want to cultivate and keep.
5. Automate, automate, automate. Some accountants fear automation in the workflow experience, thinking clients will feel they’re losing a personalised, customised experience. What you’ll find is tech tools that capitalise on automation actually free up precious hours, making it more possible to connect and communicate with your clients over more meaningful topics.
Ultimately, with a strong handle of workflow challenges, deficits and gaps, you can build in the best technologies for your needs. With that, business becomes more efficient, productive and results-oriented for both you and your clients.
Join Practice Ignition and Xero on October 14th for a full morning of sessions to help you build and run your modern firm. Register for your free spot today to learn more about building connected workflows, successes of cloud-based firms and tips for changing your pricing strategy.