In the accounting industry, success can be attributed to the firm’s love of process and adherence to every detail. Sometimes, though, these same strengths cause them to become overly wedded to a micromanaged, paper-heavy business model. Instead of putting in so much effort just to keep the company afloat, more could be put toward client-focused aspects and processes if transactional activities were automated.
To survive in today’s professional services industry, it’s crucial to utilise automation tools. In order to help you get going, we’ve compiled a set of solutions that will enhance your practice’s workflow, as well as the first steps to take before adoption.
A First Step Is to Plan
Choose a leader to drive change – Be or locate an employee who can advocate for automation within the organisation. Accept the need for change and the minor difficulties it may bring with open arms. The champion should be the one that is asked about and tasked with finding the best automation technologies for your company, as well as testing and implementing them. It’s a good idea to get the company’s owners involved as well.
Make a plan and stick to it; tackling one automation tool or process change at a time will yield the best results. Pick the best solution by being picky at the outset of your research and by asking plenty of questions. After you’ve settled on moving forward, it’s time to create a plan for the project so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Get a clean slate; don’t try to shoehorn a new automation solution into an outdated infrastructure. Verify that all of your fundamentals (computers, scanners, displays, accounting software, etc.) are in good working order. Your new automation won’t feel as useful if you’re also dealing with inefficient technologies.
Select Your Automation Tools
Methods to Improve Internal Operations
The most vital forms of workflow automation for your small business will be performed secretly. PSA software, or professional services automation software, is like a central nervous system for your company’s daily operations. When used across the whole engagement lifecycle, PSA software eliminates the need for manual labour from the administrator.
The cloud-based programme will begin with time and cost tracking, store all the data your employees provide, and then connect it to generate invoices, construct bespoke reports, and sync directly with your accounting software. Integrating your PSA and accounting platforms together ensures that no data is entered twice and that all of your existing codes and IDs are maintained.
The next step is to automate project management by consolidating employees’ time and expenditure tracking into a single location. The PSA programme makes it simple to monitor the well-being and financial standing of every project. Management time spent making sure things are going properly can be reduced by using the same application or a different piece of project management software to delegate work and distribute resources among employees. Quick insights into revenue, billing, and utilisation replace time-consuming Excel spreadsheets.
Finally, PSA software will provide you with individualised invoice templates to save down on the time spent creating paperwork from scratch for each client. Billing can be done on an hourly, retainer, or other basis as desired. Using the PSA programme, you may choose to have invoices generated automatically, either one at a time or in bulk, after your templates are prepared.
Resolving Issues for End Users
Collecting all the information an accountant needs from a client to finish a return is a major source of frustration.
A client connection portal facilitates more straightforward contact between you and your client, allowing you to more easily gather the relevant data from them. Rather than keeping track of each document individually, the organiser can quickly assess whether or not they have been delivered by the customer.
You and the client will both feel less pressure and experience less delay in the collection process as a result of this.
Reduce paper use and the need to scan documents by switching to an electronic tax signing software. By using this programme, you can transmit documents for electronic signature approval in preparation for filing electronically. If the customer uses an electronic signature and identity verification, the document is automatically returned to the preparer after being signed.