Are you spending every day doing the same old tasks? It’s highly likely that at least some of those tasks (if not all of them) can be automated. Automation is one of the gifts of modern technology. You can use automation to handle many of the duties related to managing your business. You do dozens of tasks every day that may not be difficult, but that eat away at your time. Automation frees up your time and allows you to focus on the more important responsibilities in your day that can generate profit for your accounting firm.
Let’s take a look at some common administrative tasks that can be automated, and why it’s advantageous to your financial bottom line to do so.
3 Administrative Tasks You Can Automate in Your Accounting Firm
Here’s a look at the most common tasks you can automate with the help of an accounting practice management software such as ImagineTime.
Let’s start with one of the biggest time traps of your day: Email. A lot of what you do in your inbox is repetitive and can be automated to save you time. Here is a look at the top emails that you can automate:
- Feedback requests to your clients
- Answers to frequently asked questions
- Responses to availability requests
- Invoices and follow up payment reminders
- Notifications and updates, such as out of office reminders
In addition to the above, you can also automate your email processes. For example, you can:
- Create filters or folders to automatically label and sort your incoming emails
- Turn task-related emails into to-do lists
- Set up rules for how you’d like your email software to handle incoming emails, such as promotional or unsolicited requests
- Schedule your emails to send at a different time
Why automate this task?
Email takes up a huge amount of your workday. Don’t believe it? Adobe surveyed 1,000 American workers and found that they spent, on average, 3.1 hours each day on work email (and an additional 2.5 hours each day on personal email). That amounts to almost 6 hours of inbox time every single day. But most of the emails you send or receive won’t directly generate profit.
This is why email is the perfect candidate for automation. Even shaving down your inbox time by one hour each day can equate to serious savings in labor costs each month. If your employees aren’t bogged down with simple and repetitive email-related tasks, they can perform the higher-level duties that generate more money for your firm.Why should you abandon what you've always done to embrace a new way of managing your business processes? Click To Tweet
Whether billing by the hour or value billing, you should track your time. That’s because every single minute counts towards your bottom line. And if you don’t track your time, you could be leaving money on the table.
Time tracking can be confusing and frustrating if you attempt to do it manually. We’ve heard horror stories of using sticky notes or random scraps of paper to jot down hours logged. But this isn’t an effective way of tracking time, especially if you have multiple employees who need to record their time.
And what about using spreadsheets for time tracking? This system is just as ineffective as writing down your time on the back of receipts. Sure, it may be a digital record, but it’s vulnerable to human errors. Humans forget. Humans transpose numbers. Humans estimate.
But when you need accurate numbers to return to your client, use software that can be activated at the click of a button. Such software will record time quietly in the background. Because this software starts tracking time as soon as your employee clicks on it, you can use these entries as a correct record of the work they’ve done. And you can hand over your time-tracked data to your client with complete confidence. The software can also automatically save your employee’s billable hours to their time card.
Why automate this task?
Time tracking makes it easy for you to create invoices based on hours worked. This is one less thing that you will need to manually calculate and verify. With the right time tracking software, all you need to do is click a button to start and stop the time recording. You can also use the time tracking feature to keep an eye on your firm’s productivity and spot inefficiencies before they derail your business.
3. Client Onboarding
When you get a new client, it’s essential that you introduce yourself and set their expectations for working with you. If you miss this opportunity to set a great first impression, your client may eventually drift away to your competitor.
Fortunately, you can use automation to effectively onboard your client. Even though automation frees up your hands, it doesn’t detract from the client’s experience. In fact, if you do it correctly, automation can increase revenue by improving your client retention rate and may even activate word-of-mouth referrals.
To identify what elements of client onboarding to automate, let’s look at the most common steps involved:
- Set up an account – You or your client will manually input this information into your system. Once the client’s data is captured in your system, you can then automate many of the following steps in the onboarding process.
- Send a welcome message – This welcome message is typically in the form of an email. You can set up your system to automatically generate a welcome message whenever a new client signs up for your services. This form letter can be short and simple, but set expectations of how often you’ll communicate with the client and what types of emails they can expect to receive from you.
- Get them started – Another email to automatically send to your client is a getting started guide. You can send this with your welcome message or you can wait a few hours or even a few days before sending out this guide. This guide can provide tips and tutorials on the services that you provide.
- Send reminders – Reminders are a set of messages that you can send to your client if you need additional information from them, such as a signed contract.
Why automate this task?
One benefit of automating your client onboarding is consistency. All of your clients will receive the same treatment when they sign up for your service. Another benefit is that you can provide your clients with everything they need to be successful with your accounting service. This can improve your client’s view of your firm and reduce frustration for both you and them.
Finally, onboarding can increase your client’s lifetime value. Through effective onboarding, you can highlight the different services that you offer. This can open up upselling and cross-selling opportunities because your client may decide that they need an additional service that you offer.
Why Should You Automate Business Processes in 2022?
As we’ve highlighted above, there are many fantastic reasons to automate your business processes, but what’s the rush? Why should you abandon what you’ve always done to embrace a new way of managing your business processes?
Here are the top reasons why you need to incorporate automation today:
- Standardized processes – When you leave it up to your employees to manually do tasks, each employee will likely have their own set of processes. This can make for an inconsistent experience from your client’s perspective. By automating processes, you not only streamline but also standardize.
- Increased team productivity – When everyone is automating their daily tasks, you’ll see a huge lift in productivity across your team. Your employees can focus on generating revenue instead of answering the same FAQs.
- Reduced errors – While no company is without error, automation will dramatically reduce the occurrence of human input errors.
Automating your administrative tasks doesn’t just free up your time, but also provides a host of other business-critical benefits. Through automation, you can reduce human error, increase productivity, improve security, streamline processes, and scale your business.
To see how you can automate administrative tasks such as time-tracking and invoicing in your accounting firm, schedule a free demo with Mango here.
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