5 Time-Saving Tips for Accountants

Carl Coe

Everyone is given the same 24 hours in a day, but there never seems to be enough time to do everything you want to do. Sound familiar? Do you enter each day with an overwhelming and never-ending to-do list? Are you wondering how you can be more productive with the time you’ve been given to complete your task list?

In this article, we’ll cover tips on how to get more of your to-do list done without overworking yourself. We’ll discuss how to save time by eliminating those pesky time wasters that eat away your productivity.

Time Management Tips for Accountants

1. Digitize Accounting Documents and Records

If you haven’t already, now is the time to go paperless in your accounting firm. While it will take an initial investment of time to properly digitize your accounting documents and records, you’ll ultimately save more time in the future.

Going digital will ensure that all your records are kept safe from physical theft and natural disasters, such as fires or floods. If you opt to store your records in the cloud, you will be creating a central access location for all of your employees. You won’t waste time searching for that one record that’s tucked away in a dusty file cabinet in your office or on a random folder in a local hard drive.

Digitizing your files may feel overwhelming at first, but not if you go in with a strategy. Here are a few practices to keep in mind: Click To Tweet

Digitizing your files may feel overwhelming at first, but not if you go in with a strategy. Here are a few practices to keep in mind when digitizing your firm:

Don’t try to scan it all at one time. Prioritize your records and digitize the files that you need first, such as records for current clients. After you’ve scanned in the most recent and relevant documents, you can start digitizing the rest of your records on a schedule that won’t overload you or whoever is scanning in the records.

Use optical character recognition (OCR) software. This software digitizes physical documents and turns images of text into a machine-readable format. With OCR software, you will be able to search and even edit scanned documents.

Properly store or shred the documents that you’ve scanned. Most, if not all of your records will contain sensitive information and should be disposed of appropriately. You can’t just throw away the digital files because it can put your information at risk. Consider where your files will live for long-term storage, such as an offsite storage facility. Alternatively, you can opt to destroy the files completely after you’ve double-checked that they’ve been properly digitized and uploaded to the cloud.

2. Use Task Automation Tools to Streamline Processes

Use a task automation tool by yourself or with your team to eliminate any repetitive task that you’re required to do on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. Automate as much as possible. While these tasks may only take a quick five minutes here or 10 minutes there, they definitely add up. Before you know it, you’re wasting hours each day doing tasks that can be fully automated.

For example, you can use Mango Accounting Practice Management Software to automate recurring invoicing with scheduled payments. Our software allows you to process credit card payments and ACH transactions automatically on a schedule of your choosing. Learn more about Mango Practice Management software here.

3. Hire a Virtual Assistant

Have you considered hiring a virtual assistant to help out with your tasks? A virtual assistant can do a variety of work for your office, ranging from simple administrative tasks like scheduling appointments and managing emails, to more complicated tasks, such as bookkeeping. Virtual assistants can be hired to set up and run your marketing campaign or provide stellar customer service. Delegate lower-level tasks or tasks that aren’t in your comfort zone to your virtual assistant so you can focus on what you do best.

A virtual assistant will act as a remote contract employee that you bring on to work a certain amount of hours. Depending on your agreement with the virtual assistant, those hours can be fixed or they can change each week, depending on your need. You can also hire a virtual assistant on a short-term basis to get you over a hectic period, such as tax time.

Time Management Tips for Accountants

4. Use Practice Management Software

One of the best time-saving tips we know is to run your entire practice using practice management software like Mango. No matter how big or small your accounting practice, practice management software will streamline your accounting workflow and reduce the amount of time it takes to do your tasks.

Here’s a glimpse into how Mango Practice Management Software can help save time:

Mango is an all-in-one solution. Instead of using multiple tools to run your accounting practice, you can use just one platform. With Mango, you have a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, a client portal, a time tracker, and a cloud-based accounting document management system in one central place. You’ll eliminate the need to go back and forth between multiple tools when Mango does all of those tasks for you.

Use our time-tracking software tools to keep an eye on how you and your team spend your day. Mango allows you to capture time at the click of a button. Start, stop, pause, and edit time to keep an accurate record of how much time you’re spending on a particular task or with a client.  Analyzing your time allows you to make smarter decisions in the future. Use this data to decide which tasks are great candidates for automation and what may need to be eliminated altogether.

Interested in learning more about Mango’s time-saving features? Click here to schedule a demo with Mango Practice Management Software.

5. Create an Onboarding Workflow for your Clients

Client onboarding is the process of welcoming a new client to your accounting firm.

Client onboarding is important for setting your clients’ expectations on how you do business. When properly onboarded, your accounting clients are less likely to churn and you will be able to develop longer and stronger relationships with them. You’ll also reduce the dreaded scope creep by clarifying what you will offer and when. This inevitably leads to greater efficiency for your and your team.

To properly onboard your clients, keep the following in mind:

Create a contract that details the work you’ll do for each type of client. This is also known as a Letter of Intent (LOI). To save even more time, set up different templates based on the different client services that you may provide. This way, you won’t need to draft up a unique contract for each client.

Give them a virtual tour. If you’re using a client portal, give them a brief overview of how to use your tool. You can do this with a quick two to five-minute video that you embed in your welcome email. The accounting software/client portal may seem intuitive to you, but it’s probably new to your client. They may miss an important feature if it’s not pointed out.

Send over a new client questionnaire. Use your questionnaire to find out what your new client’s accounting goals are and how they define success. Knowing their definition of “mission accomplished” will help you quickly understand your role in those objectives.

Offer a library of resources. To help you save even more time from answering the same client questions over and over again, provide new clients with a resource library (such as a dedicated page on your website) that contains all the information they need to know to make yours a successful partnership. This can include contact information, frequently asked questions, guides, step-by-step tutorials on how to do different tasks on your software, and more. The more resources you add to this library, the more time you’ll save in the long run because you can simply direct future questions to this page.

Final Thoughts

As an accountant, you know well that time is money. The time you save from low-value tasks can be invested into high-level activities, such as face-to-face client work and growing your accounting firm. Use the above tips to effectively add more time to your day.

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