6 Time and Billing Tricks to Streamline Your Accounting Firm

Tim Sines

6 Time and Billing Tricks to Streamline Your Accounting Firm

When running an accounting firm, the number of tasks you need to complete daily piles up quickly. With a rapidly changing tax and accounting landscape affecting how you run your business, you may find yourself in the 50% of accounting firms that are struggling to keep up. To make your workday more manageable, you need to implement efficient tech tools that simplify key business practices like time tracking and billing. 

Time and billing can be simplified when you implement project management software that offers tools to automate processes, streamline invoicing, and create new templates that you can use over and over again. To make more time for billable work and client service—and spend less time on repetitive administrative tasks—try these six tricks.

1. Set up recurring invoices

A pain point for many clients is paying invoices on time. Let’s face it, your clients are busy, and even if they mean to pay their bill by a certain date, it’s easy for them to accidentally forget about it until it’s past due.  

Implementing online payments offers you and your clients a number of benefits. It’s faster and easier to pay by credit card online, and your clients have the option to set up recurring invoices. This decreases their mental load since they won’t have to remember to deal with your invoice, and it provides your accounting firm with a steady revenue stream. To make it even easier, you have the option to release time records based on a bill-through date.   

Once paid, a new invoice for the next month can automatically be created.

2. Process multiple invoices at once with batch invoicing

Manually creating one invoice at a time per client every month can eat up an entire work day. Instead of wasting precious hours on this busy work, implement batch invoicing to process multiple invoices at once. Use a project management software that offers batch invoicing, so that you can generate all the invoices you need and send them to multiple clients in just a few clicks. 

3. Use multiple timers to track time for all your different projects

There’s practically no worse feeling than getting deep into work on a project only to realize that you forgot to start a new timer for it.  

It’s easy to lose time to small, human errors like this. That’s why you need robust time tracking software that provides multiple timers so you can track time on different projects simultaneously. Once you’re done with a project, it only takes a few clicks to turn the time from your project into a record on your invoice.  

With so many remote workers, people need options to track time from wherever they are. Look for helpful mobile applications so that your employees can track time from whatever device they’re using at the moment. If you have to pick up a call from a client while you’re taking your dog for a midday stroll, be sure to start a timer on your phone so that you don’t miss a single billable minute. 

Plus, many accounting firms have switched to value-based billing. If you’ve made the leap, don’t ditch your time trackers! Time tracking for value-based billing helps you keep an eye on whether you’re spending too much time on client work to maintain profitability.

4. Create task templates for each project

Most businesses outline processes for billing procedures, but it’s easy to accidentally skip a step unless your team knows the workflows like the back of their hands. When you use project management software to map out your time and billing workflows, your employees can let the platform do the hard work for them. 

Start by creating tasks for each step of the process. Then assign these tasks to your employees. Whenever an employee receives a new task, they’ll get an email notification letting them know that they have a new assignment. Plus, employees can look at their tasks on any device they’re logged in to, allowing them to check their deadlines from the coffee shop, school pick up line, or home office. 

You can track the process of an invoice in the comprehensive project dashboard. Keep an eye on the status of each task, and if a task is overdue, you can quickly drop a note to your employee to see where they might need support. 

The cherry on top of this streamlined sundae? Once you create a series of tasks, you can save those in a template and use them again and again. (Read below for more!)

5. Automate templates to use over and over

Project management templates help you deal with repetitive tasks involved with billing. Use an existing template or create your own for each type of repetitive work that your firm performs. Whenever this project needs to be assigned, use the corresponding project template to auto-create tasks and assign them to employees.  

You can attach notes and make changes to any templates as needed in case employees need more information to understand a project. With automated project templates, you don’t have to manually create the same workflows over and over again. Just a few clicks are all it takes to create a full workflow to build assignments from.

6. Implement document management to find past invoices easily

Occasionally, clients have questions or issues with invoices that have already been paid or you need to look at these invoices later for various reasons. If you just have paper invoices in filing cabinets, it’s going to take time to hunt them down.  

Save time and implement document management software so you can throw out your filing cabinets and keep every important document in the cloud. Create folders for each client with a thorough naming system that everyone in your office understands. Then all you have to do to pull up an old invoice is look in the client’s file online. No more hunting through dusty files in storage to find what you’re looking for. 

Streamline your firm’s time and billing with Mango Practice Management 

Mango offers robust accounting practice management software made by accountants, for accountants. We offer everything you need to run your firm (other than the actual taxes themselves), so you don’t have to hop between different types of software to get your work done. 

Mango’s robust suite of software tools includes: 

  • File sharing and e-signature 
  • Time and billing  
  • Project management 
  • Document management 
  • Reporting and analytics 

If you’re ready to streamline time, billing, and more at your accounting firm, schedule a demo with Mango today.