The accounting field is hectic, with many accountants often working long hours that stretch beyond the demands of a typical five-day work week.
These intense hours and overloaded schedules can take their toll. In a recent survey, 99% of accountants reported some level of burnout, and over 24% of respondents reported medium to high levels of burnout.
While this is challenging on a personal level, it also is problematic from a business operations standpoint; when professionals burn out, it can lead to decreased efficiency and a feeling of dissatisfaction with their work. But there are other options besides heavy workloads and long weeks. If you want to support your teams and help them achieve better work/life balance while also improving productivity, consider the four-day workweek.
Is the four-day workweek really a solution?
While the concept of giving your employees fewer hours to complete their tasks might sound counterintuitive, there is evidence to support that this practice can work if implemented effectively.
One headlining example: Microsoft. In 2019, Microsoft Japan reported that after shifting to a four-day workweek, it experienced a 40% increase in productivity.
Other companies who have implemented a four-day workweek have noticed benefits like:
- Increased productivity
- Better employee retention
- Lower overhead costs
- Improved talent recruitment
Tools to help your accounting firm implement a four-day workweek
If you’re looking for ways to implement a four-day workweek at your firm without sacrificing customer satisfaction and employee productivity, an excellent place to start is finding tools that streamline your accounting practices to reduce the risk of burnout and save time.
Here are some of the tools accounting firms can use to make a four-day workweek possible.
Instead of wading through a mountain of emails to figure out what has to be done and when, take advantage of the latest project management software that will keep you on task and hitting deadlines. (Even if those deadlines are one day a week short!)
You can get a bird’s eye view of progress on all tasks from your main dashboard and create templates for custom workflows so you don’t lose valuable working hours populating tasks. Due date tracking is built-in, so you don’t have to rely on an old-fashioned datebook or create calendar reminders. This can save enormous amounts of time and keep your team working together seamlessly, from the office or on the go.
Billing and invoicing tools
Two tasks that eat up accountants’ time budget are tracking time and invoicing and billing clients.
Manually tracking time, while better than NOT tracking time at all, is tedious and error-prone. Accountants that wait until the end of the week to tally up their hours are more likely to misreport their time.
And when it comes to invoicing and billing, doing it by hand is yet another recipe for lost hours, frustration, and mistakes. Even detail-oriented accountants can struggle with finding the time to assemble invoices (let alone chase down overdue ones).
A great way to free up time for your team is to use time and billing software to take these time-consuming processes off your plate so that you can focus on more high-value tasks during your condensed workweek.
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The best time and billing solution will include:
- Expense tracking, which allows you to easily log all expenses associated with your clients
- Time-tracking features that record your time from the moment you start a task
- Cloud-based access so you can track your time from any device with an internet connection
- Multiple “plug-and-play” invoicing options for billing clients like batch invoicing, recurring invoicing, and retainers
Take advantage of automation features or customize things to the level you desire. For example, you can use batch invoicing when you have a set of similar clients you bill for standard services, or manual invoicing when you want complete control over the line items you need your client to see on an invoice.
Client collaboration tools
Another area where accountants can end up losing a substantive amount of time during the week is when dealing with client communication.
From back-and-forth phone calls and emails to status updates and chasing down signatures, handling the needs of your clients can be a daunting task that leaves even the most organized professionals scrambling for time.
Using an accounting practice management solution can help take the burden off your staff and keep your clients happy by streamlining the communication process, which saves you time and money.
Instead of fielding last-minute emails on a Friday afternoon, consider implementing the following client collaboration tools:
- Secure file-sharing: instantly and safely send and receive information to clients without needing to worry about security or delays in delivery
- Electronic signatures: capture a legally binding signature anytime, anywhere, with the push of a button
- Integrations with email: integrates with tools like Outlook and Google so that requesting client signatures is fast and easy
- Client portals: allow your clients to send messages, access documents, and make payments at their convenience, without needing to follow up with accounting firm staff
- Cloud-based document management: with the right document management software, all of your important documents are stored in one place that’s easy for you to manage and convenient for your clients to access
Ready to increase your productivity and save money with a four-day workweek?
The statistics on burnout indicate a troubling trend in the accounting profession that must be addressed by any firm that’s looking to scale and grow without losing valued employees to burnout-related turnover.
If your team is struggling with productivity challenges or burnout, it might be time to try a four-day workweek at your firm. With that said, it’s critical that you use the right tools for the job so none of your important work falls through the cracks.
From helping your team effectively track time and expenses to streamlining client communication and document sharing, Mango’s practice management software offers all of the great features mentioned above and more.
Ready to increase your firm’s productivity and give your employees some much-needed work-life balance? Schedule a demo with Mango today and see what we can do for you.
Unlock your accounting firm’s potential.
Save time, streamline workflows and get paid faster with Mango’s all-in-one Time and Billing Practice Management software.
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