Accounting itself is a serious and delicate work. Put disorganized workflows and a disjointed team on top of it, and you’ll have a full-blown disaster.
Take Larisa Lopez for example. She started her firm by managing all her accounting processes with spreadsheets, paper, and to-do lists. It didn’t take long before she realized how much her manual process was stunting productivity and limiting her firm’s growth. She knew she needed a workflow software to take her team’s productivity to the next level.
As soon as she implemented workflows into her system, she had this to say:
“I’ve been able to document more of my workflows and processes, and I’ve been able to delegate my work to free up my time, and that delegation has been key for my sanity.”
In this article, we take a deep dive into how to create an efficient workflow for your firm so your team can work faster, smarter, and get more work done.
But first, some definitions:
Workflow: A set of tasks you do to complete an accounting process.
Workflow Management: The process of defining, optimizing, and automating your workflows, eliminating bottlenecks so your team can implement tasks seamlessly. Workflow software lets you track client work and see employee workload and availability.
Some Examples Of Accounting Workflows You Can Create in Your Firm
- Client Onboarding Workflow to help your firm onboard new clients and set them up for success.
Year-End Review Workflow to help your staff conduct an annual review of a client’s financial records.
Download FREE Accounting Workflow Checklists From Our Library Here
What You Should Include in Your Accounting Workflow
- Process Checklist: The actions your team needs to take to complete the tasks in the workflow.
- Detailed steps: The detailed process your team must follow to complete each step correctly in the checklist.
- Related information: The resources you need to complete a step in the workflow.
- Assignee: The person that is responsible for performing each step in the process.
Manual vs. Automated Workflows
Manual workflows require you or a member of your team to be on hand to follow up, track work, ensure adherence to the listed steps in the checklist, report progress, among other things. That’s why many accounting firms are now using software to create, implement, and automate their workflows. Accounting workflow software does the heavy lifting for your team so you can get work done and not spend time on manual, laborious work.
A great accounting workflow software will help you create your workflows or give you access to available templates within the software, assign work to your team, get a one page overview of the status of work, collaborate with staff, and do many other things.
How To Create Your First Manual Workflow Checklist
Creating workflows for your accounting processes doesn’t have to be complicated, you can start right now. Just follow our guide.
Let’s say you wanted to create a workflow for a monthly bookkeeping work, here are the steps you need to follow:
- Get a piece of paper or open your spreadsheets.
- Set a timer for 5 minutes. This will help you to stay accountable and prevent you from overthinking the process.
- Start listing everything you do to help your clients do theirs, assuming that the client has been onboarded already.
- Arrange the steps in a step-by-step order from the first step to the last.
- Review and if you notice that you missed a step, simply add it where it belongs and keep it moving.
Are you done? Cool! What do you have on your page?
Caption: Here’s the outcome from our end. Is yours the same? Why not, if not? Let us know in the comments section.
Once you sort that out, you can proceed to:
- Create a video explanation and distribute to your team (optional)
- Assign the tasks to relevant team members.
- Link client documents with relevant accounting processes.
But you can get more work done with…
Automated workflows automated the admin tasks so your team can focus on their work. Since they are machines and are not subject to human error, which improves work quality and efficiency —The vital few over the trivial many.
Accounting workflow tools provide your team the platform and all you have to do is:
- Decide the work you want to create..
- And delegate the work to your team.
Learn more about how to create and implement effective workflows for your firm in What Is Accounting Workflow Management?