Things can get really hectic when you’re working with clients. While it should be a good indicator that you’re in a thriving industry, the pace can get frenzy. With looming deadlines and tons of tasks that are still in pending status, it might be difficult to turn in quality work.
The answer to this problem is, you guessed it: proper time management.
Yes, you have heard this before but it doesn’t mean you’ve mastered it already. There’s a reason why you’re still trying to beat the deadline. To hack productivity while ensuring quality work, you must learn how to use your time efficiently.
It’s time to switch strategies if you’re constantly running out of time. Follow these tips to get things done and accomplish more of your business goals.
Track Where You’re Spending Your Time
It’s easy to lose track of time when you have so much on your plate. Emails in the morning, updating records, and reconciling bank and credit card details are just some of the things that eat up your time.
Using a tracking app, perform an audit of everything you do on a daily basis so you can have a clear idea of how much time is required for you to complete each time. Knowing how much time you actually spend on specific tasks will help you avoid slacking in the future.
A few useful examples of time tracking apps for accountants include:
- Jetpack Workflow
Creating a to-do list can be extremely helpful
Prioritise Your Tasks For The Day
Not all tasks are created equal. This is why you need to figure out which ones require urgent attention. Before you begin your day, take a few minutes to go through all your deliverables and identify which ones need to be completed first. Break down tasks into more actionable steps.
There are days (a lot, actually) when you’d feel there’s too much on your plate. During these times, you might find it difficult to prioritise tasks because everything feels important. It can get overwhelming. When you find yourself in this conundrum, doing the following may help:
- The truth is, not all projects are really that important. Discuss with your manager which tasks need to be done first.
- Seek the help of your colleagues. It helps to collaborate with others. Lending a hand won’t just get things done quickly and efficiently, it can also foster good working relationships.
- Go back to your deadlines and work backwards. Check when each items are due and identify how much time is spent on each task.
If there are big projects and a tight deadline, you can delegate certain tasks to team members. There’s no reason to carry the burden all by yourself when you can utilise the skills and talents of your co-workers. Plus, it can be a good way to foster teamwork.
Delegating tasks is also one good sign of leadership. This allows you to get more done by recognising the individual strengths of the team.
Take Advantage Of Automation
Automation is here to stay. Artificial intelligence has allowed us to complete time-consuming tasks quickly and efficiently. Software and programs like Quickbooks and Xero are an accountant’s Christmas elves. These will give you more time to spend on more important tasks like financial analysis and providing advice to your clients.
Automation can push your firm to success by improving productivity, enhancing capacity and delivering quality client service.
Make the most out of the technology available to you. Not only will they save you time, they can also improve the quality of work. You can produce more accurate data a lot quicker.
Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
It pays to plan ahead. If you’ve been in this job for quite a while now, then you should be aware of the peak periods. Use this to your advantage. Identify the things you need to accomplish for the quarter and the entire year so you can plot your schedule accordingly.
Take note of tax time, end of the fiscal year, and other deadlines you might have. Remember to consider your vacations. Work these into your schedule.
Moreover, update your software and hardware so you’re properly equipped when all the work comes in.
Managing your time well is one indicator that you’re working smarter. In this age, working smart is the way to success.
The Outsourced Accountant helps accounting firms from all over the world grow their capacity, margins and profits through global outsourcing. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your firm.