8 PRODUCTIVITY TIPS FOR BOOKKEEPERS this holiday season
‘Tis the season to be merry! And the quicker you can get your bookkeeping tasks completed, the sooner you can get down to celebrating with your family – social distancing observed, obviously.
Productivity is always a priority for bookkeepers, but never more so than now when businesses everywhere are looking to wrap things up before Christmas. A big part of creatively ‘amping up’ your productivity is committing to making conscious efforts to get more done every day.
Looking for some inspiration? Agility Bookkeeping’s founder Rachel Roden shares eight tips to help fellow bookkeepers to keep their productivity levels at an all-time high:
1. Be protective of your time
Time is the most valuable asset you have – you deserve to be protective of it! Schedule well-defined work blocks during the day or week for your most important tasks and then work your other priorities around those.
To avoid being flooded with meetings, ask colleagues to book their meeting slots in advance. Even if you only work part-time, it is essential to have control over what you are doing through your workday.
We use Microsoft Teams to manage our calendar. Choose a scheduling tool of your liking and manage your time better.
2. Upgrade your team communication tool
Efficient and speedy internal communication is a must for productivity. Choose a tool like Microsoft Teams that allows you to communicate with your clients, team members or stakeholders easily without filling up their inboxes with multiple follow-ups and long email trails.
Virtual meetings are now the norm, and tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts make this easy. If you manage a large bookkeeping team, provide quick training to your team members to help them navigate these tools better so that they need not resort to texting or calling each other at inconvenient times.
3. Embrace automation
Accounting software has evolved tremendously over the last few years, and embracing software will go a long way in freeing you up from mundane tasks and keeping your attention on what’s critical.
There are different software options to handle your monthly bookkeeping online, automate your tax compliance, automate your transaction categorisation, and so on.
While many accountants hesitate to adopt software as they fear that their jobs will become redundant, automation is, in fact, a significant step forward in making high productivity the norm in the accounting industry.
Use a modern, online bookkeeping system such as Xero, Quickbooks or Sage – one that you can link to your bank account. This way, all your transactions automatically get synced to your system at the end of each month or week, making it easier for you to tally your in-flows and out-flows.
4. USE DATA ENTRY APPS
Are you tired of spending hours on data entry? Apps such as AutoEntry or HubDoc link to most modern bookkeeping software packages and are a lifesaver when it comes to routine data work. Then make sure your paperwork gets auto-forwarded to the email inbox – this way, all your paperwork is attached to the relevant transactions, and you do not need to waste time hunting down bills from six months ago.
5. Do not allow the paperwork to build-up
Some amount of paperwork is inevitable for bookkeepers, and it is almost always their least favourite thing to do. However, the more you put it off, the bigger your workload will be when you finally get around to doing it. Instead, allocate time each day to ensure entry and invoices are raised.
6. Delegate wherever possible
Given that you only have a limited number of working hours each day, you must use as much of it as possible for critical tasks that demand your attention and creativity.
Wherever possible, pass on routine tasks such as scanning paperwork to a member of your team or a freelancer. Plus, check if there is a software or third-party service provider for the task you need to be done – there is likely to be one.
7. Do one task at a time
It is easy to be distracted by phone calls and emails, and not relatively as easy to regain your concentration afterwards. To get the most out of your workday, focus on one task at a time and put your phone away while you are doing so.
You can also try dividing each task into smaller chunks so that you can visibly measure your daily progress. It is easy to get overwhelmed if you have a lot to do, but take it one page or one month at a time, and you will be surprised how quickly you are getting things done.
8. Do it once and do it right
Mistakes can be costly, especially in bookkeeping. If you are having trouble figuring something out, do not hesitate to reach out to a colleague for help. You could even consider outsourcing the project while you focus on other areas.
Remember, the cost of not seeking help and getting the project wrong is much higher than taking a step back and acknowledging that something is outside your skillset. And in the process, you also save all the time that would go on you puzzling it out yourself!
Get professional help if you need it.
If you are struggling to manage the ins and outs of bookkeeping along with your primary business, you can consider outsourcing the job to a professional. An experienced bookkeeping service provider will save you time and money and advise you on making the most of tax returns.
Thankfully, Agility Bookkeeping is fully equipped to handle all your bookkeeping tasks and enable you to put up your legs and relax over the holidays. If you’re interested, please complete the contact form, and we will get back to you for an initial, no-obligation chat.