Business process

4 simple time-saving tips for busy accountants

Do you spend much of your day answering emails instead of focusing on client work? Do admin tasks take precious time away from pursuing opportunities that generate revenue?

Here are four simple ways you can avoid time-sapping tasks and free up your capacity to focus on client work:

1. Create a system to handle emails

Having a system to deal with the seemingly endless influx of emails hitting your inbox can help save countless hours every week.

Instead of answering emails all day long, which diverts your attention as each arrives, try dedicating a specific time each day to only answer emails. Or you can try setting 60 to 90-minute work periods, followed by 30 minutes where you only answer emails or phone calls. This way you can avoid constantly switching between client work and answering emails, which can make you lose focus and saps productivity.

One way to minimise the amount of emails you receive is by using the Client Portal module for Sage HandiSoft practice software, which allows clients to upload and download documents at any time. You can also reduce time spent emailing and phoning clients with the Notify add-on, which makes it really easy to send appointment reminders, deadline alerts or send bulk text messages to request outstanding signatures.

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2. Avoid unproductive meetings

Unnecessary or poorly run meetings are the low hanging fruit you can address today to claim back your time.

Simple measures you can take include starting all meetings on time no matter what – if anyone is late, make them explain why. This will help set a precedent for punctuality.

Make sure you set a clear purpose or agenda for the meeting and clearly communicate this to attendees prior to the meeting.

Only set meetings when you absolutely need to – if you can address the meeting agenda over an informal chat, do that instead. And ensure you invite the right people to the meeting, and no one who doesn’t need to be there.

You can also try dedicating meeting-free days to ensure you can allocate uninterrupted time for client work.

3. Make use of downtime

Time spent commuting or waiting at an airport is a great opportunity to catch up on work, free from office distractions.

While you could use this time to catch up on emails, with the help of your mobile device or laptop, you can also spend it wisely by catching up on client work.

The Connect app for Sage HandiSoft allows you to enter your timesheet, view, add and edit client information via any laptop or mobile device with a web browser. You can also view and send tax returns and financial statements, plus view and add diary appointments.

4. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks

If you find yourself regularly mired in admin work, you can easily gain back time by delegating these tasks to junior staff or those with smaller workloads.

Ensure you’re not the only one who can perform these tasks. While it may take some time to teach colleagues how to perform these tasks, it’s worth the initial investment. Once they know how, it will save you countless hours in the future.

How else can your practice free up time?

Sage HandiSoft practice software can change the way your firm does business. Not only can it make everyday tasks and processes simple and efficient, it also allows you to collect intelligent data on your clients’ businesses to help you deliver highly relevant business advice.

Sage HandiSoft’s Document Manager and Client Portal modules combine to help you save time and cut down on paperwork by digitising your standard letters, procedures and client documents, creating a secure gateway to share documents and allowing your clients to sign documents electronically.