It’s 3PM – you’re on your third cup of coffee; the to-do tray is spilling onto the floor; suddenly, your zen and organization from this morning feels like a far-off memory. You’ve lost a grip on workload and reality altogether as the numbers and spreadsheets start making you go cross-eyed. How can you get back control, and feel like everyday accounting tasks are manageable again?First, you’ve got to pinpoint where the roadblocks are. Are you caught up searching for documents, organizing files, and checking your email? Here’s a tip: take a look at your day, and identify where your time is being lost. Not surprisingly, you’ll probably discover it’s a cumulative average of little things – log this here, finalize last week’s invoices, get pulled into finance meetings with the CFO. It all adds up, and fast.
There’s a way you can get control back in your workday, and seize it! Here are some additional accounting tips for those in the department:
Make Time for What Counts
- Block out time for reviewing/approving documents: You can’t have a routine if you don’t enforce a schedule! If you’re a department head or supervisor, block out 1 or 2 chunks of the day specifically to facilitate approvals or sign off on statements and reports (unless they’re too urgent to wait). Unless you’re part of the 2% of the population that can multitask, you’re losing 40% of productivity by switching tasks!
- Minimize the amount of meetings you’re in: Many times, meetings are time sucks and aren’t valuable – 39% of people have said they’ve dozed off, and over 70% brought other work with them. Either condense meetings to 30 minutes instead of an hour, or make sure every moment is productive. Otherwise, you’ll just be losing more time and won’t be able to keep track of the things that really matter.
- Stay on top of payments: This goes both ways, for payments you sendand receive. There are often early payment discounts that you can take advantage of, which will help you scrape some overhead off the top of your budget. It will also allow you to be ahead, so that if you do have a few crazy days, you’ll have a chance to stay on track.
- Automate invoices: Data entry is a huge culprit when it comes to errors and lost time. Simply scanning invoices into a document management system can cut down on the time you would take filing and indexing the same documents. With data capture technology, the system automatically pulls header and line items, which saves considerable time for you and for the accounting department as a whole.
- Prioritize your to-do list: This seems simple, but it does help with time management. If you prioritize what absolutely needs to get done, you’ll find the most important things get accomplished first, leaving you a little breathing room to get to the other, less urgent items. This means addressing timely reports and figures to the CEO, or reviewing the accuracy of numbers before sending them off. Then, when you complete a task, you’ll have the satisfaction of crossing something off the list.
- Invest in your people, and delegate: Hands down, your people are your biggest asset. Don’t be afraid to delegate to them, as many millennials in the workforce appreciate having the added responsibility and trust. As long as you make your expectations clear, you can unload some of your responsibilities onto your team in an evenly distributed way to help.
A Better Accounting Department
It’s never too late to evaluate where your department’s at, as well as to make key improvements where they’re needed most. If you’re ready to take your accounting department to the next level, consider the efficiency and convenience of Robotic Accounting Automation, or RAA, which frees you up to do what really matters in the department. Suddenly, you may only need 1 cup of coffee to get through the day, instead of 3.
Learn more by checking out our eBook on RAA below: