Increasing productivity in the workplace is a major concern for business owners in all sectors. In essence, productivity is a measure of the rate of output per unit of input, which means that if your employees are more productive, they’ll produce better and faster results without any change in resourcing. Ultimately, greater productivity means greater profitability.
But how does this work for accounting firms? Nowadays, technology has already vastly improved the efficiency of various accounting tasks like payroll and tax preparation. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t still room for improvement. If you want to boost productivity as much as possible in your accounting firm, then here are some simple changes that could instantly yield results.
1. Automate Accounting Tasks
As mentioned in the introduction, technology has already had a huge impact on the efficiency of accounting processes. With accounting software , accountants can now automate tasks such as payroll, credit note and invoice generation, tax preparation, financial reporting, and much more.
If you’re not already taking full advantage of automation, then you could be unnecessarily stunting productivity and efficiency in your accounting firm. This includes all kinds of automation, such as the automation of both accounting tasks and administrative tasks (e.g., time tracking, project management, and data entry). By automating these tasks, you’ll streamline all processes within your accounting firm and eliminate time-consuming manual work, allowing your employees to focus on higher-level tasks that require greater precision.
2). Improve Employee Engagement
Employees who feel engaged at work are much more productive. Dissatisfaction and detachment are proven to lower employee morale and therefore make them less focused at work, but how can you combat those issues and ensure that your accountants are committed to what they do?
First of all, you need to make sure that the work they’re doing is challenging enough to keep them focused and engaged, but not so difficult that they become overwhelmed. Striking this balance can be rather difficult, so it’s a good idea to check in with your employees to ask how they’re getting on with their daily tasks.
Additionally, your employees need to feel in control of their work and have opportunities to prove themselves and progress. Allow them to have greater autonomy during their workdays and refrain from micromanaging them, as this can cause frustration. You should also make sure you offer regular feedback to encourage them and advise them on how they can progress.
Overall, improving communication with your team members and allowing them to progress are essential steps if you want to boost employee engagement. This will reduce feelings of demotivation and therefore increase productivity, allowing your accounting firm to reach new heights of success.
3). Reduce Workplace Distractions
To improve productivity in your accounting firm, you need to reduce workplace distractions . So many things within an office can affect productivity, such as the noise level, open-plan office design, lighting, and even the temperature, so you need to consider all of these elements if you’re serious about eliminating inefficiencies.
Regarding office design, open-plan layouts are fantastic for collaboration, but for focused work, they can cause too many distractions and too much noise for people to concentrate effectively. This is why it’s important to have a range of working spaces within your accounting firm’s office, such as coworking spaces and quiet spaces.
Social media is another huge distraction. If you find that phone notifications are becoming a major issue at your accounting firm, then it may be necessary to either institute a phone policy at the workplace or simply talk to your employees about how to manage distractions.
4). Schedule Fewer Meetings
If you’re looking for a large time drain you can easily eliminate, then look no further than unnecessary meetings. Of course, communicating with your team is extremely important, but issues arise when employees are invited to an excessive amount of meetings, as this takes them away from their tasks and interrupts their concentration.
Instead, you should only schedule meetings when necessary and only involve people who are relevant to the situation. In addition, you should always try to get straight to the point so that you don’t waste your accountants’ valuable time . At the end of each meeting, you should all have a clear idea of what everyone’s next steps should be, as this will reduce the need for clarification and further meetings on the issue.
5). Allow Flexible Working
The above points also apply to video meetings when your employees are working remotely. You may feel like you need to check in on your team more frequently when they’re not in the office, but again, this behavior causes too many distractions and can severely impact everyone’s productivity.
In fact, it’s been shown that employee productivity increases when people are given the chance to work flexibly , so these ‘check-ins’ are largely unneeded. By working from home or choosing hours that fit around their lifestyles, employees can work in a way that’s best for their focus and efficiency, so by not allowing them to work flexibly, you could be harming your accounting firm’s overall productivity.
Furthermore, since accounting tasks can easily be completed remotely, there’s no real reason why a flexible working policy can’t be implemented at your workplace. Thanks to accounting technology, accountants can get on with their work in any location and at any time, giving them the freedom to work in the best way for them.
Instantly Improving Your Accounting Firm’s Productivity
Greater productivity means more profit, so eliminating inefficiencies in your accounting firm should be one of your top priorities. By automating accounting tasks, improving employee engagement, reducing workplace distractions, scheduling fewer meetings, and allowing flexible working, you can instantly take major steps toward boosting productivity without having to make large structural changes to your organization.
If you’ve implemented these changes but are still looking for ways to improve employee productivity even further, then make sure you open up a discussion with your team. Ask them if they’ve identified any major bottlenecks or if they’re experiencing problems with workplace distractions or a lack of progression opportunities. Feedback from your employees will be the key to finding solutions that everyone can get on board with.
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