Process automation is at the heart of the accounting profession and time management is becoming an issue that every firm needs to address. Maximising your time spent on your most important activities will allow you to have a better view of your business’ long-term strategy.
What are the issues to think about?
To get the most out of this workshop, it’s imperative to have clear view of everyone’s time allocation. Here are some of the aspects to think about when completing this workshop:
1) Task Distribution
List the tasks you perform each week and how much time you spend on each of them.
You must, identify each of these tasks and break them down into hours or percentages of time spent in a week.
Then, you must differentiate between the administrative tasks and the billable tasks (or tasks that generate revenue for your firm).
Once that’s done, do the math to figure out which administrative tasks represent (in hours or percentages) the largest amount of time spent in a week.
2) Task Recurrence
Reduce your list to the non-billable recurring tasks by identifying the time spent per week for each.
Compare each tasks and the time spent with those of your colleagues: Do you see any difference? Do these differences vary according to a job function?
Most of the time, these recurring tasks are administrative. Here are a few best practices to adopt that will reduce their impact on your activities.
3) Management tools
The first step is to identify the various tools that are used to perform these tasks. Try to differentiate between the tools that are useful for your core business and the tools used to perform non-billable tasks.
Don’t forget to ensure the consistency of your tools: Are our tools sufficiently centralised? Does each resource use the same tool to perform the same task?
Here is an example of one of the pitfalls to avoid, having three internal tools for project management and thus having to waste time when trying to extract the different information from each of these tools.
Once you have identified potential solutions, you can establish a list of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
4) Priority Management
Having a clear vision on how to manage your priorities is one of the most efficient to deliver your projects on time.
The Eisenhower matrix is a simple tool to help you prioritise your initiatives and maximise your time:
Simply take a blank piece of paper, separate it into four and fill in the page by writing down your weekly tasks according to their degree of urgency and importance.
5) Action Plan
In order to better manage this next step, we recommend setting up a three level action plan:
- Personal action plan
- Team action plan
- Firm action plan
For each of these levels, try to set realistic goals you will be able to achieve. For example:
“I will reduce my time spent on administrative tasks by 10min a day"