5 tips to optimise your workflow automation in your accounting practice

Written by

Parth Shah

Most accounting practices aim to deliver error-free services on time and handle high-value clients efficiently. Unfortunately, in reality, many firms struggle to achieve this ideal scenario.

The current state of workflow in accounting practices is frequently poor, leading to numerous challenges, including report errors, missed deadlines, lower quality of work, and dissatisfied clients.

Ask any accountant, and they’ll tell you how manual accounting processes significantly hamper their productivity, highlighting the urgent need to change how they operate.

Herein lies the opportunity to build robust workflows for your accounting practice.

How, you ask?

By automating repetitive tasks, you can streamline your work and experience improved accuracy, on-time delivery, and higher client satisfaction, paving the way for a more prosperous and efficient accounting practice.

This blog explains how technology implementation can enhance workflow automation in your accounting practice to the next level.

How to build a workflow automation process in your accounting practice

1. Map your current workflow

First things first – audit your current tech stack. This involves determining the scope of the workflow and identifying bottlenecks that might cause inefficiencies.

This exercise will help you identify outdated tools that need to be replaced with the latest accounting technologies.

It will also provide you with a clear understanding of your current capabilities so that you can identify areas where workflow automation is of the utmost importance.

This brings us to the second point.

2. Identify areas for improvement

Now that you have audited your current tech stack, you should have a clearer idea of the areas that need automation. Once your workflow is mapped, it is time to analyse every step carefully.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this a manual, repetitive step? If yes, it will become the focus area where you need automation.
  • Is there a possibility of human error? Manual data entry is susceptible to human errors, but automation can help minimise these mistakes and significantly speed up the work process.
  • Can this be automated with technology? You need to identify which software is beneficial for your accounting needs carefully.
  • Does this step add value to the process? If the value addition is negligible, it is better to eliminate it and or assess a different task that will add value.

The most common repetitive tasks in an accounting practice’s workflow include manual bookkeeping, invoice generation, tax filing, and creating accounting reports for clients. Incorporating workflow automation in these areas will help you deliver a superior service.

3. Research and compare different software options

Finding the perfect accounting software requires comprehensive research to balance budget, features, and support appropriately.

While comparing different software vendors, check the pricing to see if it fits your budget. Many vendors provide subscription-based pricing, where you pay an annual or monthly fee to access the workflow software, which may make it more viable for you than an upfront payment.

Look for software with a user-friendly interface, which will reduce the time spent on support and training for your staff.

Consider the software’s functionalities. Ensure you’ll efficiently use all its features and that it’s not over-specified for your needs. Check its ability to integrate with your existing accounting workflow.

Importantly, ensure it addresses your specific needs, such as automated bookkeeping, data entry, and tax planning, and isn’t limited in ways that could impact your accounting practice in the future.

Finally, focus on the vendor’s support for your new software to navigate any technical issues and offer ongoing updates for compliance and improvements.

For instance, practice management software like Xero Practice Manager and Senta are known for integrating various accounting tools and improving project visibility.

4. Test and refine

Always test the new workflow with a small sample of tasks before fully implementing it to identify any technical glitches in the system.

Gather feedback from your staff members and use their insights to refine the process for a seamless user experience. Fine-tune the software settings to optimise your accounting workflow for maximum efficiency. If the software isn’t meeting your needs, be honest and make necessary adjustments.

5. Emphasise security considerations

While selecting workflow automation software, ensure it complies with robust data security standards. Look for features like encryption and access controls to protect your data. Additionally, prioritise regular security updates from your vendor to address potential security breaches.

How accounting outsourcing helps practices with tech-led workflow automation

1. Access to the latest technology

One of the most important benefits of partnering with an outsourcing company is access to the latest accounting technologies, which can be expensive to attempt on your own. Outsourcers use various technologies for multiple services. This ultimately enhances your profitability by reducing investment in your current workflow.

2. Improved data analytics

Outsourcing companies like Stellaripe have tech-led workflow automation that provides tailored data analytics solutions to meet the unique needs of accounting practices. For instance, you could offer your clients real-time accounting insights with a customised dashboard that fetches real-time data.

3. Scalability and efficiency

Outsourcing companies specialise in using scalable tech solutions to handle and process large volumes of accounting data. This benefits individual accounting practices, which can outsource client work during the Self-Assessment tax season, for instance, when the workload is heavier.

4. Enhanced compliance and data security

Accounting practices prioritise data security because they handle sensitive client information. Outsourcing companies like Stellaripe understand this concern and prioritise data protection at their facilities, which includes implementing robust measures to safeguard data.

Final words

In today’s ever-evolving digitalisation, accounting workflow automation tools are no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity for accounting practices to thrive.

Additionally, outsourcing your clients’ functions will help your practice achieve higher accuracy, efficiency, and client satisfaction.

Take the first step of initiating accounting workflow automation with a reliable outsourcing partner like Stellaripe. Book a free consultation and explore how our cutting-edge tech-led accounting solutions can help with your business goals.

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