The modern day accounting firm looks drastically different than it did twenty years ago. While there have been many alterations to tax laws and accounting standards, the real changes can be seen in implementation of technology solutions that have transformed firm efficiency; both in the back office as well as how accountants interact with clients.
A few decades ago, most firms were paper-based and the desktop computer was just being introduced to accounting and tax practices. The internet debuted in its public form around 1994, but didn’t completely blossom until around 2000. Then, about a decade ago, came the idea of the paperless office: switching paper binders and client folders into digital files and folders that could be easily managed and searched electronically.
In the last ten years, the accounting profession has begun adopting cloud-based accounting systems, as well as setup client portals for real-time collaboration. In the last three years, the global use of mobile apps by consumers and small businesses has grown exponentially, redefining the way accounting firms operate.
These technology advancements have had a monumental impact when you compare an accounting practice of 1995 to a firm in 2015. But these are only tools by which specific tasks are performed, they are not an indicator of how client and firm management is processed or if your firm is performing efficiently. There are several definitions of the term workflow, the key aspect of all is the bigger picture of how back office processes progress. Using the most modern tools does not protect against misallocation of firm resources or productivity-sapping logjams.
The key to accounting workflow management is optimization. Evaluating your firms internal management tasks and processes, as well as how team members interact with one another, will allow you to identify how to best optimize for efficiency. Examining and then standardizing your processes allows you to remove inefficiencies as you re-define them. The end-result is a standard workflow process being written as firm policy and then implemented in best of breed technology solutions. Scalus is the tool accounting firms trust to ensure processes are met and delivered.
When evaluating workflow in your firm, think about how your practice manages processes like due dates, time and billing, client deliverables as well as collaboration on tasks and projects.
Accounting workflow will always be evolving within firms, as is technology. The firm partners need to be not only be aware of both internal changes but also solutions introduced to the marketplace that bridge the gaps. With Scalus, you have workflow automation, collaboration, and communication all in one centralized location. Onboarding customers, scheduling multi-step projects and collaborating with your team has never been easier. Try for free, no obligation for a full 30 days so you can really see how it works to improve firm efficiency.