The 3 Step Process To Polish Your Workflows

June 21, 2021

Every business needs a workflow. Some may be simple and direct, others complex and confusing. Accounting firms in particular deal with many clients and projects that may entangle from time to time but aim to follow a straightforward workflow that keeps things organized and efficient.

However, this is not always the case. Many accounting firms get entangled in their mess due to unpolished business workflows and processes. They can get caught up in deadlines, and often, business practices result from the need for expediency and not efficiency.

That kind of practice isn’t good for the long haul since they will most likely just get replaced by more expedient processes. Accounting firms need a polished workflow and process that keeps track of everything and makes the job easier.

First Things First

Full disclaimer: there is no perfect technique for improving all workflows and business processes. Each company is different and has its way of doing things, so you need to know the steps in polishing it. This process takes careful analysis where you’ll spend time and effort. But in the end, it will be worth it.

Without further ado, here are the three steps you can take to polish your business workflows and processes:

1. Map and Analyze.

Before you can correct the mistakes or re-do your business workflow, you need to understand how the entire process should work. Prepare your documentation of the workflow and the procedures. If you don’t have documentation, this might be a good time to start. Collaborate with the staff that performs documentation of the workflows to get further knowledge about the matter.  

Once you have your documentation, use tools and techniques that help you analyze, such as the Cause and Effect Analysis. These techniques are made to pinpoint factors that result in problems or adverse outcomes.

When needed, redesign the workflow. Determine solutions that help produce better results than the ones currently used. In addition, you need to ensure that you are not creating more problems with the new processes you’re introducing.

2. Acquire.

The second step entails you to acquire resources for the improved workflow you are looking to implement. Depending on your map and analysis of the processes, you might need minor to significant changes.

If a complete overhaul is needed, you might require more staff or additional software to use. Secure the support of those practicing or involved in the processes to authorize these changes.

3. Implement and Review.

Once you have your proposed and revised business workflow, it’s time for implementation. This might be a project in itself, so acquire the proper resources and time to introduce it into your system slowly.

To make this successful, you can run the new workflow in parallel with the old one to check if it yields results. Following that, you will want to document the results and the changes it produced to those in the company affected.

The Last Thing To Do

Remember that changing or updating your business workflows and processes is not an overnight deed. It takes weeks to months before your accounting firm can fully adapt to these changes, but keep in mind that consistency is key.

During the early months of implementation, be sure to monitor the changes and how it has improved your systems. Through that, you can identify whether it has worked well or some areas need improvement. If it’s the latter, then you can return to Step 1.

To help you speed up polishing your business workflow, Firm 360 provides an all-in-one workflow management software to accounting firms struggling with streamlining their processes. From client to document to invoicing and payments management, we’ve got you covered. See what we have to offer today!

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