A study by Sage research has found that small businesses in the UK spend approximately 120 working hours a year on administrative tasks. “I just did not have enough time” is an excuse we hear many accounting firms making. What can differentiate you from them is taking the initiative and making time!
So what can you do? As an accounting firm owner, you must first identify where your time is wasted and why. Then it would help if you found a solution to make your firm more productive by eliminating or outsourcing your admin tasks.
Let’s start by identifying why UK accountants spend more time on admin tasks and their implications.
What Are The Implications of Spending More Time on Admin Tasks?
The same Sage research points out that since businesses need proper systems, around 5.6% of their staff spend the necessary time doing admin tasks. The study also highlighted that if these firms helped employees increase productivity, they could add an extra £33.9 billion annually to the UK GDP.
Most accounting firm owners agree that a lack of investment in digital services and technology leads to less time spent on critical business analysis, which could result in firms suffering financially in this ever-changing market.
Small accounting firms especially cannot afford to spend a considerable amount of time manually doing admin tasks as it restricts the amount of time they spend on productive work that helps them make profits and scale up their business.
The implication of spending more time on admin tasks means less time is spent on actual work. This is more detrimental when the UK has just gone through many financial and legislative changes after Brexit and is still mapping out last-minute changes in trade agreements and tax laws.
Your finance team could be under pressure to nail down admin tasks and business deals together. Doing so when you are planning the future of your business can be difficult as it leaves no room to analyse the performance of your employees if they are only doing repetitive administrative work.
Making business decisions is also more challenging and time-consuming when you depend on the manual data entry into a spreadsheet which can have human error. You need to adopt technology that eliminates the time spent on back-end tasks. In addition, you need digital tools to predict accurate financial data and consistently work towards rolling out strategies that can position your accounting firm as a trustable entity.
Let’s see how you can eliminate the time spent on admin tasks and make your business more productive.
Tips to Become More Productive
Small accounting firms face more issues related to time being spent on admin tasks. This is because they have a limited staff, and the work piles up if disorganised. You need to help your finance team manage their time well. They could use a time management tool on the internet or make simple lists to prioritise admin tasks that need to be taken care of immediately.
This way, they will have more time to do the creative and analysing work you have hired them for. Keeping organised records can reduce the amount of time spent on administrative tasks.
One of the easiest ways to reduce time spent on admin tasks is outsourcing the work. As accounting is one of the most time-consuming admin tasks, you can outsource it to a third party to make your business work more efficiently.
Outsourcing is also cheaper, as you can hire a freelancer or a company from a developing country where the cost of the same service is lesser. You also gain experienced workers, and you can free up the time your employees spend on admin tasks.
Using Digital Technology
Many admin automation apps and digital tools available in the market can automate manual processes to speed them up and free up human resources. For example, tasks like data entry, visitor management, scheduling meetings, etc., can be done automatically without human intervention.
With the right technological tools, you can also save your data on the cloud to access it from anywhere and at any time. Process automation may sound like a costly affair, but once you use it, you will realise its benefits offset its cost. In the long run, it gives a great return on investment.
To Sum It Up
Admin tasks are non-client-related activities, and you should do everything you can to save money and time spent on such tasks. Follow our tips to outsource, automate and prioritise work, and you will witness that you are not wasting time on admin tasks like other accounting firms.