Having a good workflow is what makes your practice efficient, productive and profitable. Over the years, there hasn’t been much change in this area. Compliance work still rules and there’s little emphasis on making working practices offer value for your clients.
Technology is bringing the means to finally speed up the process in this area. However, the emergence of digital raises a number of challenges when it comes to workflow.
There are four big challenges that you need to overcome in order to have an efficient workflow:
1. Reconciling multiple data sources
Firms now have a number of different clients, using a multitude of different financial and business tools, with a huge number of different data sources to reconcile and pool into any kind of meaningful financial data and reporting.
2. Keeping transparency, accountability and the audit trail
With so many disparate clients, accounting systems, data sources and client working preferences, it’s important to have a transparent overview of workflow. With a clear audit trail in place, managing success in a timely and profitable way becomes far simpler to achieve.
3. Moving away from the tick-list methodology
Historically, workflow has been seen as a checklist – a static list of tasks to be completed. Many workflow tools merely mirror this approach, reminding you and your team to carry out a task, but not giving a workable platform where the work itself can actually be viewed and carried out.
4. Drilling down into the data
To move from being a reactive accountant to a proactive business adviser, you need access to clients financial data in one place, in the clearest and fastest way possible. And you also need the tools, reporting and analysis that will help you spot issues for the client, and provide opportunities to add value through resolutions to those challenges and issues – whether that’s cash flow dips, looming compliance deadlines or sector-wide problems in their industry.
How to overcome these challenges and build a workflow and service delivery that meets client expectations?