But that apprehension shouldn’t block you from taking steps forward in increasing your firm’s efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, profitability.
And one of those important steps forward is automating your accounting firm’s workflows.
What is workflow automation for accounting firms?
Workflow automation is the missing link between your firm’s day-to-day work, and the ability to be truly efficient and productive.
Accounting firms are frantic places—each staff member spends time coordinating multiple tasks with multiple colleagues, completing repetitive and manual tasks, all of which can take as much time as the work itself.
But automating your workflow means solving these complicated task management processes, helping you and your team to deliver true value and high quality service to your clients.
An example of accounting workflow automation in action
Chances are that you provide a number of different services to your clients, with each client having their own specific nuances.
But one workflow that all your clients are a part of is your firm’s client onboarding process.
Automating your client onboarding process will save you time, streamline the process and set a positive first impression with your clients.
For example, instead of manually emailing clients for their financial information and then manually setting reminders for yourself to chase them up, you can completely automate the entire client chase.
How to get the most out of workflow automation
You can spend time in spreadsheets creating formulas and rules that change color based on your inputs to help improve your workflows.
But the truth is, this isn’t workflow automation.
True accounting workflow automation is achieved using accounting workflow automation software.
An accounting workflow tool like Karbon will take care of the client chase in the example above, plus, it will automatically update task statuses to track where each client is in their onboarding process.
Here's a guide to accounting automation for a more in-depth look into what you should and shouldn't automate.
The key 7 benefits of accounting workflow automation
1. Time savings
Instead of setting yourself reminders or manually updating project or tasks statuses, accounting workflow automation means you can focus more time on serving your clients, building your team and/ or growing your business.
2. Increased accuracy
Automating your workflows leaves little to no room for human error. It takes the ambiguity out of your projects, helping you to be confident in the information you have in front of you.
And when you mitigate human error, you save time and money needed to retrospectively correct mistakes.
3. Increased productivity
It’s simple: when you don’t have to spend time manually updating task statuses or emailing clients, you have more time to churn out more work more often.
4. Better client experiences
When you use automation in client-facing workflows, you’re providing clients with smoother, more accurate and more efficient experiences.
And when you get it right from the beginning, you can use automation to kick-start a client relationship that is built off a professional first impression.
5. Stronger security
Accounting workflow automation tools are already built with the security features needed to keep your firm and clients’ data safe.
But the same can’t be said for the pen and paper method or spreadsheets.
6. Leverage your tech stack
By using workflow automation tools, you can harness system integrations with other accounting systems you’re using to run your firm.
Integrating an accounting workflow automation tool with the rest of your tech stack will help actualize time savings, productivity boosts and client experience enhancements.
7. Boost your top line
When you automate your workflows, you’re able to produce work quicker. And when that work is client onboarding, for example, automation is helping you speed up the time between a new client, and a paying client.
How to choose an accounting workflow software
Choosing the best accounting workflow software for your firm isn't a quick process, if you do it right.
You need to consider things like your firm's specific needs, your budget, and how quickly you need to implement it.
Here's a guide to help break the process down.
Work smarter, not harder
At the end of the day, automating your firm’s workflows is designed to help you work smarter, not harder. Each of the above benefits culminate to deliver just that.
Don’t be mistaken—introducing a workflow tool to automate the manual parts of your firm’s day-to-day will require time and discipline to implement correctly.
But rest assured, the benefits will far outweigh any negatives on your journey.
Think of it as very short-term pain for very long-term gain.