When you try to scale your accounting firm, you risk losing control of your workflow. In history class, you probably heard that Rome fell partly because it grew too large. Well, the same thing can happen to businesses that don’t alter and standardize their workflow as they get bigger.
Having systems and procedures in place that act as guides for your staff will help prevent mishaps and aid in your growth. What does it mean to standardize? Well, you have to document your procedures. Figure out how you do each task around the office, and write that down! The goal is to do every task the same way, every time.
So how exactly can this kind of standardization help your firm grow?
Train new staff
One of the most significant advantages of standardizing your accounting workflow is that standardization enables you to onboard staff more efficiently. Your new team members won’t have to take their questions to their co-workers if everything is written down for them in advance. You can also utilize these documents to cross-train employees. If someone is out sick, it is much easier to have another team member fill in for them if they have guides to help with their new tasks.
Add value to your firm
Another way standardization can improve your accounting firm is through the value that knowledge brings. You know a lot about the industry, from understanding the ins and outs of building successful client relationships to memorizing the quickest ways to complete daily tasks. All of this information comprises your firm’s knowledge capital.
Have you ever had a valuable team member leave or retire and take a lot of important information with them? With documented workflow procedures, you won’t be lost if you lose a member of staff. Standardization also allows you to more easily pass on your firm once YOU are ready to retire.
Scaling your firm is all about hard work, and standardizing your workflow will help you work faster and more efficiently. When you and your team have a framework for completing tasks, those tasks will get done faster. Having your workflow standardized is especially helpful for irregular tasks that pop up. If a member of your staff is confronted with an assignment that isn’t a normal part of their work, it can take longer to complete that task; if they have a documented process guide, they can work much more confidently.
Protect yourself and your staff
Documentation isn’t just a means of increasing your productivity. It can also be a protective shield against any legal trouble that might come your way. We’ve all had experiences with bad clients, and sometimes those bad experiences can stifle growth through mounting legal costs. Having everything at your accounting firm clearly documented can help prevent issues from arising.
Standardizing your workflow processes through documentation will allow you to better train employees, work more efficiently, build your knowledge capital, and protect yourself from unnecessary legal battles. All of these advantages can help you scale your accounting firm! Need some help writing your workflow procedures down? Check out our guide on documenting your processes!