Doing more with less is the Holy Grail goal for business owners. It’s easy to overlook mounted expenses such as paper, printing, and even wasted time doing menial data entry tasks. All of this, while maintaining, or even increasing, your quality of service and/or product, is a challenge, but it’s not impossible.
Your accounting department can be a well-oiled machine, where efficiency is second-nature, and a streamlined workflow is standard. You might be surprised to learn that achieving these goals will also reduce costs associated with day-to-day operations, improve your budget, AND improve the happiness of your employees.
Sounds great right? Let’s get into the details of HOW you can accomplish this:
#1: Trim the Fat
Assessing your current business as a whole is an important first step. You don’t want to cut back on something valuable for a client or inhibit your company’s growth. Take inventory on everything you pay for on a monthly basis, and narrow it down by department. From there, determine which areas could use budgeting adjustments.
For accounting, oftentimes it’s not money, but time, that equates to lost money on recurring tasks. Updating spreadsheets; running weekly and monthly reports; bookkeeping; approvals – it all adds up to hours your employees are shackled to work that isn’t high-level.
Rather than expecting an unrealistic amount of work, trim the fat on subscriptions and paper processes that don’t generate revenue first, and then focus on what will drive results in the business. You’ll discover those results through the saved time in which your accounting workforce isn’t taking on manual processes.
#2: Trust in Technology
After step one, you may be wondering HOW to save time, and thus, reduce costs. Up-to-date technology helps accomplish all of those fancy things we mentioned at the beginning of the article. You can achieve a streamlined workflow and automated process with the right document management software for your business.
This especially helps to reduce costs in accounting, because of the arduous invoice process and the need to get sign-off from Manager A to push the document through from Step 1 to Step 2. With the right system, software comes to the rescue here by integrating with your current ERP and automatically notifying the necessary person in the next step of the process, so you don’t need to nag or chase someone through the office to get an approval.
Saved time = saved money. It really is that simple. A side effect of this is improved productivity of 90% or more!
#3: Encourage Early Billing & Payment
Early payments often come with discounts, because vendors and billers are able to reconcile their accounts quicker for the month. With an organized system, saving 1-3% with no additional work is powerful, so don’t overlook opportunities like this in your accounting department!
If you’re not quite there, don’t worry – take steps to make sure your payments are on time, and implement team incentives for a successfully paid-up month. Consider the following tips:
- Note all your due dates for bills and supplies on the calendar
- For invoices, note what’s needed to submit the payment (credit card number, proper address, and the right documentation to accompany the payment)
- Make a weekly schedule on what should get sent out to whom, and give buffer time (depending on whether this is mail or electronic, allow at least 3-5 business days for time to process)
- As your accounting department becomes accustomed to this, you can use these methods for your clients’ payments, too, as guidelines on submitting payments!
#4: Cut Back on Paper Use
Paper circulation in offices is unbelievable, not to mention wasteful. 45% of paper that’s printed is thrown away by the end of the day – this accounts for a trillion sheets of paper over the course of a year.
Digital document management is not only more efficient, but it’s also more cost-effective! Imagine what you could do with the saved money of a trillion sheets of paper annually.
With digital document management software, you can route invoices to clients through email and eliminate the risk of paper being lost – and wasted – in the postage system. Chances are, you’ll get a faster response time and reduce cost on stamps, as well as time spent folding and mailing out envelopes.
While accounting has a strong focus on numbers, it’s hard to see the big picture on how to reduce costs. With the right technology implementation and standardized system, you can see cost reductions all around – all while making your workforce happier and more productive.
If you’d like to learn more about the magic of document management, look no further than our blog. We’re constantly providing tips and tricks on what to look for when seeking a document management solution.
OR, maybe you’re finally ready to take it a step further and find out what specific benefits your firm could see from document management or workflow automation software… if so, sign up for a free, customized demonstration and find out (it only takes 30 minutes). We won’t waste any of your time (or paper) – we promise!