Depending on your accounting firm’s resources, it’s likely that whatever your specific finance function is, you do a fair amount of data entry as part of your work. You could probably even go as far to say it takes up too much of your time.
Data entry can be the source of long nights at the office, especially during times that your accounts require a significant amount of services from you. Furthermore, data entry and the time it takes up could be keeping you from other important tasks that are vital to keeping your firm profitable and reaching its growth potential.
If you could eliminate the manual work of data extraction and entry, what improvements could you implement across your firm?
Improved Client Relationships
Client retention is one of the biggest hurdles accounting firms face, as high turnover can spell doom. Keeping clients satisfied with your services should be your number one priority, but with much of your day dedicated to redundant tasks like data entry, it can be easy to lose sight of this goal. You don’t want to forget to keep up with the little things that are key to maintaining a good accountant-client relationship.
A top reason why clients drop their accounting firm for a competitor is due to a lack of communication. Beyond performance and ROI, clients pay attention to how often their firm reaches out to them and how accessible they are. One of the leading reasons that clients switch firms is that they aren’t regularly contacted by their accounting firm to assess their changing needs.
There’s plenty of competition out there, so if a client feels like they’re being neglected by their firm, few will hesitate to make a switch. It’s easy for clients to recognize when you don’t make their organization’s needs your priority. However, even though you may have every intention of focusing more time on your client’s specific needs, data entry work can still take up the majority of your time.
Next to client retention, the acquisition of clients is also a key contributor for growth. Having a happy client-base will increase word-of-mouth for your firm, but networking is a process that can take time, which you don’t always have enough to spare.
You need time to plan out strategies for acquiring new clients, as each firm has a different ideal client. These strategies may include long-term marketing campaigns, attending industry events, or partnering with other professional firms for referrals. In any case, these strategies can take a lot of time to plan as well as execute.
Nothing chips away at your growth efforts like an audit. Mistakes happen, but more attention to detail with constant review and revision (or a system that prevents human error) will lead to less. A good share of your time should be dedicated to quality control, but more and more of that time is often eaten up by the mundane busy work that needs to be done. Firms and CPAs need to find an acceptable balance between busy work and quality control. An abundance of mistakes can lead to rejections by the IRS or worse, an audit.
Definitely not the news you want to deliver to a client.
If you’re looking for more things that you could be doing after the data entry is done, here’s a checklist for daily to-do’s that can make the end of the month that much easier.
- Refresh financial data (some software does this automatically). Then you’re 100% in the know every day about where the company finances are at.
- Reconcile cash against receipts. This keeps track of where the money goes, as well as shortages/overages.
- Reconcile and review all transactions. Doing it daily means less work for you at the end of the month, while also making you stay on top of any possible issues or snags.
- Keep a record of all accounts in an accessible location for all your team.
- Invoice clients in a timely manner. This keeps everyone on the same page about charges rather than allowing time for people to forget why something happened or why a thing was purchased.
- Keep on top of accounts payable to maintain a good vendor relationship.
- Regularly backup all data. This is a safety measure against anything that might erase your documents and data.
Time should also be spent on improving your processes so fewer mistakes can occur. Fostering an environment where mistakes are caught earlier will further streamline your processes and improve overall quality.
Streamline Your Data Extraction
If your data entry and extraction duties were taken care of…
- You’d have more time to schedule one-on-one time with clients as well as other occasions to reach out and communicate.
- You would be able to prioritize your customer acquisition efforts.
- You could guarantee that all your data was carefully reviewed and approved.
These three processes are just a handful of aspects your firm could be spending more time on by automating the redundant work of extracting and entering data. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to handle those manual processes, besides hiring more hands, recruiting a legion of interns or outsourcing. Rubex by eFileCabinet can provide an automated process to streamline your data-entry. Using advanced technology, you’ll be astonished at how easy our system processes documents and organizes it into our intelligent filing system. Discover how document management can help you focus more on what matters.