6 keys to productivity and growth


For many small- to mid-sized accounting practices, time can be a major inhibitor to growth. Effective time management goes hand in hand with any profitable business, and freeing up more of this finite resource through the smarter and more efficient use of technology (among other things) can allow you to deliver more to your clients and ultimately grow your practice.

However, with the need to juggle multiple clients, deadlines, and often complex deliverables, many practices overlook some of the simple yet powerful ways they can supercharge efficiency. 

Here are six key strategies to help boost productivity and grow your practice.

  1. Proactively manage your client data

Gather all the information you need from a new client prior to starting a job. Some practices are often remiss in receiving all the critical information required from their client, which later results in endless back and forth and no single source of truth. A survey of more than 450 accountants, commissioned by the Access Group in 2022, pointed to the fact that accountants spend an average of two hours per day collating and curating practice and client data from various applications.

The survey found that 90 percent of respondents believe their time could be better spent on more value-adding tasks. At the steep end, 20 percent of accountants said that it was an “extremely” or “very” significant problem within their practice. Furthering the issue, only one in two accounting practices indicated they have a single source of truth for their practice and client data. 

An important move for addressing this is implementing a combination of client relationship management (CRM) and data hub technologies that are now readily available for accounting firms of all sizes, radically reducing the amount of time spent collating and integrating client data into the firm’s core systems and processes.

  1. Advance client relationships

Successfully managing client relationships has always been the lifeblood of an accounting firm. With businesses now recovering from the significant disruption that COVID-19 has caused, clients are struggling to find time to meet with their accountants as they have done in the past. This is creating challenges for accounting firms in advancing their relationships with their clients.

A way of addressing this is by introducing client management systems including client portals that help engage clients at a time and in a way that is convenient for them. In addition, these technologies allow for richer information exchange, including capturing detailed client needs in real-time, allowing a firm to advance its client relationships towards being more proactive and better anticipating their needs.

In fact, the same Access Group study found 87 per cent of accountants said their client portal has improved their overall client experience. And that can only be good for your business and theirs.

  1. Centralize compliance

Modernize your practice with cloud tax and compliance software solutions designed to help accountants work more efficiently from a central hub. A problem that plagues many growing practices is that their tax and compliance work is spread out over numerous software applications or physical locations, leading to much time-consuming manual work and effort, as well as the risk of human error. And, with a new accounting standard looming (AASB 1060), compliance really is a never-ending story. The sooner you can get on top of it, the better.

  1. Call in the experts

Build a network of advisers who you can call upon when your clients are facing an issue outside your areas of expertise. If a client needs help with something that is outside your realm, take the opportunity to outsource it to another qualified professional. This will build goodwill with your clients by ensuring they are getting the absolute best advice and solutions they need.

  1. Know when to delegate

It’s the old saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” Gain time back by delegating admin work to junior staff or those with smaller workloads. Ensure you’re not the only one who can perform these tasks. Modern cloud practice management systems include workflow automation tools that support delegating tasks, whilst maintaining clear oversight of the overall work being conducted. Coupled with digital learning solutions, the combination can assist with better structuring work and enabling more colleagues to carry it out. And while it may take some time to implement such changes, it’s worth the initial investment as it will save you countless hours in the future.

  1. Automate manual processes with modern technology

According to a CPA Australia survey, 72 per cent of Australian accountants said the greatest value of technology is improved efficiency in their work and practice. Leveraging technology in this manner is always front of mind, so Access HandiSoft Cloud is designed to help practices streamline compliance workflows and boost productivity. By helping you automate manual processes and repetitive tasks, eliminate paper-based processes, and easily gain data-driven insights into your practice and clients’ businesses. Modern practice solutions from the Access Group can help you deliver faster, more effortless services to your clients.

Scaling up your accounting practice requires tremendous effort, and your time and attention are critical. Take every opportunity to boost efficiency and productivity with these methods, call in the experts where needed, and you may find a competitive advantage for you and your accounting practice.

Kerry Agiasotis is president of the Access Group APAC

About the Access Group

With more than 30 years of experience, the Access Group is one of the leading providers of business management software to UK, Ireland, and Asia-Pacific mid-market organizations. It helps more than 55,000 customers across the commercial, public sector and not-for-profit sectors become more productive and efficient. Its innovative Access Workspace cloud solutions transform the way business software is used, giving every employee the freedom to do more.

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