Calling all Accountants! The big rush is finally over and you made it through another tax season. You can now take a breath and look back on your past year and analyze what can be done to improve on it for the next big rush. This is the time where your firm can really take the time to review what your difficulties were during this period, how you can run things more efficiently, and what can be done to make your firm even more profitable.
During busy seasons, bottlenecks in the daily routines and issues with the current processes are highlighted and are even more obvious because everything just needs to move much faster and be completed within a much shorter time frame. For accounting firms, this bottleneck process is normally seen in regard to the billing cycle. As the volume increases during tax season, it becomes even more important to optimize this process as much as possible.
This process is usually at the mercy of when the staff members are able to enter their time. It also depends on how quickly the partners are able to review and make the appropriate adjustments so that all the information may be sent to the administrative team to complete the billing process.
A 100 person accounting firm was on the search for an ERP solution three years ago. Their vision was to have a solution that would help automate as much of this process as possible so that they would be able to reduce the time required throughout their entire billing cycle.
The solution that was created with this specific objective in mind allowed them to achieve this goal by integrating the finance functions with the operational functions. This way information can flow through the different departments in real-time and it can be updated and processed as it is entered without any additional manipulations.
By integrating and automating these different steps, this accounting firm was able to process their invoices 4 times faster than with their previous system. They believe that this was thanks to:
- A timesheet that allows staff members to easily enter their time and expenses at any time. By having a web-based timesheet that is integrated to the accounting system, invoices could be created automatically and then the Partners would have the ability to go in and make the necessary adjustments in regard to the amounts or to the descriptions. This would in turn update the firm’s WIPs, invoices as well as the account distribution associated to them.
- Partners being able to review all of their information from a single view in real-time. By having these reports available and filtered to match each partner’s reality, there was less manipulation of reports therefore making it easier to spot the top priorities and issues rather than waiting for the re-worked details from the accounting department. Since the partners were now able to access this information themselves, they no longer had to wait for administration to build these reports for them.
- An automated process for invoice adjustments. Partners used to have to manually make these adjustments outside their system and then have them entered by the finance department. Having these changes updated in the system as they are being made has significantly reduced the time between when the invoice was created and when it would be ready to be sent to the client.
What was also important to this accounting firm, in addition to the time saved throughout the invoicing process, was the ability to measure results by individual as well as by activity or group. Having a system like
By, JOVACO Solutions,