Whether you’re performing tasks yourself or delegating them to staff, managing and tracking workflow is critical. This was true back when accounting firms relied on paper routing sheets. It still holds true for firms that rely on an automated workflow solution to route projects efficiently through the firm, keep tabs on the status of multiple projects and provide a better client experience.
Most firms have realized the benefits of using an automated workflow solution for compliance processes, such as preparing tax returns, compilations, reviews, and audits. But what about tracking workflow beyond tax and audit?
Every day, your people spend time on advisory and consulting engagements, responding to IRS notices, drafting letters to clients, onboarding new clients, and other tasks. These activities may not always follow a strict or consistent path to the deliverable – perhaps that’s why they’re often overlooked during a firm’s process improvement initiatives. However, these activities require resources and impact client service. So don’t they deserve the same care as other projects and engagements?
We believe they do. Here’s why.
Every process impacts client service
You may assume that clients don’t really care how the sausage is made – as long as their IRS notice is resolved or they get advice that helps improve their bottom line, they’re happy. While it’s true that clients care about results, refining your firm’s workflows allows your staff to be more efficient, which in turn improves overall client service and satisfaction.
Without efficient internal processes for handling all of your work – not just tax and audit – people may perform unnecessary steps, allow work to fall through the cracks and make easily preventable errors. All of this harms productivity and causes frustration among your staff and clients.
Workflow improves collaboration
An automated workflow solution can act as a link to important information you need to share with your team. From detailed project instructions to review notes, everyone works better when they have all of the information they need to do their job without wasting time digging through client files or emails.
A digital workflow solution also allows people to collaborate anywhere – whether they’re working from home, the office or at a client’s location. This is much harder to accomplish with paper routing sheets, sticky notes and even electronic spreadsheets.
How to build consistent workflows with inconsistent processes
Historically, the challenge of adding tasks and services lines other than tax and audit to the firm’s workflow solution has been inconsistency. How do you structure a workflow when every advisory engagement looks different from the others?
While some workflow solutions require users to adapt their processes to fit a pre-defined workflow template, Amelio’s workflow management platform is highly customizable, allowing you to build rules-driven checklists, forms and workflows easily. This gives you the ability to customize the steps involved in each engagement while still using a paperless, technology-driven platform.
Whether you’re preparing a simple engagement letter or another document or performing a complex consulting engagement, you can set up steps to take you from engagement to deliverable, billing to a post-mortem team meeting. Having all of the work your team does – not just tax and audit – in your workflow solution allows you to better manage resources, handle scheduling and track important metrics.
So is your firm tracking workflow beyond tax and audit and gaining insight for all areas that matter? The right workflow solution allows you to easily share information, check on project status, and hold team members accountable. Without a comprehensive workflow management system, these non-standard projects may consist of a series of disorganized stops and starts. That doesn’t serve your team or your clients, so leverage technology to improve these processes and see your productivity soar.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Amelio can help automate your firm’s processes, schedule a demo with our Director of Product Development.