Time management techniques for accountants

By Shane Lukas, Managing Director, AVN

Time management techniques that actually work aren’t complicated. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy to implement.

When you’re running an accounting firm, it’s crucial to strike the right balance between operational tasks and strategic activities. But many owners/partners find they’re overwhelmed with day-to-day tasks and just can’t find the time to focus on the bigger picture. This doesn’t just impact your bottom line; ultimately, it will affect team morale, client acquisition and the overall direction of your business.

You know this is important, but where do you start?

Key areas for prioritising your time

Prioritise your time in these four key areas:

  • * Leadership and strategy – strategic planning so your business moves in the right direction
  • * Team development – training and nurturing your team so they grow with the business
  • * Marketing – positioning your firm in the most effective way to attract the right kind of clients
  • * Operations – the day-to-day tasks that need to be done, but not necessarily by you

Time management techniques that work

Use time blocks

Schedule specific blocks of time each week for each area of your business. I know it seems impossible to carve out space, so start small – even just 30 minutes is better than nothing. As your time is freed up, you can allocate more. Put this in your diary and make sure everyone knows that this time cannot be changed. If it helps, get out of the office so you aren’t disturbed by phone calls or interruptions from your team.

Prioritise strategically

Assess the impact each area will have on your business growth and prioritise accordingly. What’s most important to you – more of the right kind of clients, selling more added value services, upskilling your team or something else? Focus your time here .

Start delegating

Where possible, delegate operational tasks so you free up time for areas that require your leadership and strategic insight. Remember, delegating doesn’t always have to be within your team. Could you outsource low level/routine tasks? What about using a call answering service so you (and your team) have focused time without having to deal with phone calls?

A useful exercise is to pick one task that you find yourself doing repeatedly and to write a simple system that someone else can follow. Test it out, refine it and delegate it!

I understand that this is difficult when you’re swamped. But unless you put time and focus into the key areas of your business, it will never achieve its potential.

Remember, the goal is not just to work in your business but on it, steering it towards long-term success and sustainability.

Find many more time management techniques and tips in The Accountants KnowHow Club.