Take Advantage of Down-Time


6 Tips on Making the Most of Slow Summer Months

A woman balances a pencil on her lip.The summer months can mean lighter workloads for many accountants. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Think back on those busy times where you wished you had a spare moment to do something with all those post-its or to put the business cards you’ve collected into the rolodex. Now is the time to prepare yourself to be more efficient in the upcoming months, to collect and organize yourself and your staff. It will make you happier and more productive.Here are just 6 things you can do with the extra time:

Connect with peers

It’s always good to talk with other accountants and financial professionals. While your practice is unique, you share many problems and concerns (along with a good solution or two). You can learn a lot from your peers; it also helps to release some stress by participating in the camaraderie only those of the same occupation can enjoy. Consider going to a professional conference where you can widen your professional circle and gain valuable information at the same.

Connect with clients

If you’re like most accountants, you have regular clients and peek-a-boo clients. This can be a good time to reconnect with all the clients on your roster. Consider sending everyone a friendly email with small business tips. Or perhaps you could call one or two to see how things are progressing. In doing so you may remind those peek-a-boo clients just how valuable your services are.

Organize your office

And by organize we don’t mean do a superficial desk-clearing. Give your office a make-over. Optimize your space and move your furniture in a more work-friendly arrangement; put your filing cabinet by your desk if it saves you the time of walking across the office countless times in a day. Be sure visiting clients have a comfortable place to sit. If you don’t already have one, create a filing system. To help you be more efficient, add shelving units or a white board. And by all means, file all necessary paperwork and throw the unnecessary away!

Evaluate office procedures and processes

Every business has procedures and processes that could be improved in order to increase productivity. Review each process, and trace it through the system, questioning each task. Is there a way the process could be standardized or streamlined? Generally you’ll find a way to reduce the number of steps required to complete the process. From collecting client-information to processing payroll-take the time to evaluate each procedure you run in your office.

Train office staff and perform personal evaluations

Some small businesses don’t enjoy the luxury of having staff, but if you do, now is the time to provide some training and perform personal evaluations. The training doesn’t have to be extensive or expensive. Consider cross-training your staff members so they know how to do one another’s jobs in the event that someone is absent for an extended amount of time. You could also train employees on different software packages you have or invite a specialist to come for staff meeting to train on organization or customer service skills. The Internet has countless webinars that can also be used.Performing yearly evaluations on employees is a good practice. Schedule a meeting with each employee and run through their job description. Ask how they feel they’ve improved this past year. Together rate this employee’s performance, being sure to set goals for improvement.For information on how Universal Accounting can help train and certify your staff go to: http://www.universal-accounting-center.com/accounting-tax-staff-training.htm

Research new software and purchase new software

The right software can save your practice hundreds of dollars in time. But don’t blindly purchase whatever package sounds good on the label! First look at those processes and procedures that you evaluated. Is there software that can help you minimize the more laborious tasks that you do? Take the time to research the different software packages before purchasing the one that fits the bills.

Universal Accounting Center Provides QuickBooks Training

QuickBooks Specialist LogoNearly 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks software. While other programs may be useful, QuickBooks has definitely captured the small business market. As an accountant or bookkeeper you know that over 80% of accounting opportunities are with the small business. Statistics are in your favor; learning QuickBooks is good business.Becoming a QuickBooks Specialist would provide you with numerous ways to bring in more business, increase your income, and make your job easier. If nearly 80% of small businesses use QuickBooks, where’s the income opportunity, you ask? You can offer QuickBooks set-up and consultation services for $65-$95 per hour. You’ll find companies who want to do their accounting tasks themselves, but need help in configuring QuickBooks to meet their needs. And once you’ve helped a company set up its initial QuickBooks system, who do you think they’ll turn to for help? You, of course! After all, you’ll have the training and expertise they’ll need whenever they run into a problem. Now answer that question: If nearly 80% of small businesses use QuickBooks, nearly all those small businesses could use your QuickBooks expertise.You can compliment your QuickBooks services by offering QuickBooks support. Consider this, Intuit charges $75 an incident and $349-$600 per year for support. That’s too pricey for most small business owners; you could offer QuickBooks support for a more reasonable fee and draw in more clients in need of a little QuickBooks help.And that’s not all you can do with QuickBooks. The biggest complaint we hear from accountants and bookkeepers is that the information provided by their clients is often difficult to sort out and in some cases, unusable. This is true whether the client is doing the books by hand or through QuickBooks. Your QuickBooks services will enable your clients to get going and keep going in the right direction. You’ll quickly find that the information they give you will be useable, making your job easier.Universal Accounting Center’s self-paced program enables you to complete the parts that interest you and skip over the parts that don’t. Even if you have used the software for years, this program teaches you shortcuts and methods you may not have known. You will be impressed by the simple flow and completeness of UAC’s Guide to QuickBooks Pro. For a small price you can purchase the QuickBooks software and our Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks, enabling you to become a QuickBooks Specialist. Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of these slow, sluggish months and prepare to make even more money come fall. Take advantage of this great deal! Order now.

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