Standardised, systemised, streamlined: key business processes you can and should be automating and digitising

While 2020 has certainly thrown us a bit of a curveball, now that Spring has sprung it’s a matter of weeks until you get a well-deserved break (hopefully!). However, just because the end of the year is in sight, doesn’t mean you should take your foot off the peddle; in fact, the lead up to Christmas closure is often a great time to prioritise projects and allocate resources to getting your team set up for success in the new year.

With working from home (WFH) here to stay in some form for many accounting businesses across the country, automating one or some of your key business processes could be a great project to round out the year with.

Process automation can assist you with:

  • standardising the way your team works to help them be more efficient and/or improve client experience,
  • systemising business processes to help future proof your knowledge capital, and
  • streamlining entire processes to create capacity for those involved to direct to more meaningful work.

What project will you pick? To help you decide where to direct your focus, here are four key business processes that you can and should be automating.

Document Management & Distribution

If there is one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, it’s that we need to be able to access the documents on which our businesses are based quickly and easily, from any location. When implemented correctly, and regularly reviewed by an internal process champion, a robust and well-maintained document management platform can have big benefits for your business including increased communication & collaboration, streamlining secure document distribution and approval a breeze, enabling enhanced automation of existing business workflows, and increased productivity. There are a host of solutions on the market to choose from (our own included!) but the key is to ensure the solution is fast/responsive, intuitive & easy to use, integrates with your existing practice management solution (HowNow integrates with Xero, MYOB, Reckon APS, Sage and others; along with a range of complementary third-party applications), and has comprehensive security capabilities as standard. Implementing a new document management system can seem daunting, but it doesn’t need to be, chat to our team to talk about our comprehensive implementation program.

Knowledge Management

Can you say with complete confidence that your technical workpapers are up to date and reflect the latest legislative changes? With new legislative changes coming through thick and fast, it can be difficult to stay on top of everything – let alone ensuring your internal systems and documents are correct and updated in a timely manner. That’s why using pre-built and templated workpapers can be a great solution for firms looking to reduce the administrative burden of maintaining and updating rafts of documents.

Solutions like Smart Workpapers are updated by qualified CAs and CPAs as soon as legislative changes happen and can be combined with your own templates to improve accuracy and consistency across your data. Implementing templated workpapers can give you a great bang for your buck in terms of cost/benefit, making it a great option for those looking for a quick win for Christmas.

Document Collation

It’s estimated that approximately 25% of a firm’s administration time is spent collating documents packs for their clients. For some that means printing and sorting manually, others it’s using a PDF editor to merge documents and order manually on the computer screen. FuseDocs automates the collation process by retrieving the documents required for the client document pack from your document management system (E.G. HowNow), converting them to PDFs, branding the pack with cover pages, page numbers, headers and footers automatically, providing you with a ready to go document package in a matter of minutes. It even offers the ability to extract a separate signing pack to make it even easier for your clients.

Tax office correspondence processing

Do you know how long your team spend checking and managing ATO documents such as Notices of Assessment or Statements of Account? While it’s a clunky, cumbersome, and repetitive process prone to data entry errors, it’s a task that must be done. Thankfully, solutions like ATOmate or ATO SmartDocs streamline the process and free your team from the administrative burden of managing ATO documentation. Much like our own solutions, these programs leverage integrations with your existing data and utilise robotic process automation to the process, check, and distribute your ATO documentation to clients quickly and easily.

We’re fans of automating the admin and know how important it is that your team spend their time on value-adding tasks, which is why HowNow includes comprehensive integrations with FuseDocs, ATOmate, and ATO SmartDocs.

These are just several key business processes that can be easily standardised, systemised, and streamlined by leveraging automation technology. Once you’ve picked your project, this post outlines the key steps you should take to ensure what you want to get done, actually does.

If you’d like to find out more about how the Business Fitness solutions can help you to standardise, systemise, and streamline your key business processes, click here to register for an online demonstration, or get in touch with our team here.