How to create Bookkeeping Workflow?

Save Time and Streamline with Bookkeeping Workflows and Automations

Today we’re going to be talking about bookkeeping workflows and automations, and how you can use them to make your business function more efficiently.
Many bookkeepers are great at “streamlining” their clients’ processes, but don’t take the time to do the same for their own business. This can hurt productivity and efficiency, and cost you more time than necessary.
So read on to learn what bookkeeping workflows and automations are, and how you can use them to streamline your own business processes. Even if you think you don’t need them!

 

What are Bookkeeping Workflows and Automations?

Workflow: the sequence of a process through which a piece of work passes from start to finish.

Basically a bookkeeping workflow encompasses all the steps to get from A to B. Some of those steps might involve automations, but they don’t have to. A workflow could simply be an ordered task list for a particular process, stepping you or your staff through the requirements to make sure everything is done correctly.

Automation: a method of controlling a process through automatic means which reduces human intervention to a minimum.

In real people language, this means having steps in your workflow that are completed without you needing to do anything, which means less work for you and your staff!

 

Why should bookkeepers care about workflows and automations?

In essence, creating set workflows and automations is a method of spending time to save time. We’ve all experienced times when we felt overloaded and overwhelmed, but there are steps you can take to minimise at least your admin tasks.

 

The benefit of creating bookkeeping workflows is actually twofold. It saves you time by automating certain tasks, creating less work for you. It also improves the efficiency of your business because less things will be forgotten or missed, and you’ll have a set process to follow which minimises the amount of time spent unproductively.

 

“I don’t need bookkeeping workflows”

A common reason people give for NOT developing set bookkeeping workflows is “I already know how to do it, I’ve been doing it for years. I don’t need to write a task list for something I know like the back of my hand.”

Ok, that’s fair enough. But what if you need to hire a new staff member to take over these tasks? How much easier would it be to train them if you can just give them a list to follow with minimal instruction from you? Or what if you’re sick or on holiday and something that you normally do needs to be done and someone else has to do it for you?

The other thing to remember is, we’re all human and as such we make mistakes sometimes. We’re all prone to the occasional mental blank. We’re always going to be more productive when things are written down instead of floating around in our heads.

It creates more mental space for you to fill with something else, and it creates a buffer so that, even if you don’t regularly check the task list, if you’re having an off day or a mental blank, you can check it if you need to.

 

Examples of workflows

So now we know that we definitely need bookkeeping workflows, here are some examples of things you can create workflows for (with or without automations):

  • Hiring process
  • How leave or pay is processed
  • How to deal with data sent by the client
  • Sales/Marketing processes
  • Initial Contact and Onboarding

 

How to set up your workflows and automations

To demonstrate this I’m going to use Initial Contact as the example.

  1. Initial Contact: New lead fills out form the contact form on your website
  2. Add to automation: This form is connected to a CRM like Active Campaign or Hubspot. When someone fills out the form they are added to an automation
  3. This automation notifies you immediately that you need to contact this new lead for an initial consult
  4. The automation also sends the new lead an email thanking them for getting in touch and letting them know they will be contacted shortly
  5. Lastly, the automation also adds the tag “new lead” to the contact so you can easily see how many new leads you have in the pipeline

 

Podcast on Bookkeeping Business Workflow

For a more in-depth description of setting up your own bookkeeping workflow and automation, check out our short and sweet 20 minute podcast on the topic Bookkeeping Business Workflow.

 

A Note on Zapier

Zapier is a great tool for creating automations. Here are some examples:

  • Set up a zap so that when a new client signs a proposal their contact details automatically get updated in Active Campaign to change their tag from lead to client
  • You can also use it to save PandaDoc documents as pdfs in your Google Drive once they’ve been signed

 

Well there’s a glimpse for you into the world of bookkeeping workflows and automations. If you feel like you would benefit from an extra bit of help with developing your workflows, we are offering private mentoring sessions on this topic. In these sessions we help you plan out your processes in the most efficient way possible, give you an idea of what steps can be automated, and develop a plan for getting it done.

 

If you think this is something that could benefit you just send us an email at and we’ll get the ball rolling!

 

Stay Savvy!

 

Maia

 

That is our take on Bookkeeping Workflow. Over to you…

Thank you for reading our post. By getting a workflow into your processes, bookkeepers get their time back. Whether it’s the boss doing repetitive tasks over and over, or even employees, time is being used up that could otherwise be used on something more important.

Does that sound something you could benefit from?

 

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