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5 Mistakes Accounting Practices Make with Internal Capabilities

Posted by Joshua Feinberg on Mar 4, 2020 7:45:00 AM
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If you're running your own accounting practice, you probably think you have to do everything. If you have a larger practice, you'll make that same mistake, thinking you must do everything yourself. 

No matter if you're a solopreneur or Managing Partner, you'll need to leverage your organization's talents – including technology – to be efficient and productive.

In our recent webinar, 5 Ways to Crush Your Time Wasters, Debra Defer, Managing Director of Business Services and Outsourcing at BDO USA, LLP, shared her insights on how to create solutions to the most common time-wasting mistakes.

5 Mistakes Accounting Practices Make with Internal Capabilities

Mistake #1: Doing it the same way

The marketplace is evolving. As a business leader, you'll need to keep up. There's no shortage of software solutions, industry insights, and expertise. So you'll need to leverage these to be successful.

You'll have to invest in yourself to change the way that you do things. You can start by making a list of problem areas and potential solutions that will suit you and your clients' needs. After that, take a class, learn how to use cloud-based accounting software, or master the time-saving tools that are currently available. Your investment will pay off in more time and fewer headaches.

Mistake #2: Not being proactive

Accounting is no longer about producing month-end reports and managing workload volumes. Today's practice leaders are a trusted source of information, but you'll have to share those insights frequently. 

Your client depends on you to help them run their business. If you see a potential cash flow issue or market opportunity, it's your duty to share it. Provide ongoing advice and solutions that leverage the client's data and your professional insights.

Mistake #3: Not teaching your team

We each have a unique history of insights to share with our clients, teams, and peers. The problem is that many practice leaders keep it to themselves or, worse yet, expect their team to know as much as they do.

Not only do you need to leverage your accounting and technology expertise, but you'll also need to share your experience to help others create beneficial solutions, especially if it will save them time and money. You might even learn something in the process.

Mistake #4: Not having a project plan

Still think you can wing it on a software migration, client onboarding, or process improvement? It's not only a time-waster but a recipe for disaster.

Even if you've completed a project successfully in the past, each current project has its own nuances.

  • Will the software you're using meet the client's expectations for data and analytics? 
  • Do you have the expertise available to integrate legacy data into cloud-based applications? 
  • Do you have processes documented that will help train people faster and set expectations?

A project plan will help you navigate the decision-making process in advance, so you don't waste time on the inevitable surprises that await you.

Mistake #5: Not learning from your mistakes

As they say, insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. If you make a mistake, own it, don't overlook it, and correct it. There's bound to be challenges with internal operations. So anticipate what you'll need to be successful.

Get your staff the tools that they need, or at least investigate options. Involve your client and their team to make sure your projects run successfully every time. Be proactive and look at options that will help you be successful in the long run.

Avoid the time waster trap

Our webinar, 5 Ways to Crush Your Time Wasters, provides additional tips on delegation, leveraging technology, and building processes for increased efficiency. If you have a way you've made you and your team more efficient, we'd love to hear about it. Just leave a comment below so others can share your wisdom!


About Deborah Defer

Deborah has more than 30 years of accounting experience, both in industry and accounting firms. As Managing Director for BDO USA, LLP's Business Services & Outsourcing, her team is focused on consulting and training of clients regarding their accounting system analysis, recommendations, and implementation. She also serves as the firm's Technology Leader for all solutions utilizing the QuickBooks Online platform. Deborah has been selected to the Intuit Influencers, Top Business Process Outsourcing ProAdvisor of 2015 by Insightful Accountant, and Top 100 ProAdvisor for six consecutive years.

Deborah is also very active on social media. You can connect with Deborah Defer on LinkedIn and follow her on Twitter @DeborahDefer (Dr. QuickBooks).


Watch the full webinar recording on-demand now: 5 Ways to Crush Your Time Wasters


Watch the webinar recording: 5 Ways to Crush Your Time Wasters

Topics: Accounting

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