With multiple clients to manage, tight deadlines to meet and the next phases of Making Tax Digital (MTD) approaching, it might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. However, by putting a plan in place to manage your time effectively, you can stay in control of your workload and focus on what’s most important. Here are a few reasons why good time management can benefit you and your practice.
It lets you focus on the important tasks
A great starting point for your time management strategy is to review the time you spend on different tasks and build an accurate picture of your working day. Once you have a better understanding of how your time is divided, you can explore new ways of working that may help to eliminate some of the most time-consuming tasks and allow you to focus on areas of your practice that you want to develop.
Technology has an important role to play here and can help to automate tasks, speed up processes and even give clients more responsibility for their day-to-day bookkeeping. For example, our data shows that practices only have to explain 14% of bank transactions for clients who use the FreeAgent mobile app, compared to 47% of bank transactions for those who don’t. There are plenty more reasons why the FreeAgent mobile app is an invaluable tool that makes it easier for clients to take care of their admin.
It helps you create more efficient processes
Time management strategies can help you to identify recurring tasks in your working week that your practice could tackle more efficiently. By developing standard processes for tasks such as onboarding clients, for example, you may be able to streamline your workflow and reduce the amount of time spent on these jobs in the future. You may also be able to reduce the likelihood of errors and offer clients a more consistent level of service.
It will keep you and your clients on track for MTD
The next phase of MTD for VAT and the introduction of MTD for Income Tax Self Assessment (MTD for ITSA) are both fast approaching, so it’s likely that a significant number of your clients will need to start using accounting software. By managing your time effectively, you can ensure that the correct level of resource is available to help get your clients up to speed.
Segmenting your clients can be a useful way to assess how much resource you’ll need to migrate different client groups to MTD-compatible software. You may want to start with the clients who will be the easiest to migrate, as this will give you some practice with the process, and you can use the time saved to help those who require additional support. Your plan could also include monthly migration targets to motivate you and your colleagues and keep your practice on track.
Careful time management can also help you to create a balance between your MTD preparations and your business-as-usual activity.
It can help you avoid burnout
Learning to prioritise key tasks and delegating where possible should help you to establish a more manageable workload and reduce the possibility of burnout. Just remember to be realistic about the time each task is likely to take you when you’re planning your day.
If you’d like more advice on preparing your practice for MTD, you can arrange a free consultation with one of our experts, who will help you build a tailored action plan.