What is your most unique timesaving hack?
One key to being a successful business owner, accountant, and bookkeeper is finding creative ways to get more done in less time. Here are some timesaving hacks from many of our authors on the Firm of the Future blog – your fellow bookkeepers, CPAs and accountants, and ProAdvisors®. Enjoy!
Lynda Artesani, CQP – Artesani Bookkeeping
“Using Liscio for my project management. My team responds to inquiries and requests docs securely through it. It is a one-stop shop for all client-related matters. The biggest bonus is the reduction of emails that involve me! It has reduced my inbox by 25 percent! Plus, it is the first place I go in the morning, and I don’t have to sort through emails that are fluff or junk. Everything there is client-based. Did I mention that it’s extremely SECURE?”
“Calendar work blocking. We plan our calendars one year in advance, and use them as a daily, weekly, and monthly tool to manage our work and time. Mastering your calendar means you get to master your work and the future! (But, it takes a lot of work!)”
Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE – Powerful Accounting, LLC
“The ability to delegate work to someone and not micromanage them, so you can get done what you need to get done.”
Katherine Bunschoten, ASBC – Certum Solutions
“I use tons of lists, and I make myself a time block schedule each week.”
Carla Caldwell – Caldwell Consulting & Training, LLC
“Using Calendly to have clients and prospects book time on my calendar is one of the best timesaving hacks I use. Instead of asking what day/time works for you, replying with a list, having the client respond with their availability, and going back and forth, the client can click a link, and choose which day or time works based on my open/available times.
“I can even have Calendly look at my personal calendar (blocking times there for getting kids off the bus, or other personal appointments not on my work calendar) is a big help as well. I can have Calendly ensure that I have 15 minutes before or after each appointment, and I also block my calendar for deep thinking or planning time to ensure I don’t get booked too solid.”
Diane A. Crawford, CPA – Crawford, Merritt & Company
“Turning off email pop-up notifications. It helps me stay focused on the task at hand until I have time to answer emails.”
Jessica Daley, CQP – Xcelerate Business Solutions
“Xcelerate really likes the management reports. We also have created reports to auto-send our clients each month.”
Tammatha Denyes, CPB – TD Accounting Services
“Setting up a Zap that adds all leads and contacts to my CRM and sends a follow-up email to introduce myself and provide my contact information.”
Loren Fogelman, M.Ed, EFT-ADV – Business Success Solution
“Systems give me the freedom to replicate, delegate, and automate my workflow, so I now focus my time on higher level advisory services and working on my business.”
Hector Garcia, CPA.CITP – Quick Bookkeeping & Accounting LLC
“Reducing the amount of time spent with my clients without reducing the quality of the meeting. I believe that spending time with my clients is the best investment in time I can make; however, because I am multitasking and serving hundreds of clients per year, the individual one-on-one time can be limited, so in order to have productive meetings without spending hours, I do the following:
- Summarize all the key points from conversations and meetings.
- Document anything “new” I have learned about the industry or type of client problem, and create a blog article about it, leaving out all client specifics.
- Then, I refine the blog article and turn it into a checklist for the client to use in a future conversation.
“For future client meetings (of the same client), I send them a list of what we discussed last time and the checklist of potential other issues we could encounter, and ask them to prepare a list of questions/comments for when we meet.”
Kathy Grosskurth, CQP – Bookkeeping Clean and Simple
“Using a web-based phone appointment setter (I use Calendly), along with Google Forms, to email a questionnaire to prospects to complete BEFORE the initial phone meeting.”
Cassidy Jakovickas, CPA – MBS Accountancy Corporation
“Keep your email closed! It’s a time suck. We only check our emails in the morning, mid-day, and at the end of the day.”
Caleb L. Jenkins, EA, CQP – RLJ Financial Services, Inc.
“Using multiple monitors to compare data between multiple apps. You can see why here.”
Carrie Kahn, CPA – Complete Business Group
“Zapier saves me so much time that it can almost replace an employee by automation. Another timesaver is using integrated solutions with QuickBooks, such as merchant services, payroll and bank feeds, along with rules. These reduce hours of manual entries inside QuickBooks and also make bank reconciliations lightening fast.
Esther Friedberg Karp, MBA – EFK CompuBooks, Inc.
“I love left clicking on something in QuickBooks® Online in Chrome and dragging it up to where a new browser tab can be positioned. Then, I release it to open a new tab with that selection. For example, you can click on reports in the left navigation bar, drag it up to release it and open reports as a new tab in Chrome.”
Stacy Kildal – Kildal Services, LLC
“Turning clear plastic storage containers upside down in my fridge, so I can see what’s in them.”
Michael Ly – Reconciled
“Using Zapier to auto-create Slack channels and folders after a customer signs a contract.”
Chris Macksey – Prie Fixe Accounting
“Slow down to speed up: A lot of folks try to crush as much work into eight hours as possible. There’s a lot of research that says that this isn’t an effective way to work. I try to meditate at least once a day, and I have found that I am much more focused and, more importantly, much less stressed.”
Susan Pruskin, CQP – Susan Pruskin Consulting
“I don’t know that it’s unique, but I learned recently to turn off my email and only read and respond at certain times during the day.”
Richard Roppa-Roberts – Quasar Cowboy Consulting
“Make decisions right away. Stop worrying about every possible outcome. Think things through, weigh the good, the bad and the ugly of the decision, and make your decision. Sometimes, you will get it wrong, but fixing that one wrong decision takes so much less time than ‘sleeping on it’ and mulling it over for weeks at a time.
“No more multi-tasking. No one can do it effectively. You are just slowing down all of the tasks you believe you are working on simultaneously. Focus on one task at a time, and then move on when you hit a natural stopping point or the task is complete.
“Highlight questions in emails. When sending an email and you need a response, try highlighting the question directly in the email. #GameChanger!”
Andrew Wall – Wall CPA
“Alexa in the bathroom. I have a programmed routine that turns on my lights and reads me my calendar of events for the day, all while I am brushing my teeth/showering.”