5 Habits that Increase Accounting Productivity
By: Dolores Thomason, Assistant Director of Accounting
They say the devil is in the details and this is never more evident than in an accounting department. Accounting and finances require a lot of careful attention and focus. Here are five easy habits you can incorporate into your daily routine to guarantee productive and efficient accounting process.
- CREATE DEADLINES. Create reasonable deadlines for all staff to follow. This can include deadlines for bills to be turned in for reimbursement, invoices that need to be processed to complete the monthly financials or credit cards receipts that need to be recorded. Stick to these deadlines as much as possible. Although there is always the emergency that could cause you to step outside of these deadlines, having them in place will help ensure accuracy in financial reporting.
- PRIORITIZE. Prioritize your to-do list and then set deadlines for yourself to complete each task. Multitasking is not always productive. Working on more than one project at a time can cause errors and wasted time allowing neither task to be completed. Stick to the most important task until you have completed it and minimize interruptions as much as you can. Use a good time reporting software to record the time it takes to complete tasks.
- TWO MINUTE RULE. Follow the two minute rule. If you have tasks that can be done in less than 2 minutes, do it right away. Don’t clutter your to-do list with these small tasks. Your list will continue to grow, and the longer it gets, the more overwhelmed you get.
- BE PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE. Set certain times throughout the day to return phone calls and answer emails. You can easily get off task if you stop every time you get an email to answer each. Skim over the contents and set a time to complete the task. I check and answer my emails first thing in the morning and after lunch, then skim over them to prioritize any that may need my immediate attention. Check emails and return calls between tasks, such as those few minutes after completing one task before moving on to the next. Set up a time in your day to complete those items that require more than a simple thirty second answer.
- REVIEW. “If you don’t have time to do it over, do it right the first time.” Always review your work, while we would all like to be perfect, most of us are not. One final review of your work can catch any errors you may have inadvertently made during the process. It is normal to make mistakes, but give your work a second review when it is completed to help prevent those errors.
Dolores has been a team member at ASG for over five years and enjoys any challenge that comes with the job! Outside of work, she enjoys family bowling nights and gardening.