Finding the time…

We all know in today’s age, finding some time to sit down and do the important things to grow your business is hard. Here are some quick tips on dealing with time crunches:

Deal with items as they happen

Don’t let things pile up. That’s easier said than done, but there is some truth in it. The more you look at a large pile of paperwork or emails, the less you want to tackle them; meaning, the more they pile up. It’s a viscous cycle. If you block out 5 minutes every hour to deal with emails, then at the end of the day, you won’t have 50 unread messages that will take you almost twice as long to go through. If it’s something that will require more time to handle, then mark it as unread and put aside time later in the day.

If your industry requires paperwork to be filled out, don’t push it off to later in the day; take 5 minutes to fill it out right away when it’s fresh in your mind.

How does this play a role in your accounting situation?

If you get an invoice in right away, don’t wait until the end of the month to send it over to your bookkeeper (or your Accounts Payable department). Take the 5 minutes and fire it off – if you do have a bookkeeper, check with them first to make sure it is ok to send things like this on an ongoing basis; they may want things once a month. The same can be applied to expense receipts. Take a few minutes to write on the receipt a) the person you met with and b) nature of the meeting. This will help you and your bookkeeper at the end of the month.

Pre-Fill Forms and other items

If you are in an industry where you have to fill out the same form every time you either sell a house, set up a new listing for a house, or send out a contract for a new job, chances are, the form can be pre-filled with certain information. While it may not seem like filling out 4 or 5 lines on a form will save you time, it’s one less thing to do when you are pressed for time later on. When you have some quiet time in between meetings, fill out what you can ahead of time.

How does this play a role in your accounting situation?

If you know you need to fill out a sheet every time you hand stuff off to your accounting department or bookkeeper, ask them what areas can be pre-filled or if they have any forms that they plan on sending you that can be populated ahead of time with some information.

Give yourself breathing space

If you find  your day is packed with running from meeting to meeting, try scheduling an extra 15 minutes between your meetings. You will find that even though it’s only 15 minutes, it will feel like you don’t have to rush to your next engagement which in turn, will make you feel organized (even if you aren’t!).

Prioritize

Sit down and ask yourself “is this important or can it wait”. If you are swamped and can’t attend to the item right away, then you need to prioritize on what’s important and what can wait. By asking yourself that simple question, it will allow you to push some things off until the end of the day when you have more time to handle it. Make a list and make sure you put it some place visible so you know exactly what needs to be done.

Scheduling

Block off 30 minutes at the start of your day to plan and organize for the day and 30 minutes at the end of your day so that you can plan your next day. If there is nothing to plan or it takes only a few minutes, take this time to catch up on some of the non-important items on your list.

Hire someone

The last point on making your work life a bit less hectic is to hire where you can. You might be a small business that can’t afford a full time person to do the task, so find a company that specializes in what you are looking for; bookkeeping is a great example! You can hire out your accounting/bookkeeping needs and save yourself the headache of finding the time to deal with that. I can’t speak for other firms, but at Accountable Value Financial Services, we want to help you grow your business. We will work with you to create a plan that you need. Sure we offer standardized plans, but if there is something you need or don’t need, we aren’t going to force you into paying for it. Talk to us and tell us what you are needing and we can create a plan that is right for you that will fit in your budget.

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