15 admin hacks for finance managers and small businesses at Sage
9 min read
Businesses around the world report that 71% of the time they dedicated to admin is taken up with accounting and payments processing tasks, including issuing invoices and chasing payments, according to research from Sage.
Freeing up just a little of that time could be a game-changer. Finance professionals could be liberated to take on an advisory and proactive role within the business, for example, creating a more challenging and satisfying work experience.
Here are 15 ways you can get started:
1. Save time by not invoicing
OK, so perhaps I’m exaggerating a little. Issuing invoices is unavoidable. But there’s no reason why you or your team have to issue the invoice. Get back valuable time by having the sales or field staff do it via your accounting app.
2. Outsource to your own business
A fundamental time and labour-saving trick for any service-oriented function, such as finance, is to delegate as many tasks as possible that don’t require the expertise or experience of the professionals in that department. For example, chasing outstanding payments can be done by just about anybody. So, why not get the invoice issuer—such as the salesperson—to do it as part of their regular routine?
3. Good estimates = less time spent invoicing
You and your team can save huge amounts of time when it comes to creating invoices by ensuring your company’s field staff put in the work up front to create correct and detailed estimates. All you will have to do is switch them over from estimate to invoice in your accounting software or, at the very most, copy and paste details from the estimate to the invoice form.
4. Bunch tasks together
The term “firefighting” is sometimes used to describe admin work consisting of issues that arise quickly and must be dealt with immediately. This might sound very familiar for those working in a finance department. Often inquiries aren’t really urgent, of course, but the requester would like a response now. Indeed, it’s easy to fall into the trap of building your daily schedule around being a firefighter. But to get free time to be more productive, you must take control of your working schedule.
A key yet easy-to-implement technique when taking control of your schedule is to bunch identical tasks together on a daily or weekly basis. For example, you might want to spend several hours each day chasing payments, say from 1 pm to 3 pm.
If anybody contacts you urgently needing to know if a payment has arrived, you can tell them that you’ll try to have an answer by the end of the day—and just add it to the list for your payment-chasing part of your day.
5. Time yourself – and then beat the clock
When bunching tasks together, you’ll start to realise how long certain tasks take you. For example, you might notice you can review and sign off five business proposals across the space of an hour. So why not see if you can increase your rate to six? Be competitive with yourself. See how much further you can push your productivity and reward yourself if you “win” in the race against your own work rate.
In addition, we have picked a selecting of useful posts and recent updates for each of the Sage markets. So make sure you check the posts out and share these guides, free webinars, and valuable business content with your audience.
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