Everyone wants to be more productive, but this is especially true in accounting. In the past, we’ve talked about the importance of using the right tools for your business. But what else can you do? Here are some ideas that will help you get started: What is productivity in accounting? Productivity is a measure of efficiency that can be applied to any business activity. It is defined as the ratio of output to input: productivity = output ÷ input In accounting, productivity is often referred to as efficiency. Examples of outputs include sales and production. Inputs are resources used in the production process such as labor, materials and equipment. The concept of productivity is an important measure of business performance because it helps managers to determine whether resources are being used efficiently. For example, if a company has high levels of labor productivity but low levels of asset productivity then it may be using its assets inefficiently. How can an accountant be more productive? There are a number of ways an accountant can improve their productivity. Here are the top five: Focus on the important things. What tasks are essential for your job, and which ones can be delegated to someone else? Eliminate distractions. Turn off your cell phone, close your email account and don’t check it often, avoid social media during work hours and more—see this list for more tips on reducing distractions at work. Plan ahead for upcoming deadlines and projects so you’re not scrambling at the last minute trying to catch up on everything that needs done before then. Have a regular routine each day so that you know exactly what you need to do when it comes time for work (e.g., prioritize emails). This will make sure that nothing slips through the cracks or gets forgotten about until after its deadline has passed! How to improve your finance department If your finance department is not up to par, it can have a negative impact on your business in a variety of ways. For example, if they aren’t able to provide accurate reports and financial statements, this could lead to costly mistakes and false projections. You may also find that their responsiveness is lacking or their communication skills are poor. If you want to improve the performance of your finance department, there are several things you can do: Increase training opportunities for employees. This will help them develop skills that allow them to work smarter and faster—and ultimately save time. Hire new staff members who possess the right talent set for what you need them to do in order for your company’s growth strategy to succeed. Make sure they have access only through secure networks when it comes time for sensitive data exchange between departments; otherwise, hackers could gain access easily if they use weak passwords or leave themselves vulnerable through other means (e-mail phishing attacks). Innovative ideas for finance department Finance departments can be some of the most time-consuming and inefficient areas in a business. That’s why it’s important to find ways to improve productivity in accounting. Here are some innovative ideas for doing just that: Use software to automate processes. Using software that has been pre-programmed with settings can save you lots of time and effort by automating tasks like invoicing and cash flow management, so you don’t have to spend time entering data manually or making sure everything is done correctly each time. Use technology to make accounting more efficient. Technology can also help eliminate redundancy in your workflows—for example, if one person is responsible for entering data into a spreadsheet while another reviews it before sending an invoice out on behalf of their department or company (or both). Instead, use technology like blockchain or smart contracts to ensure accuracy in your accounting processes by eliminating human error at every step along the way—and improving transparency throughout all departments within an organization! Eliminate paper Let’s start with the obvious: eliminate paper! This might sound like a no-brainer, but it can be surprisingly difficult for some companies to make the jump from paper to digital storage. The first step is getting used to thinking of all items as being in a virtual environment rather than physical ones. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to look at your accounting processes and figure out where there are opportunities for reducing paper usage. Here are some places where you might find yourself using more paper than necessary: Scanning documents into a cloud storage system (we recommend Dropbox or Google Drive) or converting scanned documents into searchable PDFs via OCR software Printing emails rather than reading them onscreen or forwarding them directly through integrated e-signature software such as Mango Using fax machines instead of scanning receipts or other documents and sending them electronically Make use of e-signature software whenever possible Clean your desk Your desk should be clean and tidy. Keep it free of clutter, unnecessary items and paperwork. Don’t leave books or files lying around for too long – throw them away if you don’t need them! Use the right tools You can improve your productivity in accounting by using the right tools for the job. There are a number of things that you need to consider when choosing what tools to use: What is your goal? Who will be using it? Is it an individual or a team? A professional or someone who doesn’t have much experience with finances? How does your work fit into your business ecosystem overall? Does it feed into other systems and processes, or is it something that happens in isolation from everything else (like an invoice sent via email)? The answer to all these questions should be in your head before you even think about what tools you’re going to use. You can’t pick up an accounting tool and expect it to do everything. Focus on the important things Focus on the important things. It’s a common mistake for business owners to focus on everything and anything, but this is actually counterproductive. When you start working, it’s easy to get caught up in the minutiae of your day-to-day tasks and lose sight of what really matters. As an accountant, this can happen when so many details are constantly being thrown at you that it becomes impossible to keep track of them all. You have to take a step back and ask yourself what’s really important right now: is it urgent? Is it routine? If not, maybe it can wait until later when there’s less pressure on your side of the relationship or business partnership — or else delegate the task entirely if someone else can handle it better than you! Have a regular routine If you want to be more productive, it’s crucial to establish a routine. The best way to do this is by setting aside specific times for non-work activities, such as exercise and socializing with your friends or family. If you don’t do this, your brain will get used to being constantly busy and start treating any non-work activity as a waste of time—even if it’s something that makes you happier than the work itself! Here’s how I recommend setting up routines: Set aside two hours each day (and three on weekends) where your only task is relaxation/recreation. Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything else during these periods—not even work! If someone tries pressuring you into doing something outside of these times, politely decline and explain why this is important for your health and happiness. You owe it yourself after all! The best way to make sure that you don’t get distracted is by setting aside specific times for non-work activities, such as exercise and socializing with your friends or family. Plan ahead. Planning is the key to being productive. It doesn’t just apply to the future, it applies to the present as well. If you don’t have the right tools, then your work will suffer. For instance, if you’re working on a project and need access to a spreadsheet that isn’t available in your current software package, but you know Excel is compatible with it—then why not download it now? Your productivity will increase because planning ahead means having what you need when it’s needed. Planning also means making sure that people are prepped for their tasks and know what they need to do before they start work so there aren’t any delays or setbacks further down the line because somebody didn’t get all their ducks in order before starting something new (or old). Get rid of distractions. As you know, distractions are bad for productivity. Whether a distraction is internal or external doesn’t really matter; either way, it will knock you off your game and make you feel like the day is moving much slower than it actually is. So how do we stop this from happening? The first thing to realize is that there are good distractions and bad distractions. The good ones are things like exercise—you can still get your work done while exercising because it gives your brain a break from all of the mental strain you’re under! But other kinds of activities (like watching TV) can be more harmful because they make it harder for us to concentrate later on when we need our minds at their best again. To eliminate these types of bad distractions altogether, try creating separate spaces in your house where work-related tasks happen exclusively during business hours so there’s no space left open for anything else besides working efficiently throughout each day without getting sidetracked by something else entirely unrelated! Getting rid of distractions and bottlenecks can greatly improve accounting productivity You can improve your productivity by getting rid of distractions and bottlenecks. When you have a lot to accomplish, it’s easy for little things to distract you from the important tasks at hand. The steps above will help you stay focused on what’s most important and eliminate distractions that cause bottlenecks in your workflow. You may also want to consider improving efficiency, efficiency and communication (if applicable), which will further increase the overall productivity of both yourself and your team. There are many ways to improve efficiency, but here are a few general rules of thumb: * Be realistic about what’s important. A lot of time can be wasted on things that really don’t matter much when you get right down to it. Don’t do everything yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work or just need some help, ask someone else to take care of something so they’ll feel included in your process. With technology and automation, there are many ways you can improve your productivity in accounting. But the most important thing to remember is that no matter what tool you use, it will never replace good old-fashioned hard work.