Many business owners choose to automate their business operations because of the promise of higher productivity and greater efficiency.
Keeping track of invoices collection and billing due dates can take up a lot of time and resources, most of which could have been better spent coming up with ways and strategies to grow the business. It can be frustrating to be bogged down by these little details, which is why it makes sound business sense to invest in a reliable accounts receivables performance management software to handle such matters.
However, you can only reap the benefits of automation by adopting the right work habits. Productivity tools are only as good as the people who are using them. You can only optimize the technology you use if you couple it with the right productivity habits.
How to be More Productive
To be more productive, it is important to pay close attention to three key areas: your environment, your process, and your mind.
First, create the optimum environment on which you do your work. Distractions are a common culprit in today’s always-on technology-driven workplace.
Social media, emails, mobile phones, and the like can suck up a lot of precious time away from doing what needs to be accomplished. Resist the lure of pinging tweets, email notifications, or chatrooms by switching them off.
Set aside blocks of time to do specific items on your to-do list, and try to avoid the trap of multitasking. According to CNN, quality of output typically suffers regardless.
Next, make the most of your process by prioritizing tasks. Start by writing down your goals and putting it up in a prominent place where you can easily see it.
As much as possible, cut down most meetings and keep only the most essential ones on your schedule. This is where you can use technology such as an account receivable software to help keep you on task as well (more on that later).
Finally, master you mind and body. Exercise, take regular breaks, and drink eight glasses of water a day. A healthy mind and body are the foundations of a productive work life.
Productivity Tools for CFO
1. Workflow Tools
Workflow tools are an excellent way to keep track of your project. It helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and on top of the latest updates.
One example is Basecamp, a web-based project management with a to-do list to help keep small workgroups organized.
Another useful tool is Asana, which a productivity tool that empowers each member of the team to track their work properly. It has received great reviews from high-profile clients such as Uber, Harvard University, and The New Yorker.
2. Dynamic Benchmarking Tools
These tools help you stay on top of the latest update in your industry. For example, if you are a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), you are eligible to answer a survey along with others within your specific niche.
The survey asks various practice management questions such as billing rates, average profit margin, and other valuable data. You can access this online database, which you can use for benchmarking within your company.
3. Billing by Usage
The usual practice is that products and services are sold by billing with a one-time fee. Today’s latest offering enables companies to actually see how much and how often a client is using your product or service, which in turn, allows companies to go for usage-based billing.
This also helps companies better predict any issue that might arise, thereby reducing the incidence of negative client feedback.
Zuora is one such software that allows for usage-based billing. It is a product that can bill users according to the amount of resources consumed, track one-time and recurring fees, and monitor metered resources to meet demand. GoTransverse is also a monetization platform that offers the same services.
4. Going Paperless
Aside from being an environmentally sound practice, going paperless also helps save on storage space and reduces the time it takes to manage documents.
Using a paperless document management tool can also improve data security because it reduces the possibility of someone physically breaking into your office to steal documents.
Go digital by using tools such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner, and make sure that you use a storage facility with an encrypted server for added security.
5. E-Signature and the Cloud Accounting Apps
Electronic signatures make it easier to collect signatures needed for authorizations for documents, especially during the tax season.
6. Accounting Apps on the Cloud
Cloud services that offer accounting support can go a long way toward helping you provide the best service for your clients.
Online products such as QuickBooks and Xero can be best used for tech-savvy clients who are comfortable conducting business online. They are typically mobile users who integrate their banks and payment services.
With so many productivity resources available today, some even offered for free, it can be challenging to discern which ones are useful, and which ones aren’t. Using the productivity tools recommended on this list will narrow down your sources, and hopefully, get you off to a great start.