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A Checklist For Your Company’s Efficiency

30/ 07/ 2021
  Yuliia Savchenko. Head of Internal Finance & Accounting at Аccountor Ukraine Going concern is one of the fundamental principles of accounting, and rightfully so. However, a company cannot maintain business continuity by means of quantitative growth only, as an increase in production requires a simultaneous increase in costs (for materials, premises, staff growth etc.). This way, revenues will grow, but profits will remain the same. How do you scale your business to enable qualitative growth – that is, not just the growth of revenues, but also of profits?  Well, there is only one possible solution:  increasing the efficiency of every single employee and of the team as a whole. There can be no “absolute” results here, as there is always room for improvement.  Nevertheless, we can tell you where to start and what may help you move forward as fast as possible. So, here is our checklist for improving your company’s efficiency. Management structure and hierarchy. Hierarchy is one of the key principles of management. Every employee’s authority and responsibilities must be prescribed in a clear and reader-friendly manner (that is what the “Job Description” documents are made for). Every employee must have a clear understanding of the company’s chain-of-command – that is, who needs to be contacted with this or that issue. Tasks must be delegated and distributed in accordance with the employees’ responsibilities, i.e. all parties of the delegation process must know their areas of responsibility. Optimization of internal business processes is crucial for increasing work efficiency. To establish a clear course of action for some important processes, you will need instructions – that is, documented procedures. Yes, writing them will take some time, the employees will not learn everything immediately, and they will probably need to re-read them once in a while. But, in a while, these actions will be performed “automatically”, and no time will be wasted on excessive communication in typical situations. We recommend writing such instructions for sales, communication with the Accounting Department, payments approval, hiring / dismissing employees, managing employee vacation requests, managing employees’ “interchangeability” during vacation, as well as for other important processes involving two or more employees. Double-checking. Making mistakes is human nature, that is why any task fulfillment must be checked at least twice. You will probably say that is it waste of time which can only reduce efficiency. Believe it or not, in most cases you will have to spend much more time fixing mistakes, which will not only reduce efficiency but also affect your company’s reputation. Time management. It goes without saying that time management is vital to increasing the efficiency of business activities. Typical time management techniques include using calendars to maintain schedules, using planners, prioritizing, breaking large tasks and projects down into smaller pieces, etc. Effective time management is impossible without a well-built hierarchy, interaction, and control. Accounting automation, sales automation etc. Although robotization is not yet widely available, automation is something most companies can afford. Nearly all bookkeeping software products that Accountants, Purchasing Managers or Sales Managers use can be “fine-tuned” and improved. Automation is about replacing manual, repetitive and monotonous work with technical solutions wherever it is possible. You need to always analyze what you do and see where too much time is spent on manual actions, i.e., where they may be replaced by technical methods prescribed in these programs. It will save a lot of time and minimize the risk of errors. Automation services are usually offered by companies providing technical support for accounting software. Using additional technical tools, programs and applications. As digitalization is sweeping across the globe, there is plenty of different free and paid programs, apps and tools facilitating and improving work efficiency. Take Sharepoint, for example, which allows your colleagues to work on the same document simultaneously, control access of certain employees to certain documents, and store your data in a structured and systematic manner. The benefits of electronic document management systems are indisputable, as they let you send documents within seconds without having to pay for postal / courier services. However, make sure that the products you are going to use are trustworthy and that you have the right licensing for them! Incentive plans and bonus plans for employees. Yes, this is also related to efficiency. Motivated employees are more productive and more efficient, it’s as simple as that. It has been proven that the expenses on employee incentives do pay off if the incentive plan is fair and reasonable. So, if you improve the factors listed above, you will save a lot of time spent on internal processes, increase labor productivity and, accordingly, increase the profits. We at Accountor Ukraine are constantly working to improve our team’s efficiency, we will be happy to help you with this!

Yuliia Savchenko

Head of Internal Finance & Accounting at Аccountor Ukraine

Going concern is one of the fundamental principles of accounting, and rightfully so. However, a company cannot maintain business continuity by means of quantitative growth only, as an increase in production requires a simultaneous increase in costs (for materials, premises, staff growth etc.). This way, revenues will grow, but profits will remain the same.

How do you scale your business to enable qualitative growth – that is, not just the growth of revenues, but also of profits?  Well, there is only one possible solution:  increasing the efficiency of every single employee and of the team as a whole. There can be no “absolute” results here, as there is always room for improvement.  Nevertheless, we can tell you where to start and what may help you move forward as fast as possible. So, here is our checklist for improving your company’s efficiency.

  1. Management structure and hierarchy. Hierarchy is one of the key principles of management. Every employee’s authority and responsibilities must be prescribed in a clear and reader-friendly manner (that is what the “Job Description” documents are made for). Every employee must have a clear understanding of the company’s chain-of-command – that is, who needs to be contacted with this or that issue. Tasks must be delegated and distributed in accordance with the employees’ responsibilities, i.e. all parties of the delegation process must know their areas of responsibility.
  2. Optimization of internal business processes is crucial for increasing work efficiency. To establish a clear course of action for some important processes, you will need instructions – that is, documented procedures. Yes, writing them will take some time, the employees will not learn everything immediately, and they will probably need to re-read them once in a while. But, in a while, these actions will be performed “automatically”, and no time will be wasted on excessive communication in typical situations. We recommend writing such instructions for sales, communication with the Accounting Department, payments approval, hiring / dismissing employees, managing employee vacation requests, managing employees’ “interchangeability” during vacation, as well as for other important processes involving two or more employees.
  3. Double-checking. Making mistakes is human nature, that is why any task fulfillment must be checked at least twice. You will probably say that is it waste of time which can only reduce efficiency. Believe it or not, in most cases you will have to spend much more time fixing mistakes, which will not only reduce efficiency but also affect your company’s reputation.
  4. Time management. It goes without saying that time management is vital to increasing the efficiency of business activities. Typical time management techniques include using calendars to maintain schedules, using planners, prioritizing, breaking large tasks and projects down into smaller pieces, etc. Effective time management is impossible without a well-built hierarchy, interaction, and control.
  5. Accounting automation, sales automation etc. Although robotization is not yet widely available, automation is something most companies can afford. Nearly all bookkeeping software products that Accountants, Purchasing Managers or Sales Managers use can be “fine-tuned” and improved. Automation is about replacing manual, repetitive and monotonous work with technical solutions wherever it is possible. You need to always analyze what you do and see where too much time is spent on manual actions, i.e., where they may be replaced by technical methods prescribed in these programs. It will save a lot of time and minimize the risk of errors. Automation services are usually offered by companies providing technical support for accounting software.
  6. Using additional technical tools, programs and applications. As digitalization is sweeping across the globe, there is plenty of different free and paid programs, apps and tools facilitating and improving work efficiency. Take Sharepoint, for example, which allows your colleagues to work on the same document simultaneously, control access of certain employees to certain documents, and store your data in a structured and systematic manner. The benefits of electronic document management systems are indisputable, as they let you send documents within seconds without having to pay for postal / courier services. However, make sure that the products you are going to use are trustworthy and that you have the right licensing for them!
  7. Incentive plans and bonus plans for employees. Yes, this is also related to efficiency. Motivated employees are more productive and more efficient, it’s as simple as that. It has been proven that the expenses on employee incentives do pay off if the incentive plan is fair and reasonable.

So, if you improve the factors listed above, you will save a lot of time spent on internal processes, increase labor productivity and, accordingly, increase the profits.

We at Accountor Ukraine are constantly working to improve our team’s efficiency, we will be happy to help you with this!

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