Get More Done, Make More Money: Stop Doing These 17 Things

We asked, you responded with some great ideas.

By Hitendra Patil

A few days back, I wrote Create Your “Not-To-Do’s” List. We got some interesting feedback from accountants. Here are some tasks that accountants want to stop doing themselves.

  1. Stop fixing the Ethernet cables into the router. (Get the IT guy to do it. Or move entirely to cloud.)
  2. Stop importing bank statements into QuickBooks. (Get someone else to populate all data.)
  3. Stop writing instruction / advice emails to staff in the same office. (Talk instead.)
  4. Stop entering data from invoices into accounting software. (Get someone else to populate all data.)
  5. Stop taking backups home. (Move to cloud.)
  6. Stop creating vendor / customer details in accounting software. (Get someone else to populate all data.)
  7. Stop updating my website myself. (Get it done by the specialists.)
  8. Stop entering line items into tax software myself. (Get someone else to populate all data.)
  9. Stop letting incoming calls going to voicemail. (I missed calls from prospects.)
  10. Stop solving basic problems that staff brings to me. (Train them instead.)
  11. Stop drinking too much coffee. (Take more deep breaths instead.)
  12. Stop making some Excel sheet calculations. (Set up custom reports instead.)
  13. Stop asking people where the documents are. (Use workflow / portal software instead.)
  14. Stop visiting some client offices for “doing” work. (Get them to scan source documents to my office.)
  15. Stop going to office half a day each week. (Go out networking instead.)
  16. Stop waiting for referrals. (Start inbound and outbound marketing instead.)
  17. Stop turning down new clients. (Get new capacity soon.)

Are there any we’ve left off this list?

7 Responses to “Get More Done, Make More Money: Stop Doing These 17 Things”

  1. sblake

    Ok does anyone edit? How do you get on the cloud if your Ethernet cable isn’t going to your router?

    • Hitendra R. Patil

      Thanks for taking the time to read the article and respond. The “ethernet” is a symbolic statement that reflects accountants wanting to do more of what earns them the best returns on their time and letting the IT experts do their stuff – just in the same way businesses ask the experts to do their accounting. Some firms have “redundancies” built in their internet set ups in such a way that if something fails, the alternative automatically kicks in. For computers in office, they are connected by ethernet as well as wifi so there is no break if the cable is unplugged for some reason. There are IT managed services providers that proactively monitor the IT setup, and so on.

  2. Hitendra R. Patil

    Vallery: The fact that sometimes you wonder means you feel there IS a better way. You won’t know till you test the alternative ways. And when you do and if you DO find a better way, not just you, your MORE clients will benefit! All the best!

    Lynette: You hit the nail on it’s head. I read somewhere that three things matter the most to accounting professionals 1. Control. 2. Control and 3. Control. !! Yes it is VERY difficult to let go of control when you are responsible for compliance but obviously tens of thousands of CPAs out there have figured out ways as they have grown their firms.

  3. Hitendra R. Patil

    Bill: Thanks for taking the time and sharing your thoughts. The most scarce and most valuable resource we all have is Time – we can never have more than 24 hours a day. When you have something that can make lives of other people better, being too busy means many (prospective) clients can not get your help they most need and deserve.

  4. Bill

    My responses to your 17 items:

    1. I don’t have an IT guy/gal: I’m it – I’m the owner, manager, admin, tech support, input specialist, biller, etc. As for the cloud; forget it – Don’t trust it!!

    2. Don’t have staff to do my work – so now what do I do?? – punt.

    3. There’s no staff to talk to; but writing instructions, even to yourself, keeps quality control up.

    4. Without any staff to do my admin work, how do I know what’s going on, if I don’t do the work.

    5. Don’t trust the cloud!!!!!

    6. Someone has to enter all that data – what do you do – sit around giving orders??

    7. A good website does need to be updated by specialists, however, what about responding to client or potentially new client comments and questions. Someone with the technical knowledge that you possess must respond, so why not you.

    8. If you don’t enter the data yourself, how can you trust the input??

    9. If the phone isn’t answered by the 3rd ring, I pick it up myself.

    10. Training your staff is good, but sometimes they just need to talk to you.

    11. Don’t drink coffee, walk and exercise instead.

    12. Excel is a useful tool for setting up custom reports.

    13. What portal software – is this worth it?

    14. Scanning is good for the most part. Getting out of the office is good for you, besides perambulating around your customer’s businesses may give you insights that you really need to have.

    15. Need to improve work/life balance – good point.

    16. Marketing is an always-on activity.

    17. New capacity is the result of productivity to your activity.

    • Vallery Lee

      Hi Bill/Hitendra
      Bill’s comments are the same as I would make. “small is beautiful” but sometimes I wonder!!

    • Lynette R

      To grow a business you have to trust that you can hire and train good staff. It is hard letting go of control but once you do, you can start working on your business vs. only working in your business.