Accounting Workflow: 4 Levels From Beginner to Complex

As an accountant, it’s essential to have a well-defined workflow to ensure that your firm runs smoothly and efficiently. A proper accounting workflow helps you manage your time, resources, and clients effectively, allowing you to meet deadlines, increase productivity, and achieve better results.

The workflow requirements for accountants can vary from simple to complex, depending on the size of the jobs you handle, the level of administrative support available, and the ease at which the software allows you to make changes. In this blog post, we’ll discuss various workflow options and how you can optimize them to streamline your accounting processes.

Level 1: Beginner Accounting Workflow 

If you’re brand new to setting up workflows for accountants, you may want to start at the beginner level which is the easiest way to set up an accounting workflow.

The simplest workflow starts with knowing the due dates of jobs, whether they are government-mandated or client-imposed. From there, you can reverse-engineer your way back through a logical sequence of steps.

It’s common for beginners to start with an Excel spreadsheet to track this information. However, spreadsheets have their limitations, as they require manual updating which leaves plenty of room for human error. Typically, an accountant will soon realize the limitations of the spreadsheet approach and graduate to using software like TPS Cloud Axis that can handle more complex workflows that involve multiple steps, due dates, and team members.

Level 2: Basic Accounting Workflow 

Once you know all the jobs you have for the month (or date range), the next feature to consider is assigning staff and job status. Each employee should be able to see what jobs they have been assigned and the due dates of those jobs. The firm can assign what stage the job is at through a status. 

This can be as simple as Stages 1, 2, 3, 4, or descriptive like Logged In, In Progress, For Review, and Complete. Most firms use seven or fewer statuses for a job and may have slightly different statuses for different types.

Adding a budget to the job is the next level of workflow, which helps monitor the job’s progress and alert the partner if the job is off-track.

Level 3: Moderate Accounting Workflow 

A Moderate Accounting Workflow involves breaking down a job into smaller tasks and assigning tasks as they come to an employee. Staff can mark the task as completed, which triggers a notification to the next task or person. 

This level of workflow can increase efficiency, but it can also create complexity and require training and supervision. Often, this workflow option requires staff training and administrative supervision to ensure smooth functioning. A practice management software like TPS Cloud Axis can streamline the process, simplifying both the setup and workflow’s ongoing management.

Moderate Workflow with Budget:

This workflow includes all the features of Moderate Workflow, but it also enables you to set a budget for the entire job, including both dollars and hours. This allows you to monitor expenses and track progress, ensuring you stay within budget and meet deadlines.

Level 4: Complex Accounting Workflow

Complex workflow takes moderate workflow one step further by adding budgets to each task and triggering a notification if the budget is higher than required. 

In a Complex Workflow, each component task will have:
• Staff Assigned
• Start and projected end date
• Budget of hours and/or dollars
• A triggered notification to the next task/person 

This workflow is ideal for firms doing large audits, but it requires administrative time to set up and maintain. 

Again, a solution like TPS Cloud Axis will greatly simplify the setup and maintenance of this kind of workflow. However, you’ll still want to appoint an office manager or someone in a similar role to oversee the process. For this level of workflow set-up and management, it may also be wise to see additional training for that specific software– such as the training we provide for TPS Cloud Axis.

Which accounting workflow is right for your practice?

When choosing a workflow, consider the size of your firm, the amount of administrative support available, and the ease of making changes to the software. While more complex workflows may provide more detailed information and insights, they require more administrative time and effort. Ultimately, the workflow you select should enable you to manage multiple jobs and deadlines with ease.

Want some guidance on identifying the right workflow level for your firm? Schedule a free consultation call with our support team; we would be happy to talk through your needs and help you find a suitable solution.

Learn more about TPS Cloud Axis

Related Content

Ready To Simplify Your Accounting Practice?

Get started with Cloud Axis by TPS Software today. Book a demo or sign up now to make your workflow easier.


Related Content