Hopefully, last year was a year of learning and business growth. As you prepare for success this year, it's time to reflect on the mistakes and challenges of 2022 and make changes accordingly. Now is the perfect time to start making those changes by understanding what can be improved to ensure these issues don't happen repeatedly. Taking a proactive approach can create a better tomorrow and contribute to your success.
What worked well?
A retrospective - reflecting on what worked well or didn't - is integral to any successful project or initiative. Looking back at past successes, we can identify what strategies and tactics were effective and apply them to future endeavors. It is also a great way to learn from mistakes and improve processes for future projects. By reflecting on our successes, we can recognize the key factors and hard work that made them happen. Reflection gives us a better understanding of how to create successful processes in the future and how to avoid common pitfalls. Additionally, this helps us identify strengths and weaknesses to ensure that our operations are as efficient and effective as possible.
What could have worked better?
Every business has processes that need to be revised and improved. Some functions quickly become outdated due to factors like new technologies and must be updated to keep up with the changing times. First, think about the pain points, the headaches, and the stress you faced this year to accomplish what you needed. Then, consider areas of improvement in processes that could have worked better. Finally, what are some of the top issues you faced that you could change to build a better business?
Changing processes can help an organization save time and accuracy and work more efficiently
Some reasons to make a change:
- Time: Time is a significant factor when it comes to changing processes. By streamlining existing processes, organizations can reduce the time and cost required to complete tasks and increase productivity. For example, bookkeepers spend a quarter of their time manually inputting vital business information each month. As the data is only becoming more diverse and complicated as time goes on, this average will keep climbing for those still relying on manual entry. There are more important things to do than spend your time laser-focused on inputting data, like proactive time with clients, marketing your brand, etc. What was a time-sucker in your firm, and how could you complete the task more quickly?
- Accuracy: Before using any data in a process, you must ensure it is accurate, meaning it is precise and up-to-date. Nobody wants to go back and forth between data from different sources to ensure every number matches correctly. Inaccurately inputting just one number can throw off your books, and it takes hours to track down which number it was. How can you ensure accuracy and never worry about an error found "too late" again?
- Too many apps: Integrating apps automatically for more efficiency can yield enormous benefits for your business. There are SO MANY apps out there. Determining each system's ins and outs and pulling the necessary information is tedious and time-consuming. Changes often occur within apps, too, which impacts the data you use. Consider the user experience for the apps you use. Is it difficult to contact support and get your issue resolved? It may be time to look at using something else. Decide what core solutions you need and see if they integrate various apps into your desired workflow. Leverage technology to streamline complex processes, allow your team to work together more effectively, and get better results. Efficiency can be increased by automating specific tasks or reducing manual input by integrating apps.
After reflecting on what worked well and what could've worked better, create a wishlist for what you want to see based on what needs to be fixed and what successes you want to expand on. Next, ask around your online accounting communities, Facebook groups, and peers you respect to see what type of feedback or experiences they have had with possible new technologies for your firm to implement. Reviewing what you've learned in the past and making a strategic change in your firm will help you stay ahead of your competitors and ensure that your operations remain efficient and effective in the long run.