Turnaround time is one of the most important KPI’s for any accountancy practice to track.
Not only is it an indicator of the efficiency and productivity levels of your team, it’s also an indicator to your clients of a high-quality service, which in turn will lead to longer retention and possible referrals.
Low turnaround time = happy clients and an efficient & productive team.
So, how do you go about reducing your turnaround time?
Peter Drucker famously said; “you can’t manage what you don’t measure”.
So, the first place to start is to make sure that you have a system for properly measuring and tracking your turnaround time.
This can be done really easily using any of the workflow softwares currently available for accountancy practices.
If you haven’t gotten around to implementing any workflow software yet, here is a much simpler approach…
Create an excel spreadsheet. On this spreadsheet you want four columns:
- Name of client/job
- Date of books in
- Date of books out
- Turnaround time
Then you want to nominate somebody in your office to be the turnaround champion. Their responsibility is to keep this spreadsheet up to date on a daily basis.
Once you know that turnaround time is being measured properly, you’ll want to set some targets to bring it down.
The best way to do this is to use a whiteboard in your office where the whole team can see, and write the targets and actual times on there.
For this to work, you need buy in from everyone. They need to understand that it’s part of the bigger picture of giving clients a much better service.
The turnaround targets could be for any (or all) of the following:
- For the practice as a whole
- For individuals (this creates friendly competition)
- For different departments (if relevant)
- For different pods/groups (if this is your structure)
Over time, with the numbers and targets in their awareness, the turnaround time will naturally begin to come down.
Review & act on the results
Once you begin measuring and setting targets, and reviewing the results, you’ll start to notice the areas that need improving in order to bring your turnaround time down even further.
These could be things like:
- Unproductive staff members need putting on performance review
- Staff members with higher turnaround time require additional training
- Need a greater use of technology and automation to speed up manual tasks
- Systems need streamlining and improving to make things easier
Whatever the reasons are, make sure that you act on them straight away.
Over a period of a few months, using the process above you should see a significant reduction in the turnaround time for your practice.
What other tips do you have for reducing turnaround time in your accountancy practice? Let me know in the comments below.