Accountants….. what are the benefits of combining workflow control with the staff planner?

A noticeable trend is underway. With the emergence of more and more cloud based applications to help Accountants manage their practices the principal of searching for best of breed software is once again driving decisions. Put simply firms do not wish to settle for half baked productivity tools.

Since our inception back in 2010 the Glide team has been laser focussed on creating the best possible workflow management tool for Accountants, we fully buy into this philosophy and believe it delivers the most for our user base.

That said we have created two reasonably significant add on modules in Glide Time and Glide Scheduler, you might logically question if this goes against the trend?

The reason behind both decisions was that the benefits of having the datasets 100% integrated with the workflow systems were simply not capable of replication via an integration with a 3rd party developer.

In this blog I’ve highlighted the top 5 benefits you realistically can’t achieve with separate workflow and scheduling tools:

1) On a staff planner you’ll see the jobs you have booked in and any spare time but what you won’t see is those jobs that should be booked in but currently aren’t. This tends to only be stumbled upon after costly meetings or comparisons to previous planners.

Of course with a proper workflow system nothing creeps up on you so this is not likely to be a concern; however, to be sure you can run a report to show jobs that need completing (based on a combination of the current stage of the workflow and either target or deadline dates) where time has yet to be allocated on the planner.

2) We’re adding budget components to Glide’s workflows, for example you can record that the preparation stage of the monthly management accounts for Xyz Ltd takes a junior staff member 5 hours. With this you can potentially:

a) Produce a version of the report mentioned in (1) that can provide the required hours info on top of the list of jobs.

b) Automatically allocate this task to the staff member who is both available and has the appropriate skills (possibly looking at who previously completed the Accounts for that client too).

c) Compare your entire workload resource requirements to your staff levels to assist with recruitment etc. This could also be done at a skill level.

3) On the job and client cards in Glide workflow you can see at a glance any time bookings linked to that client or job. Comparing this at a glance to the budget can provide visual reassurance that you have booked adequate resources.

4) Our current extensive workflow reporting can be extended to include the resources booked on the job. For example if you are looking at all Year End accounts jobs where you are awaiting information (and perhaps triggering a chaser e-mail straight from Glide) you might also quickly want to see the linked time. This would be an easy way to get an early warning that the staff member booked on the job might end up with nothing to do on the day!

5) Thinking more about the above risk that information might not be ready we’ve literally just thought of a new feature, custom alerts that are triggered where a stage has not been reached and you are within x days of a resource allocation.

It’s taken me 5 minutes to list these 5 but the truth is that the reporting and alerting possibilities are literally endless. These time savers translate into a significant boost to chargeable hours as less time is spent trying to complete the planner and less time is wasted when jobs are not ready for the time booked.

We’re really looking forward to driving extra value for our users by making the most of the synergy created by having your workflow and scheduling data in one application.

Ben

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