Prioritising workflow within your Accounting firm – Part 2/4

In the first part of this four part blog we discussed the basic building blocks of a workflow route; the stages, progress buttons and workflow actions. Here we shall look at how you can differentiate all of these aspects to cater for both the differing needs of clients and your various service level/tiers.

The key to this is that every Glide workflow system can have multiple variations of the basic ‘workflow route’. As soon as you start to set up more routes you will be able to choose which route to apply to each client.

How might this be used?

Suppose for example that you have 200 Accounts clients, 100 of them are incredibly basic and pay your lowest price tier, 60 of them are family owned businesses that take a full range of services (‘A’/’gold’ tier etc clients) and finally you have 40 audits which have a high degree of regulation. You could configure 3 workflow routes on your glide system.

‘Route 1’ would cater for the less lucrative, lower risk engagements perhaps having fewer stages as less reviews are required and with a single target dates setting a turnaround target of say 60 days after the information was received. Who does the work may be less important and so the jobs may be allocated into the job pool once information is received such that any staff member can take the job when time permits. With the lower fee you need to ensure the process here is as automated as possible, you might configure e-mail or SMS alerts to request data / chase data / warn of impending deadlines etc.

‘Route 2’ will have a focus on a high service level, these are the kind of clients that are highly sought after and you aim to treat them accordingly. The target date for each stage would probably be configured to trigger on completion of the previous stage, this ensures you always have an up to date and relevant target date to assist with prioritising work. You might aim to have the same staff member completing the work each year, to speed up the allocation process on Glide you would use the “Regular staff member” client field and have the job preparer default to this person. No automated alerts here as the focus is on the personal relationship between client and advisor, instead you may have extra stages, perhaps a pre year end meeting and/or tax planning sessions and meetings with the partner to review the end product.

‘Route 3’, the audits, here the focus is managing risk. You would have stages with appropriate targets to ensure timely completion of the planning, reviews and potentially a quality control review. On sign off of the audit report a target may be generated to ensure the file is locked down within the 60 day limit, this stage would logically be configured to not allow manual changes of the target date. You may also find the need to record key dates that do not slot easily into the workflow, for example if you wanted to record the date the letter of representation was signed, this might feasibly happen at different points, therefore you would include this as a custom data point as opposed to a stage. To ensure compliance with your process you could also add a workflow action to make completion of such fields mandatory at certain points in the process.

The great benefit of having different workflow routes is that all of the above aspects will only effect the clients that are allocated to that route. That said the workflows remain in the same overall system therefore when you come to look at your dashboard to see which accounts are due this month, or when you run a report to see which accounts are at a certain stage, these job are all considered together. Referring back to the blog title, when it comes to prioritising it is all about the target dates and of course by using different routes you can ensure these automatically calculated dates are all relevant, even with such differences within the client base.

That concludes the blog on workflow routes, this 4 parter will continue next week with a look at how we split a route into sub systems to allow different departments to progress their own part of the overall workflow.

 

 

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