Project management isn’t something often talked about in the bookkeping industry. Most graduates spend the day learning about journal entries, how to provide services to clients and history of finance fraud (to avoid). After class, bookkeeping and finance majors typically practice using finance and fintech software like Xero. Schools and accounting courses try to teach university students teamwork but rarely talk about project management.
Project management is an important part of being an effective accountant in an accounting firm. It includes using project management software like Notion and Asana, and quality management over your work. Project management also includes communication with other members of your team.
When providing services, accountants typically need to communicate with clients to learn more about their expenses. If not, accountants can’t categorise them properly. Accounting firms usually have an account manager to communicate directly with the client. This means that accountants and bookkeepers don’t have a lot of face-to-face interaction with clients. One thing that you can do is to request for a one-to-one meeting with the client to understand their business model.
Find out if you can start a Whatsapp group chat and more about their schedule so that you can contact them and ask for information at their available times.
Both accountants and bookkeepers do different things that are both important in the accounting services process. Unfortunately, many accounting firms don’t have a proper process to help both accountants and bookkeepers to work together.
This flaw was very obvious during covid when the pandemic struck and accountants and bookkeepers struggled to work together from home. Many accountants needed documents such as receipts from bookkeepers but they either didn’t have the know-how to upload these documents or were simply unable to find them in the clutter of their home.
One thing that you can do is to make sure that everyone on your team has an organised workspace. If your employees’ workspaces and desks are a mess, they won’t be able to find anything and get anything done.
Another thing that you can do is to purchase a project management tool or use a free option such as Notion or Asana. Documents related to one company or project can be uploaded to Google Drive and that link can be added to a page in Notion for example. Another option is to set timelines which are made available to the whole company so that each employee can see what he’s accountable for and what his colleagues are accountable for too. This will help to increase responsibility and pride in their work.
Many university accounting courses don’t talk about teamwork or using workplace softwares. But enterprise softwares is a big part of working in a company. Imagine telling an employer that you’ve never used Slack and that it will take a week or two for you to get the hang of different channels. You’d probably get an odd look during the interview and doubts about your ability to work together in a team. Project management is a key skill that all accounting firms look for in applicants and not learning it will be a huge miss out for you to grow in your career as an accountant professional.