How do I organize my back office efficiently? 5 essential steps for accountants

How do I organize my back office efficiently? 5 essential steps for accountants

A good back office is a foundation on which your accountancy firm stands. If the back office runs smoothly, so with the right software and the right people, then there is peace and time to proactively advise customers and to have more added value as an office. Sounds good right? That is why in this blog 5 steps to efficiently organize your back office.

Table of Contents

Step 1. Develop a good vision

Rest and time to proactively advise customers. Who would not want that. The basis is a smoothly running back office. It sounds simple, but how do you determine which people and software you need to organize your back office. This requires a vision of the entire office. With this you determine the direction of your office and distinguish it from the competition. Ultimately, the accountant strives for the same ultimate goal, namely supporting the entrepreneur. There are several approaches to this. Ask an external audit firm to do a survey around the customers how happy they are in the current state. 

This is also evident from a brief survey. One office opts for an industry-oriented approach and invests in back office employees with a great sense of and knowledge of the industry. As an office, do you want to proactively advise on the latest financial options and legislation? Then you invest in people and systems that enable continuous innovation. There are several ways to map out your vision. Such as “the golden circle” and the “dot on the horizon” method. It is important that you dare to make strategic choices. Accountancy firms that do this can not only convey their message well, but also deliver it.

Step 2. Choose the right systems

Then you look at the systems that help to implement the vision. How do you select these systems and how do you make them work together? With the right IT infrastructure, you can take office automation to a higher level, so that the back office will function better. In any case, make sure that you organize your back office with smart tooling. For example, we see that accountants who work with the right systems ultimately save billions of euros per year. In short, how nice is it if back office processes are unambiguous and standardized, so that employees process administrations quickly and efficiently?

Step 3. Determine KPIs

Step three is to determine KPIs (critical performance indicators). KPIs are indispensable to achieve a uniform and even more efficient working method in the back office. Through KPIs you make the results of the back office transparent. This contributes to the development of both the back office and the employees. With the help of lag and lead indicators you provide insight into the production of the back office and the time spent per customer. Reanda Netherlands can help your company by making an audit for your company and determine all KPI’s in this audit. 

Example of a lag indicator in the back office:

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The percentage of the invoices that are automatically processed at the administration level.

Example of a lead indicator in the back office:

The time spent on administration per customer.

Make sure that you involve employees at an early stage in drawing up KPIs. This way you create commitment in achieving the objectives. Finally, keep in mind that KPIs are intended to motivate employees and not to charge employees!

Step 4. Give employees their own role

Let the back office accountant decide in which direction he or she wants to develop. Where are his interests and skills? This significantly increases motivation in the back office. A back office employee will often unite several roles. Below are a number of roles:

  • the technician
  • the communicator
  • the author
  • the analyst
  • the knowledge worker

Determine together with the employee which role is suitable for him / her. This allows you to make optimal use of the employee’s skills. 

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