Accounting firms have been around for ages and they are very important for a lot of businesses out there. Without the useful work of accountants, a lot of business owners will be completely lost and the process if sorting out their finances will become very tedious. It is, therefore, safe to say that accounting firms are very important to the growth of any business.
The method used by most accounting firms are simple, they offer numerous financial services that are carried out by the accountants and the clients are charged based on the size of the work done. Most accounting firms have hundreds of clients with almost a hundred accountants doing the job. This tends to get confusing as the number is quite high.
Kanban is a project management method that focuses on timely delivery. It visualizes the work to be done and process on a board after which few rules are set to keep the team on the track at all times.
Here are three reasons why Kanban is very useful for accounting firms.
Tracking the work that has been completed and that is still left to be done.
Since most accounting firms have a large number of accountants working for them and an even larger number of clients, it is very easy for them to know who is working on what. An accountant is tasked with the primary responsibility of their clients, however, there is little or no overhead to supervise the process. Once the work has been completed, the management usually does not have a plan set in place to make a future prognosis.
The Kanban approach has made this easy. This can be achieved using the Kanban board where everything can be visualized. The board can easily be set for the whole firm or even divided into parts based on certain criteria to ensure better observations. The management will be able to see quickly team members and the current situation of the firm. Kanban board does not only solves the issue of tracking the work but can also be used as a great analytical tool, predicting future occupancy, income and teams capabilities.
Distributing the work between the accountants evenly is another big issue.
This is a very difficult case for most accounting firms because each client is different and has different request and demand. Therefore finding the right accountant to handle a certain client becomes a problem. As evenly, as the firm tries to distribute the clients, what often happens is that some accountants are being overworked and others are enjoying a more relaxing work tempo.
Kanban will, however, ensure that every accountant is given equal task. The work to be done is kept in a planning section on the board and it can then be prioritized based on a request or due date. It will be very easy for accountants to pick up a job as they are all recorded on the board.
The tasks will be listed based on priority rather than client or accountant. If the firm is quite big, the accountants could be divided up into a couple of groups to have separate backlogs or head accountants could be assigned to distribute the tasks to their teams.
Tracking the resources spent on each client.
It is very hard to know how much resources are spent on a client and this makes it hard to determine just how much to charge that client. Most accounting firms face this dilemma every day and thus most clients either get overbilled or under-billed.
Suing Kanban will solve this issue as the accounting firms will have access to some powerful analytical tools that will allow them to solve the problem together. When the process is clear, time tracking becomes much easier and much more accurate. Kanban also makes it possible for the firm to utilize analytics from lead and cycle time diagrams and provide clear reports to their clients explaining how they were billed.
Using Scrum doesn’t have much advantage for accounting firms, the same cannot be said for Kanban. Kanban has for long brought clarity into the process. The approach is very simple and works in the best interest of all parties involved- the accountants, the clients and the firm.
To learn the Kanban 101 at team-level, enroll in the IBQMI® Approved Kanban Professional.
If you want to apply Kanban to any environment at an advanced coach level, you should enroll in the Certified Kanban Coach®.