Many CPAs that I talk to like the idea of setting up systems in their practice. BUT, they are put off by the seemingly monstrous task of getting started?
It's actually quite simple - just follow these steps:
*Organize the various procedures that need to be documented into functional groups. Set up physical and electronic folders to store the procedures once they have been drafted.
*Decide what tasks need to be documented. Consider everything that is done in your practice - especially those things that you find often have recurring problems or are inconsistent amongst staff members.
*Prioritize the list of tasks that need to be documented.
*Delegate the documentation of these tasks to the employees who actually perform them regularly.
*Get the working procedures written. Pool all necessary resources such as forms, information, checklists, etc. that you currently use and attach them to the procedure if relevant.
*Store your working procedures in the physical and electronic folders, together with any relevant attachments.
*Start doing it!
*These documented working procedures are never completely finished! You will need to be careful to regularly monitor their effectiveness, and to create new ones where required.
By having everything within your practice able to run independently and smoothly, you'll be ensuring that your practice is capable of running well both now, and as it grows.
You will be also be able to avoid many of the breakdowns that cause a lot of practices to fail if they grow 'too big, too fast'.
Best of all, you will actually feel more in control of your practice and know that you can spend your time on growing your CPA firm or other income-generating CPA firm marketing activities rather than dealing with day-to-day issues that are easily handled with the aid of a working procedure.
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