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Four Ways CPAs Can Master Efficiency

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stressed employee working on computerIn terms of job rigor, being a CPA is one of the busiest professions around. There are constant client demands, ever-changing policies to keep up with, and mandatory accreditation classes you must take, just to name a few.

None of this becomes any easier when the prime season starts to loom. Without taking the proper steps to prepare, it can leave you as a CPA in a cloud of dust.

This is why it is best to stay ahead of the curve by taking note of the tips and tools available that can make you a well-oiled CPA machine. Listed are a few to help you be your most efficient self.

Prioritize

If you are feeling overwhelmed, begin each week by creating a comprehensive list of everything on your plate. Then separate them into two lists: The “A” list is for the really important things that you need to accomplish by the end of the week, the other “B” list is for things you can push off to the next. This helps you visualize the big picture.

Assess your “B” list by the end of the week to determine if the tasks need to be reclassified. In some instances, you may find that they weren’t as important as you originally thought and can simply be crossed off.

Keep ONE Calendar

Scheduling is important, doubly so when you are a CPA. Having one place where all events are kept minimizes room for error. If you’re still relying on a paper planner, it’s time to make the switch to a digital one for many reasons:

  1. You can share it with others, your colleagues, assistant, even your spouse,
  2. You can refer to past events for reference,
  3. You can access it anywhere,
  4. You can enter in recurring dates, like deadlines, with ease, and
  5. You can have reminders sent before the event is about to happen. If you are looking for more tips to organize your calendar, check out the ones here.

Embrace Technology

The days of pen and pad are long gone. While they may not be obsolete, they are outdated in terms of efficiency. There is such a need for tools to make our jobs and lives easier, there is an entire classification of software devoted to it, aptly named “Productivity Software.” While there appears to be a new app introduced each day, here are a few worth noting:

  • Evernote is a note taking app that can be accessed across platforms. If you have an idea but only have your phone handy, you can jot it down on Evernote to access later on your computer. It will automatically sync to all devices where the app is installed. Excellent search capabilities makes it easy to locate important information quickly.
  • Wunderlist is a task list manager that lets you share your lists with others and keep track of what you and your collaborators need to get done. It’s great for small teams. Since its cross-platform, you can access from your phone or via the web from any computer.
  • IFTTT, an acronym for “if this, then that,” is named such because you use it to create automations to simplify your life. For example, you can have it create a to-do list by forwarding an email, or have it send you a text message when there’s an upcoming event on your calendar.
  • Trello is a web-based project management tool that uses interactive “cards’, “lists”, and “boards” to keep you organized. It’s very visual and helps teams collaborate and keep track of projects.

Give Yourself a Break

Perhaps the best thing you can do in order to do more, is to take time to do nothing. Although it might seem counter-intuitive, taking short breaks throughout the day to regroup and regain composure can mean the difference between a stressful work day and a productive and enjoyable one.

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