We find that many of our clients come to us because they just don’t have time for admin. Although we’re more than happy to assist there are things you can do to help stay on top of all that paperwork.
Little and often
Are you guilty of letting your admin build up?
There’s a misconception that doing a job once will save time. In fact, it’s just an excuse to put the task off. Staying on top of the task by setting time aside weekly will be a much more effective and efficient way of keeping on top of your admin. It will also feel less daunting to deal with a small pile of paperwork than be overwhelmed by months’ worth of bank statements and invoices that haven’t been dealt with.
Clear desk policy
Having a clear desk policy literally means what it says: nothing should be left on your desk (especially those filing trays!) Having a clear desk policy will encourage you to file as you go and put things where they should be as well as dealing with things as they come in. Again, helping you stay on top of your admin.
Make sure you have a good record system in place. Developing a fool-proof filing system where everything can be easily accessed is essential for successful business administration. Adopting a paperless system where files are kept online or in shared files saves money on printing costs, is kinder to the environment and can make documents easier to find.
Get rid of any duplicate papers, old folders as well as anything else that is unused. Having more than one copy of something not only takes up space but can cause confusion when it comes to data-entry, reconciliation, etc. Keep records for only as long as you need them. Anything else is unnecessary excess and will only result in a huge sort out when you finally get around to dealing with it in the future.
Look at ways to minimise your input but maximise output. There is so much technology that makes keeping on top of admin easier than ever. Automated banking software which connects directly with your bank account will eliminate the need to add each and every expense and payment. All you need to do is to remember to reconcile once a week.
For larger companies, case management systems can help with the filing of emails and documents to the relevant file.
Invoices and receipts
With technological advancements, most of us now receive invoices and receipts digitally either by email or on our account history with our supplier. Its good practice to save these as and when you receive them or purchase a product or service. Going back and searching for them to reconcile the bank statement takes much more time than saving them to the relevant folders as and when.
Organisation is key!
From filing systems to work-flow, organisation is going to be the most important aspect of staying on top of business admin. Use colour coding to differentiate between client files and office files as well as traffic light systems for work to be done, work in progress and work completed. To-do-lists will help you focus on the tasks at hand and will allow you to see when you have completed a task which is great for motivation and feeling accomplished.
Let us know your tips for admin success!