How to Identify a Process That is No Longer Working

By Kristen Corey

If accountants know how to do one thing it is to develop a process. With so many numbers, formulas, data, and excel spreadsheets, we understand organization without a process is lost - but it is not just the accounting side of your business that needs processes!

A process with your sales team, product development, or even consultations can increase your efficiency, saving you both time and money.

You likely already have processes in place but they may not be as clean and tight as they could be. Maybe it is more informal because your team is small or you have always done it a certain way.

No matter the reason, here are 3 red flags that a process is no longer working.


1) There is Frustration

If you or your employees are working through a process and find themselves frustrated with communication, accuracy, or obtaining what they need to do their job effectively, you may need to reanalyze your process. A good process will provide a seamless transition from one stage to another.

Begin by identifying what is causing the frustration. Then start your process over from the beginning keeping the frustration in mind. As you work through the process continue to look for areas that may cause friction or disconnect between you and the intended purpose.


2) It Takes Longer Than it Should

Consider the process of sending a client an invoice. Let’s say you may not know whether it should take 5 minutes or 15 minutes, but you know it shouldn’t take an hour. If you are realizing there is a part of your business that is eating up unnecessary time, a process may help create efficiency.

If you notice an employee is taking longer on a project then budgeted, they may not be familiar with your process or may need a more detailed one put in place. Consider working alongside them and asking other employees for input. You may notice the process is inefficient for all employees 


3) New Employees Have Trouble Understanding it

When you are audited, it is not uncommon for an auditor to ask for your written process in regards to accounts receivable, approving large purchases, or issuing employee credit cards. So many businesses have them written out for the potential to be audited and to share with employees being onboarded. 

If you were to show a process to a new employee and they were confused, found holes, or were able to make suggestions, consider their input. This is a great opportunity to consider whether a process needs to be improved. Yes, it may mean the employee needs more training, but it also can mean your process is not as smooth as it could be. 


Businesses without processes may be able to operate for a while, but as they grow quality can suffer and communication channels break down. Consider implementing processes or speaking with one of our accountants about how to implement a streamlined process.

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Tags: Bookkeeping


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