A common theme these days is how to get by with less money at your disposal. Whether it’s accounting, auditing or IT related, it seems that resources are the first thing to be scaled back during tough economic times.
The reality is that if you have to do more with less, some tasks are likely to fall behind. This creates uncertainty surrounding the impact this can have on your organization in the future. You may increase the risk of burning out the limited resources that are available. In the long run this could end up creating additional costs if you need to add resources to help catch up on tasks that weren’t performed as needed originally.
One way to ensure required tasks are completed in a timely fashion, without burning out limited resources, is to determine where you can improve efficiencies. Look to create efficiencies in processes that directly impact financial results.
Are there manual processes that can be automated? Is something being done simply because it has always been done that way? Take a quick inventory of routine processes performed by you or your staff and analyze them to assess their relevance.
As an individual contributor, consider:
- Who is using the information produced?
- What are they using it for?
- How do they access the information?
- Are there redundant tasks being performed elsewhere in the organization that accomplish the same objectives?
As a supervisor, manager or executive, in addition to the above items, consider:
- Are tasks distributed appropriately amongst resources?
- Do you have visibility into all processes performed and the results produced?
- Is performance frequency suitable?
- Are processes completed on time and accurately?
- Are there appropriate controls in place?
To combat undesired outcomes, find ways to create efficiencies in your processes to ensure pertinent tasks are consistently performed on an ongoing basis. That way you and your employees won’t waste time and energy performing tasks that have fallen behind or that aren’t necessary. You can rest assured that precious resources are focused on the processes needed and that add the most value to your organization.