Rethink your routing sheets to optimize productivity
Efficiency and productivity are essential to making your firm profitable and positioning it for growth. But neither is possible without a clear view into who’s working on what and at-your-fingertips access to the status of each project. Without the visibility provided by an automated workflow, it’s easy for schedules to get off track and for details to get missed.
An optimized workflow that promotes peak efficiency while supporting client visibility relies on streamlined processes that make sense and are easy to use, leading to a higher likelihood of staff adoption. Streamlined and optimized processes based on industry best practices don’t usually happen by accident, which is why one of the most important changes your firm can make is to rethink your routing sheets. While they are a valuable resource, routing sheets are only helpful if you know where they are and you know they contain the latest updates.
Manual routing sheets shortcomings
If your firm is still relying on manual routing sheets — paper or digital — to track how work moves among multiple staff members, you’re probably familiar with their faults:
- Productivity is lost when route sheets go missing or are deleted.
- Accessibility is compromised because only one person can edit the sheet at a time.
- Adherence to processes declines because projects can be manually routed to the next person whether or not a task is complete.
- Customer satisfaction suffers due to a lack of visibility into updated project statuses when responding to client inquiries.
Why all the problems?
Although updating manual routing sheets should be simple, staff often neglect this essential step because it’s inconvenient, they forget, they “don’t have time” during crunch periods, or they simply can’t find the routing sheet on the server or in the stack of papers on their desk.
Some firms have tried to resolve the problem by switching from a paper to a digital process. A routing spreadsheet stored on a shared platform may alleviate a few of the concerns, but issues such as version control, “read-only” notifications, and even corrupted files make it a less-than-perfect solution.
Improve your workflow with Integrated Routing Sheets
Your firm needs technology that transforms the manual tracking process rather than trying to recreate it digitally. One way to solve all those problems is to choose an audit engagement, tax compliance, and/or document management system that provides a standardized, automated process using integrated routing sheets, minimizing steps and removing barriers. Giving staff access to routing sheets within the software they’re already using provides benefits such as:
- Information won’t get lost due to missing or deleted route sheets.
- Multiple people can access the sheet at the same time — any time from any location.
- Staff are prompted to update information as they work, so there’s no more forgetting.
- Processes can be predetermined so projects are routed automatically to the next responsible party.
- Managers and other responsible staff have clear and quick visibility project status.
These features not only boost productivity and accountability. Ultimately they improve customer satisfaction and enable your firm to grow.
Streamline processes end-to-end with Wolters Kluwer’s Solutions
Rethinking your routing sheets is just one step in automating and streamlining your workflow. But it’s an investment in increasing your firm’s productivity and staff capacity that is sure to deliver a high ROI.
Wolters Kluwer offers premier workflow solutions for firms aiming to better manage clients’ tax and accounting jobs with integration that makes it easy to manage all kinds of engagements.
To learn more about how workflow solutions from Wolters Kluwer can help your firm rethink its routing sheets, minimize email fatigue, create consistent processes, use dashboards to drive decisions, and promote accountability through visibility, download 5 Ways Workflow Automation Supports Firm Goals.