Let’s face it, as an employee who works in the back office, your desk can look like utter chaos! You may have a system to the madness, but your organization and the “clutter” can negatively influence your subconscious.
Our brains like order, and constant visual reminders of disorganization drain our cognitive resources, reducing our ability to focus. – Libby Sander
Where does it start?
Paper is likely the driving force of clutter on your desk. This comes from constantly handling invoices, bank statements, payroll sheets, and financial statements. All that paper coming in can start to pile up as your day goes on and you must shift your focus on other aspects of the job.
Having trays to help you manage and organize the paper is a great start to decluttering your desk, but you can still end up with mounds of paperwork in just one tray.
The next step to organizing your desk can be the use of office boxes or filing cabinets. While even I utilize those, it can still get messy and time-consuming to keep track of the documents and where they go.
If you are limited on space, those boxes get tucked into a corner or other area of your workspace wherever there’s room, leading to more clutter.
Another form of clutter can come from your favorite software to use, Excel. Though Excel is a powerhouse and can be used to track and calculate so many things, I’m pretty sure almost every folder on my hard drive has at least one if not more excel sheets tracking various things.
Having a good naming convention, folder structure, and consistently updating those Excel sheets are a fundamental part of the job unless you have some good macros to run scripts for you.
Take control of your back office!
There are many services today that offer online storage, payments, and other ways to streamline your back-office work.
Having access to a payroll provider can reduce the paperwork created by payroll runs and greatly declutter your back office. Whether you choose a provider that allows you to upload your payroll file, make payroll adjustments manually, or automate most of the work for you, a payroll provider can lead to a cleaner desk by reducing the number of files that need to be printed and compared.
Another great factor about some payroll systems can be having an employee database that ties physical documents to that employee. The ability to scan and upload a document to an employee makes it easier for you to reduce the paper clutter whether it is on your desk, in a box, or in a filing cabinet.
Having a database is also great because now you get to track their historical data such as position, wages, date of pay raise, and their hire/termination dates.
Let’s not forget that most payroll companies file state and federal documents for you, again reducing the number of documents you need on hand to manually complete those tasks.
Recap of having a Payroll Provider:
- Historical Data
- Dates for Hire/Wage adjustments/ Terminations
- Employee Database
- State New Hire Reporting
- Social Security Number Verification / Reporting
- EOC Reporting
Invoice management can be a time-consuming and costly task if you are still operating under the “old school” method of handling them. In today’s world of technology, there are many solutions available for you to streamline your invoice processing and handling, leading to a more efficient back office.
When you look for one, make sure they aren’t just selling or offering a piece of the solution, rather the whole gambit, otherwise, your costs will become too high as you rely on other third-party integrations.
You want to ensure that the solution you search out can handle scanning and storing your invoice or documents for easy viewing online through their platform.
You should also make sure they have a solution to provide you:
- Line-item details and breakdowns that go to the appropriate G/L accounts.
- Provide an easy method of detecting duplicate invoices.
- Provides an easy way to pay vendors or put an invoice on hold if there is a dispute.
Most importantly, you want a service that is outsourced so you do not have to train or pay an employee for the bulk of these tasks!
An additional benefit that Navrae provides is the inclusion of these services at no additional cost with our accounting solution.
Most companies charge around $100 extra for their invoice management and most software programs run you $200 per location to use; not to mention the cost you are paying for training your employee and that employee’s wage for using the system.
Recap of having a(n) Invoice Management System:
- No need for physical documents
- Scanned and saved in your software
- Search and View invoices with ease
- No check ledgers to balance
Now I know we are talking about eliminating clutter and how paperwork is part of that problem, but reports are the lifeline of your business!
When you are looking at outsourcing your back-office work to a bookkeeper or accounting firm, you are going to want reports on the health of your business.
A benefit for most companies today is the ability to generate reports through their software and view them on your computer. This can lead to a back office that is less distracting.
Choosing a company that gives you full rights to your data might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of companies charge for additional access.
Payroll companies and even large accounting software companies either charge you an additional per month fee or just absolutely restrict the right for you to access your business data.
Navrae allows you full access to whatever data you might need at no additional charge. We also can build out customized reports for you and set them up for automatic delivery whenever you need them.
Having a complex report built for you can make your life less stressful since that is one less thing on your desk for you to worry about.
Whether you want to pull data into an Excel sheet to play with your numbers, or you need a report built out and delivered daily, weekly, or monthly, Navrae can handle that.
Recap of having a Report System:
- Reduce your reliance on excel sheets
- Own your data