Time Flies ... Are You Having Fun?

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” This quote from Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Annie Dillard sums up one of the greatest challenges facing most of us today. Our time is truly our most precious commodity. Everyone has exactly 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in each hour. And no matter who you are, you just can’t buy more time.

So how do you make the most of the time you DO have? How can you get more done (something with which everyone in today’s business world is tasked) in less time and, in many cases, with fewer people resources than before? What is your time worth? Are you making the most money by focusing your valuable time on the high-level revenue producing areas of your business? When you look at technology purchases for 2008 from this perspective, suddenly (I know for myself at least) it places the priority of my time back at the top of the list, and the tools that can help me work smarter rather than just longer hours increase in value significantly.

This issue and many of the upcoming webcast events we have in the month of November focus on how technology tools can assist you in managing your time wisely, thereby helping you increase your productivity and profitability by letting technology solutions and devices do what they do best in automating certain parts of your business. This, in turn, allows you to do what you do best — apply your expertise and knowledge to the areas where your clients need your help (and are willing to pay for it!).

Here are just a few specific items you should look at as you consider ways to save time and increase revenue (and if you aren’t in that boat, please send me an e-mail and tell me your secret to picking the lottery numbers you played to win the last jackpot!):

  • Time & Billing Review — If you are not tracking the time you and your staff are using, how do you really know if you are making a profit, breaking even or taking a bath? Check out the reviews that begin on page 22 (and refer back to the Practice Management review from our October issue at www.CPATechAdvisor.com/go/1767 for additional solutions).
  • Save time searching — Do you ever get lost in search engine space? You start off looking for one thing and end up hours later reading about weird facts or people you never knew existed (maybe it just happens to those of us that are easily distracted!)? Help is here in Part 2 of “Know Your Search Engine,” where Isaac gives some additional pointers that will help you narrow your search path significantly.
  • Randy presents Part 2 of his firm infrastructure checklist in this issue, as well, to give you quick and easy-to-digest info that will allow you to rest easy knowing your infrastructure is done right.
  • Lisa’s List of Top 5 Excel Strengtheners will definitely save you time and allow you to take advantage of a technology tool that’s already in your box.
  • Heard of “utility computing?” If not, check out Brent’s column. This could save significant time and money in the not-too-distant future.
  • Greg reaches nirvana (in at least one area of life, and that ain’t half bad). Read his column to see where zero data entry is actually a reality and read about an exciting new tool on our website that will save you time in looking for the perfect Document Management System for your firm.

Technology should allow us all to maximize our time so at the end of the workday we are spending our evenings and weekends doing what we love with the ones we love. See our Productivity in Practice profile to learn how one accountant has done a remarkable job on both fronts.