Your 2020 to-do list

Posted on Monday, January 6, 2020 by Nicole Fracasso

Each year Accounting Today creates a list of 12 tasks to complete throughout each month. This year’s list contains advice from backing up your software to encouraging people to vote.

January: First, author Daniel Hood recommends doing a full restore backup. Even if you regularly back up your technology, do a test to make sure it’s working. This can help prevent any emergencies that might take place throughout the year.

February: Hood suggests reviewing your cyber insurance. You can do this by contacting your insurance agent to determine what your insurance covers and if you need to add any additional coverage.

March: Utilize the month of March to share meaningful data with your staff. This should be something about the firm that hasn’t been shared before, according to Hood.

“Some suggestions: How much of your annual revenue is earned during tax season? How much more does the firm make on the average tax return than last year? What percentage of clients purchase more than one service from the firm?” writes Hood.

April: As busy season continues throughout April, Hood has suggestions on how to limit interruptions during that time. For example, when sending group emails, a response is not necessary most of the time. Hood recommends having the staff add NNTR (no need to reply) at the end of these emails to save time.

May: Take some time to clean out your desk and dispose of any items you haven’t used in the past six months.

“You’re not really going to need that many binder clips, and paper files should be digitized anyway,” he said.

June: Take the time to meet with a group of stakeholders to discuss what kind of culture the firm should have.

“Go beyond ‘we’re like a family.’ Every firm is like a family,” writes Hood. “Are you the kind of family that will fire a client for being rude to an employee, or are you the kind that expects staff to serve even the most demanding clients with very high standards?”

July: Hood suggest taking July to read a book that’s relevant to your practice. And if that book is good, share it with the firm.

“It could be about managing staff, or value pricing, or marketing professional services, or the potential impact of blockchain or artificial intelligence,” writes Hood.

August: Create a will for your practice. It may be a disturbing thought, but it’s important to have contingency plans for the office in case something happens to you, according to Hood.

September: Hood says to “check out some apps.” Choose a weak point within the firm and test out different software for determining how to solve it.

“They don’t need to be huge issues; the idea is to get used to trying out technological solutions on a regular basis,” writes Hood.

October: Work from home one day a week. This can help to determine how well your technology works for remote workers.

“If you’re not set up to support remote work, that’s your alternate task for the month,” writes Hood.

November: Hoods advice for November is short and simple, vote.

“Even if you think your preferred candidate is going to win in your state, vote anyway,” writes Hood.

December: Lastly, as 2020 comes to end, Hood says to “go through your calendar and remove every single recurring meeting.” Then review it before adding it back. You may discover that some meetings “outlived their purpose,” and you can start the New Year with more time.

Click here to view the to-do list and read what Hood has to say in full.


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