- Small businesses with inefficient admin teams and processes will lose time and money.
- Refine your processes and use automation instead of hiring more people to do the job.
- Other quick fixes include improving your team’s keyboard skills, using fuel cards, consolidating receipts and migrating to online documents.
Business and administration go together like tea and Tim Tams or the beach and a SPF 50 sunblock. One doesn’t work well without the other.
However, for many Australian business owners, routine admin tasks that seemed simple at first can soon be a showstopper. What was pencilled in as a Monday morning task before the office coffee dash can soon stretch to Wednesday’s urgent afternoon deadline.
This may sound like the status-quo for most small businesses trudging along. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are ways you can consolidate administration and prevent them from reducing your business’s output.
The negative effects of inefficient admin processes
Poor admin processes may seem like a small problem, but these smaller issues can easily snowball into bigger problems and spread to different departments. One of the most glaring issues with slow and inefficient admin processes is that they cost many business hours and a significant loss of productivity.
Instead of Matt from marketing and Jenny from accounts working on an upcoming campaign, they are now rescheduling that meeting to cope with overdue invoices and filing. This inefficiency may be the worst effect of poor administration but there are many more, including but not limited to:
- Loss of staff morale
- Loss of job satisfaction among employees
- Uncooperative departments
- Inability to meet deadlines
- Miscommunication and communication errors
What are the best ways to improve admin processes?
One common knee-jerk reaction for many businesses that have identified weak administration is that they hire more personnel to deal with it. However, this is not a cost-effective solution nor the right solution. In most situations, a poor performing administration team or a slow-working department is not due to a shortage of manpower.
Instead, it’s more likely that processes have not been refined. Therefore, we’ve rounded up three of the best ways to reduce admin tasks.
1. Improve your staff’s keyboard skills
Strangely, many office dwellers still don’t know how to type at a decent speed. They can’t type efficiently using all ten fingers without looking at the keyboard. Some may not even know shortcuts around their keyboard on certain programmes.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that millennials will be up to speed on these things. But that’s not exactly true. Most web surfing is now done on a smartphone which means those fresh grads are not always the most efficient with a desktop.
If businesses can help their staff who are lagging in keyboard skills, they can save many hours on administrative tasks. Whether replying to emails or recording data on a spreadsheet, both can be done faster with excellent keyboard skills and usage of keyboard shortcuts.
2. Consolidating receipts
One of the biggest admin tasks is dealing with receipts and invoices. This is one of the most important duties because they feed into other important processes such as staff reimbursements and submitting your tax forms. No matter how big or small your business is, you need to make these jobs less stressful and much more seamless. Here are some sure-fire ways to do that:
- Use fuel cards – fuel cards offer many diverse benefits for your business. If you own several company cars or a fleet of vehicles, you will benefit from these cards. One of the benefits is that your fuel receipts are kept online in a monthly statement similar to a credit card. If having all your fuel receipts in one online platform is the aim, then fuel cards are the name of the game. Just be sure to get the best fuel card for your business.
- Receipt trackers – fuel cards may be handy for some businesses, but all businesses can benefit from receipt trackers. There are many applications that will scan and record your receipts so they can be stored securely on an online platform – again freeing up desk space and consolidating your admin. Some of the best apps include Shoeboxed, Expensify and Smart Receipts Plus. Simply download them to your company phone and streamline one of the most important admin duties for your business.
3. Go green
Many businesses are reducing the amount of paper they use for the benefit of the environment. Often, they will change their paper forms for online equivalents on their website. The secret is that doing this also reduces admin tasks.
Swapping forms for online equivalents may not reduce your number of administrative duties but it does consolidate them. It also saves you space in the office and means many related administration tasks can be done online or even remotely.
One hurdle when moving things online is that you need to scan existing hard copies into an online format. This may require more time and additional personnel in the short term, but you will reap the benefits down the line.
These methods of reducing the time spent on admin duties are applicable to many businesses. Even if you implement just one of these methods, you will see the benefits over time. In doing so, you also create a better working environment for your staff which may lead to better staff retention rates and improved cooperation between your colleagues and departments.