How to succeed with accounting project management
Updated: Mar 30
Are you in the middle of a new implementation project for accounting software? Trying to automate something in your accounting process? Or otherwise looking to optimize your close? If so, stop what you are doing....
Do you have a project management tool in place? Or are you still relying on Excel for tracking close checklists, reporting deliverables, status & timeline documents, etc.
Excel is a great tool for calculating, modeling, building forecasts, etc., basically anything around numbers. But, repeat after me ---- Excel 👏 is 👏 not👏 a 👏 project👏 management👏tool👏!! STOP tracking your status for discrete projects or ongoing obligations like accounting close and reporting here!
This has become a HUGE pet peeve of mine. I admit I am even still guilty of the same, because as a consultant, I am mostly forced into whatever tech stack my clients are using. Not deploying a project management tool with appropriate visuals like Gantt charts and Kanban boards leads to:
1️⃣ Wasting time - in meetings & back and forth emails, having status calls to understand where processes are and ETA, and having a constant barrage of messages from other internal stakeholders downstream in your processes, as they have no transparency into your status
2️⃣ Stalling - it's hard to tackle bottlenecks when you can't see where they are. If a task has been inactive on a kanban board, well, which subtasks caused this and what is the hold up? Who is responsible for it?
3️⃣ Overwhelm - have you ever stared at a close checklist with hundreds of lines and not known where to start? It's not fun. Even if you can technically try to filter for your department or name, and filter status for what is not yet done, it's still hard to know where to start. A board allows you to see the stream of work, what can't be started yet due to dependencies or outstanding information, then pick up a task and really zero in your focus on it.
Do yourself a favor and research what will work best for your organization if you don't have this in place already! I am no tech expert, although people like Ken Yarmosh and Ryan Lazanis, CPA have made me 💯 times more knowledgable in this area over the past months.
There are several out-of-the-box tools like Trello, Asana, monday.com, etc. for organizations. Because I can't pick one of these and give all of my clients licenses, I am exploring how to build this now within Notion and at least give clients read only access to see the project workspaces showing these charts.
Does anyone have other suggestions here? Am I alone in this pet peeve of mine? I hope not...