You're the strongest link in your firm and you feel proud of it. However, you're the one everybody races to when there's a fire that needs to be put out. You're also the person that gets all the leftovers from everyone else's to-do-list. Most of the time, your desk is stacked high with other people's paper and problems.
There isn’t a magic wand to make your to-do-list disappear but there are a few practical tips for helping you navigate the sometimes thankless world of being an office manager.
Automation is Your Friend
Imagine it's 8 a.m. on a Monday morning. Your firm's managing partner races into your office pleading with you to process an expense reimbursement from a client-related event over the weekend. You smile, say “Good morning!”, and then ask “Why didn’t you scan the receipt into your phone? There could have been a check waiting in your mailbox. Now you’ll have to wait until the end of the day.” Find a software program such as BillQuick or ArchiOffice that can automate your tasks, like processing expense reports, and teach everyone in your firm how to use it.
Get Rid of Paper
Timesheets still provide vital pieces of information to the owners of professional services firms. But do your employees still need to put a physical piece of paper in the mailbox every two weeks? Getting rid of paper means less time you have to spend organizing it. No more three-ring binders! All the time and expense data you need can now show up on a dashboard within your favorite program.
Don’t Skimp on a Phone Headset
You’ll be on the phone a lot calling everyone from insurance companies, software companies, IT firms, copier machine maintenance, paycheck processors, and even your bosses! Instead of being chained to your desk every time you’re on the phone, having a headset will give you the freedom to move around the office and complete other items on your to-do list while participating in a conversation.
Find Software Companies with Great Customer Service
With more professional services firms becoming automated and paperless, more trust is placed in your firm’s software to function properly 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. If something does go wrong, you need it addressed ASAP. Many software companies make customer service a priority, oftentimes returning phone calls within 30 minutes.
Ask Your Boss to Cut You Some Slack
You're happy to lend a hand whenever you can. However, you don't want your professional world to be turned inside-out because of someone else's emergency or mistake. During your next evaluation, ask if you could discuss parameters for which it would be acceptable to say "No" to someone who asks for a favor. If you have other issues that need to be addressed, you might be surprised how receptive your boss may be if you bring up your grievances in a diplomatic manner.
BQE Software offers intelligent project management and billing solutions for professional services industry that are designed to help increase performance and productivity through streamlined processes and integration.