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    I'm new to GTD Connect. Are there any threads discussing the application of GTD to particular occupations/professions? I'm a CPA. I've always had trouble dealing with some of workflow tools most accountants use. Such as:
    Timesheets -to record tasks billable to clients.
    Work schedules, tax return control worksheets (computerized or paper),
    (return data received, open items, input completed, return reviewed, return printed and collated, signed, mailed, mailed by UPS, Fed Ex, etc)
    Due date monitoring databases (for the enormous number of many different due dates- 1/30, 1/31, 2/15, 3/15, 3/20, 4/1, 4/15, 5/15, 6/15, 6/20, 7/15, 7/31, 9/15, 9/20, 10/15 to name just a few!!!) Only an accountant would know what I'm talking about.
    Not only does an accountant have an enormous amount of paperwork to do himself, all with firm deadlines, but he/she has enormous of amounts of work to delegate. Not only are there vast numbers of tasks in the future, almost all of them have to be recorded for billing purposes - who did what and for how long. Then, of course, we have to be concerned with all the other aspects of running and growing a business; marketing and sales, for me being the biggest concern.

  • #2
    Have never run across specific threads relating to occupations/professions. GTD is agnostic in it's approach ... so it transfers from one environment to another with out to much trouble.

    Additionally, there is great learning in looking at the issues and experiences of others.

    For your own business (and this is my take on your post), you appear to need assistance with day-to-day work (the run way) plus longer term (higher levels i.e. 10K trough 40K). A systematic approach that allocates time in proportion may be the best options (i.e. 80% day-to-day, 20% long term).

    Ultimately, it comes down to a disciplined approach to GTD (or any other system you wish to implement).

    Comment


    • #3
      I haven't seen any threads for CPAs specifically, but there have been several for lawyers. I'm neither a lawyer nor a CPA, but the two seem to have issues in common. Particularly the massive amounts of work and the firm deadlines. You might try searching for some of the legal threads.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        I am a consultant that travels every week and I had traditionally been very bad at the administrative part of my job. (Timesheets for client billing, time reporting for internal tracking, expense reporting, etc.) But the change since starting to use GTD has been dramatic in this area. I do most of my updates daily and at the worst I cover them during my weekly review on Friday afternoons.

        I have been doing it as I go instead of letting it pile up for weeks at a time and having it be this big ugly monster in the closet that I didn't want to look at. It has made a big difference for me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by davidtaxman View Post
          I've always had trouble dealing with some of workflow tools most accountants use. Such as:
          Timesheets -to record tasks billable to clients.
          Work schedules, tax return control worksheets...
          Please define "trouble", and maybe we can offer specific suggestions.

          Comment


          • #6
            CPA with thousands of projects

            Originally posted by Brent View Post
            Please define "trouble", and maybe we can offer specific suggestions.
            Thank you for responding. You asked me to define the trouble I'm having with the controls/lists that accountants use. The trouble is that as a CPA there are so many projects: 800 tax returns to do in one tax season (all kinds - personal income tax Corp Income Tax, Trusts, partnerships, payroll tax returns, sales tax returns, etc, etc. and in addition reviewing and adjusting client's books, preparing client's financial statements, tax research projects, etc. etc

            Each of the above has varyious next actions - many will be the same for many clients, many other clients will have different next actions.

            I believe that using Outlook is inadequate to handle this kind of project volume and next actions - there are simply too many. I think that the only way to handle something like this is to have several collection tools - Excel spreadsheets, due date monitoring software and time and billing software AND Outlook/PDA. The problem for me is there are five or six collection tools to which I must constantly refer. It isn't effective nor elegant enough.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, let's see... Each tax return is a project. I suspect you could use a standard template as the starting point for each, then customize according to the particular client's circumstances. That gives you a project plan for each return.

              I also suspect that you have a good idea how much time to allocate for each step in a more-or-less standard workflow for each return. Take the number of working hours until the deadline, divide by the number of hours needed per return (plus a safety margin), and you get the number of returns you can handle. That tells you whether you can accept new clients, whether you need to hire more people, etc. It also gives you a rough plan for what you need to accomplish in any given week.

              So what about the work itself?

              I suspect you'll find that much of the administrative work can be batch-processed: mailing returns, invoicing clients, etc. are obviously batchable tasks. So you might want to group all of these tasks together, either to do yourself at regular intervals or to delegate to an assistant.

              For other kinds of work, you'll have to decide where the natural break points are and what things are batchable. That is, does it make sense to do all of the Schedule Cs for all of your self-employed clients, or to complete Client A's return, then Client B's, and so forth. Looking at those break points helps you decide what to do in any given interval of time. Those decisions also define how you'll want to set up your NA lists: what the contexts are, how granular you want to be, etc.

              That information, in turn, tells you how to set up your tools. If it were my system, I would want to keep the surface view as clear as possible. That is, I would want a clearly defined list to tell me *which* returns are currently the most important, and what the next actions are for those returns only. And I would want to be able to look out a day, a week, or months in advance, depending. Outlook is pretty good at that kind of reporting. It's also used widely enough that there's a good chance at least some of the specialized accounting-oriented packages will interface with Outlook.

              Beyond that, we're getting into accounting-specific issues that are outside my expertise. But I hope this helps you think about what the right system for you might look like.

              Katherine

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