» More worried people = more interruptions for you

More worried people = more interruptions for you

March 19, 2009 by Carol Katarsky
Posted in: Best practices, Communication, Fringe benefits, Hiring & training staff, Latest news & views, T&E

Nervous vendors eager for payment. Cash-strapped employees who need their checks yesterday in order to pay their bills. When people have shaky finances, it means more phone calls and questions for Accounting pros. As tempting as it can be some days, turning off the phone and hiding under your desk isn’t an option. But there are some steps you can take to minimize the interruptions so you can get your work done — and still offer the assistance that everyone else is looking for. Here are some ideas:

  • Use voicemail creatively. Voicemail isn’t just for taking messages, it can send them too. Changing your outgoing message to include the most frequently asked-for info (what days checks are mailed, deadlines for common forms, etc.) can head off an amazing amount of questions.
  • Dedicate different lines for different tasks. If your phone system allows it, set up separate phone lines/voicemail boxes for your different internal and external “customers.” For example, you could direct callers with questions about vendor payments to one line, those looking for T&E reimbursements to another, and employees with questions about payroll or benefits to a third. That way, you can take care of related questions in one swoop, which should save time and mental energy.
  • Create a FAQ page for Accounting. If, like most Accounting pros, you get the same few questions over and over, it’s time to create a set list of answers. Posted on the intranet, or even sent as a quarterly “reminder memo,” it’s a quick way to spread need-to-know info that makes everyone‘s life easier.
  • Maximize your e-payments software. No matter what software you use to process direct deposits, reimbursements and other payments, make sure you’re taking full advantage of its notification tools. Something as small as being able to e-mail folks that their anticipated payment just got processed can reassure them — and save you from having to handle one more phone call later on.
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