Year-End Means Thanksgiving & Other Useful Tips

As we enter the second half of the year, you will look at this year’s goals and to-do list and wonder if you’re halfway there.

If you think you have until December 31 to complete your tasks for the year, think again. December is a bad time to start or be in the middle of a project. December is the time for year-end client requests, tax strategies, money transfers, holidays, and extended vacation time. Projects are placed on the back-burner until February because January is also a busy month for year-end reporting and client meetings.

That said, the next time someone says “let’s get it done by year end,” think Thanksgiving, not December 31. You can use December for small tasks, additional testing, or minor enhancements. This allows the new system or process to be functional by January.

Here are other useful project tips for your firm:

Factor in availability and willingness for projects

Consider your staff’s daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual tasks when scheduling projects. It isn’t a good idea to assign a July 15th deadline to someone who works on quarter-end client reporting and billing. If your staff is busy 40 hours per week before the project begins, how will they have time to work on the tasks?

Finding the right person to do the work may be a challenge. Not all employees want, or are fit, to work on projects. Some would love to forgo the daily grind of the back-office to work on new assignments, and others prefer the comfort of daily routines. Some projects require a big-picture thinker while other projects need someone who is analytical and detail oriented.

Have a great idea for a project? Before executing, ask “What can go wrong?”

The goal is to determine the project’s feasibility and know upfront what issues or problems may occur. Conversion projects and new processes will benefit from this exercise. This will enable you to minimize the problems that will arise during implementation and ensure a smoother transition.

The best person to ask? Many firms have an employee that is quick to offer negative opinions about anything. When someone comes up with an idea, this person is the first to say it will never work. Include this person in your review process – they will be happy to give you an earful of what can go wrong.

No availability or expertise to work on your projects? Let SG&A provide you with the resources

Advisors aren’t trained to be project managers, and neither are most vendors. SG&A works with firms on implementing the right solution. Hiring us gives your firm:

  • Industry expertise in the operations and technology areas

  • An experienced resource to aid in your firm’s implementation process without the overhead costs of a FTE

  • Your staff’s availability to focus on your clients while projects get done on time

  • An advocate for your firm’s needs, not the vendors’

Let’s work together to ensure those goals get done by year-end, or rather, Thanksgiving.

You may also be interested in:

When it Comes to Technology, Do Advisors and Vendors Speak the Same Language? (blog post by Susan Glover)

Operations and Technology Survey Executive Summary (Survey Results)

How to Choose the Right Technology to Streamline Your Business (Whitepaper)

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