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How to spend more time doing valuable, high-impact work

Written on May 1, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Mike-FrankThe programs you use every day can make your life faster and easier, but first you need to let go of old misconceptions, said one tech expert.

“One of my favorite statements to make is that none of us has a job description that says spend as much time as you can on Microsoft Outlook,” said Mike Frank, a technical instructor at MAX Technical Training Solutions. “And yet we find ourselves doing that, whether it's with Outlook or whether it's with Excel.”

Frank will discuss Office365 on Aug. 22 at OSCPA’s Accounting Technology Conference, and he’ll cover the various programs and online apps. He said users should embrace new technology and learn how it can improve work performance.

“It's been a developing process for some time and our business world is just going to become more of an online business world and less of a standalone business world,” he said.

Frank said he is often asked about sharing Excel data on a different network and how specific accounting applications like QuickBooks can integrate with Office365.

“As far as the online apps are concerned, a lot of the questions that I get are about access programs,” he said. “They ask if the apps are the same as the apps on the phone and how to make sure that the data is secure.”

He said he frequently must coax attendees out of bad habits. Because so many people are accustomed to filing cabinets, he said sometimes users waste time sorting everything into files, when a quick keyword search can locate what they need more easily. He said it’s a way to spend less time creating and navigating through folders and more time focusing on the important work.

Overall, Frank said he finds a general unawareness of what these programs can do.

“It's really more about just educating people and making them aware of the fact that these tools have so much more far reaching capabilities and can be applied to more business situations,” he said. “Then just kind of what their stereotype is.”

Wasting time typing and navigating programs that you don’t understand isn’t beneficial to you or your employer, he said, and it’s valuable to have a perspective on using these tools to achieve your goals.

“All of these are ways to get to the end results that we want,” he said. “Which is to be more productive, to be more collaborative, to feel less stressed, less pushed for time, because we can become better at doing things.”

Hear more from Frank and register for the Accounting Technology Conference now.