Often underestimated, the role of an Executive Assistant is complex and influential. In addition to their duties facilitating the Executives role, the EA must be the eyes and ears on the ground. They must see everything, hear everything, be trusted and well-liked by contacts both vertical and horizontal within the business he or she works for. Business leaders often rely on their EAs to be an impartial and empathetic barometer of the workplace culture, moods and opinions, as well as understanding other team members’ responsibilities and project statuses. An EAs day to day is diverse and demanding, relying on an aptitude for problem solving, quick thinking, high attention to detail and accuracy. Nevertheless, the role often involves highly repetitive and predictive tasks, or administrative duties that whilst hugely important to the Exec, don’t require a particularly high level of skill. These functions are often the ones that slip to the bottom of the priority list, piling up to the end of the month or end of quarter, and ultimately take away from the strategic and skilled elements of the role that are key to the overall health of the business. Here, our insider - a Senior Executive Assistant at KPMG, reveals the top Five things that EA’s should be outsourcing to a temporary staff member, in order to allow them to focus on what really matters.
1. Compiling Invoices
"Most organisations like KPMG will work with external contractors or retainers who need invoicing each week, month or quarter for correct payment to the business. Whether it’s a Law firm, a Consultancy or a Merchandising company, the hours worked and the services provided by each member of staff must be totalled and relevant fees calculated, and the correct tax fees added on. They will be compiled into a custom design or into a tool like Xero and must be sent out at predictable, timely intervals to ensure the best chance of timely payments. Even using software, the task requires a level of insight specific to each individual business to ensure they are correct month on month. Pre-vetted for quality and learning agility, a Weployee would be quick to pick up these internal insights and would be a valuable addition to my team for a few hours, or even for half a day each month or quarter to help compile these invoice accurately and efficiently, allowing Senior EAs to maintain more pressing tasks."
2. Creating info into Powerpoint Slides
"Presenting to clients, speaking at events or compiling keynote speeches will be one of the major tasks for a C-Suite Exec. They will often pass on the information to an EA to finish. There may be blanks that need to be populated with relevant statistics or references, and to ensure the key information is presented in an aesthetically pleasing and meaningful way to have resonance with the audience. At KPMG, when project work like this comes up at unpredictable times, it is often outsourced....but hiring a Weployee who can step in and hit the ground running is the smartest way for an EA to remain afloat whilst getting the project completed."
3. CRM data management
"One of the most important but least creative tasks a healthy business must maintain is the Customer Relationship Management system or CRM. The accuracy of the contacts, key information about their roles and the updated stage of their relationship with the business will enable internal teams across departments to perform their roles properly. In many cases this will be left to an EA who will have multiple other ad hoc priorities that will come up day to day, direct from the Exec. CRM data management is perfect for outsourcing. Depending on the size of the business, that $40 cost per week per one hour worked by a Weployee will more than pay for itself the following week when other staff members sign in and have all the correct information they need at a glance."
4. Email filing in cloud database
"For enterprise firms like KPMG, who have multiple team members working on projects at any one time, it is hugely important that there is full visibility of email data. With hundreds of emails sent and received each day - an Executive will often task their EA with the sorting and filing of these into a cloud-based server for internal records and visibility. It would make sense to have a temp staff member come in for some time each day or each week to organise this for me if I have other deliverables to get on to more urgently. If they are coming in regularly, they will get to know the inner workings of the business or my exec, and create even greater efficiencies."
5. Taking Minutes
"Oftentimes, EAs will be pulled into meetings across the business and tasked with the recording and distribution of the discussion and action points so that everyone is aware of what they're meant to be doing afterwards, non-present team members can be kept up to date, and there is a record of any agreements made. Having to sit in on meetings can be time consuming and take away from the day to day responsibilities or ad hoc, more urgent tasks an EA is expected to achieve. If these meetings were recorded, then transcribed and distributed by a contingent staff member, this would free up hours of my time and allow me to focus on what matters to the C-Suite member I'm actually employed to assist, and enable me to work to my strengths."