Manage multiple and similar projects

I work in the accounting department for our organization. There are four people primarily involved in the accounting work, and I’m finding it difficult to manage our department’s workload. My primary pain point is managing Accounts Payable. We have many vendors we use on a recurring basis so I set up templates within our Accounting team in Asana. Each template has sections (verify, record, pay, etc). Each section has the tasks that, the majority of the time, apply to that vendor’s bill (verify quantity, verify purchase price, record bill in QB, record payment in QB, pay vendor, approve vendor payment, etc). The template tasks have default assignees so there’s less guesswork associated with creating 10-30 projects a day for multiple vendors. The person who creates the projects is told to put the initial steps that are required as due today, just as a default, and put the final steps, which are payment-related, as due on the due date per the bill’s terms. This became very hard to manage, because if I wasn’t on a project it was difficult to determine where we were on our A/P or, if I was on the project, my task list became overwhelming with the sheer volume of projects/similarly named tasks due.

I created a Bill Tracking project with sections based on the type of task (ex. verify invoice, record in QB, pay vendor) in order to have a bird’s eye view of the A/P process. All the A/P templates are tied to this project, so they’re added automatically. It’s helpful to see what payments need to be made this week, or which invoices we’ve had for a week but the person assigned to it hasn’t looked at it. This is important because just because we’ve gotten an invoice doesn’t mean it’s in our accounting system because it may not have been verified, and knowing it’s close to being due helps to prioritize which invoices we need to look at sooner rather than later. But the problem I’ve found is that this has been overwhelming in a different way.

I’m concerned that having a project for each bill is the wrong way to go about managing the A/P process. The rest of my company is in Asana, and I’d like to find a solution that works for my department. Does anyone have any tips on how to manage their workload that (1) involves a high volume of similar but different projects and (2) involves multiple people?

This could be automated having the correct timeframe setup on the project and choosing today as the new start date when creating the project from the template. (automatic date shifting is the name of the feature)

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How many tasks per project do you have? You create 10 to 30 projects per day?

Yes, depending on the number of bills we receive. 10 to 15 is probably more of a resonable daily number, but it has gotten pretty high before. We have at least 5 tasks per project.

My intuition is that a bill should be a task, not a project, especially because you get so many. Then each bill should be part of a “all bills” project that has many useful custom fields like amount, payment due date, payment status, follow up status etc. And with a couple of reports (advanced search saved) you could watch over everything. Would that work?

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