Remote Accounting Firms: 6 Must-Have Items For Your Toolkiton 21 November 2022
In case you haven’t noticed, remote accounting firms in the U.K. and abroad have been popping up at a rapid pace in recent years. Why is that? It comes down to two key elements.
“COVID-19 and technology have expedited the transition of many businesses—including accounting firms—to a remote work model,” says Jasmine DiLucci, JD, CPA, and principal at JD Tax Law and DiLucci CPA Firm. “It’s become the new normal for employers and employees alike—in fact, I've observed that there are significantly more applicants looking for only remote or hybrid positions now.”
Francis Fabrizi, accountant at Keirstone Limited, notes how the accounting industry has traditionally been one that requires employees to be physically present to render services. “However, many accounting firms are giving up on fighting this tradition and taking advantage of collaboration tools that enable them to work without face-to-face contact.”
Colin Smith, CPA and owner of CPA Exam Maven, says the extensive use of these tools is part of what caused a “grand rethink about how work is done in the accounting industry. Accountants simply don’t need as much in-person collaboration as other professions do. In fact, most accountants get their best work done when they have less distractions around them and don’t have a daily commute to deal with.”
DiLucci, Fabrizi, and Smith all agree that remote accounting firms are seeing significant benefits by embracing a remote work model. Remote workers can perform tasks from virtually anywhere with an internet connection, so there are no office space requirements. This means companies can spend less money on office supplies, allowing them to invest in better technology to assist their clients and employees.
So what do firms need to be successful while working remotely? Here’s what you need to have in your remote accounting toolkit, according to these three experienced accountants.
6 Things Remote Accounting Firms Need In Place To Succeed
1. Video Conferencing Software
Video conferencing not only makes it easy to communicate with clients and colleagues, but it also mimics the feeling of being face to face without having to be in the same physical space. “Screen sharing features are also great for participants to see what the presenter is demonstrating while hosting the meeting,” says Fabrizi.
2. Project Management Solution
“This type of software helps everyone involved with a project be able to easily see what tasks have been completed and which ones are still outstanding,” Fabrizi explains. “Managers and teammates will be able to easily identify tasks that are falling behind and know who to assist to push tasks toward completion.”
3. Asynchronous Communication Habits
Smith says adopting asynchronous communication habits enables information to travel more efficiently—team members can view messages on their own time. “Need to relay information from a recent client meeting to your staff? Instead of typing up an entire email or aligning schedules for a meeting, record a short video and share it with your team while the information is still fresh in your mind, and they can review it when it best suits them.”
4. File Sharing Software
Fabrizi says cloud-based file sharing systems are useful for remote working as they allow team members to access all documents securely without using up their computer’s memory and potentially compromising their own computer’s performance. “These systems also make it easier for teams to share important documents with not only one another, but also clients and other third parties.”
5. Time-tracking Tool
Many remote accounting firms use time-based billing as one of their pricing strategies. To this end, DiLucci recommends using a time-tracking tool “so you can keep accurate track of how much time employees are spending on various client projects. Using such a tool can also go a long way in improving your team’s time management skills.”
6. Results-Oriented Mindset
“The nine-to-five lifestyle may still reign supreme in many client-service businesses, but remote accounting firms should allow people the flexibility to do their work at the times that work best for them,” says Smith. “Working in different physical locations and time zones will present opportunities and challenges alike, but embracing that diversity and giving teams latitude to adjust their own routines while focusing on results will improve morale and help firms be more resilient to change.”
Add several tools to your remote accounting toolkit with one solution: Glasscubes.
Several digital tools were mentioned above because technology is a key component of a successful remote work model. But why use multiple tools when you can get a collection of essential collaboration features in one?
Enter Glasscubes, an all-in-one collaboration solution and client portal. Glasscubes helps accountants collaborate seamlessly with clients so you can focus on delivering great work and building long-lasting relationships. Keep track of multiple client projects with customised workspaces, securely store and share sensitive documents, assign tasks to clients or employees to complete, and more.
Glasscubes enables you to:
- Gather information from clients in a timely manner and automatically chase overdue or missing items
- Simplify communication with clients and strengthen your working relationship
- Ensure information is acted on as it is received by replacing repetitive actions with a custom, automated workflow
- Build custom workspaces to keep client work separated, and invite only relevant parties to access each space
Glasscubes is also security-minded: All data is protected by SSL encryption, and distributed across multiple physical locations across the UK to ensure high availability.
If you’d like a demonstration or want to see how other accountancies are using Glasscubes, learn more here.
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