Even before the advent of COVID-19, accounting firms had turned to remote accounting/cloud accounting to empower their staff to carry out tasks from virtually anywhere. The advent of the pandemic has hastened the technology adaptation to maintain a competitive edge and provide flexibility to work successfully from home. Employee expectations are shifting, and firms are discovering the benefits of working outside the office environment. We can expect the numbers to increase greatly, as the world adapts to the new way of going about conducting business remotely.
Need for a robust virtual setup
It is most essential to establish a solid and secure virtual infrastructure enabling your accounting team to work comfortably from home. In addition, coming up with relevant internal protocols and security measures will protect your client data and ensure remote productivity.
Access to cloud-based software
Workflow management is crucial for accounting firms. Secure file sharing and communication is simple when leveraging cloud technology. This ensures necessary access to clients on any tax, accounting, or payroll information, and helps generate necessary financial reports in a secure and encrypted manner. A stable and user-friendly platform for the exchange of information makes for a productive work from home environment. Access to a centralized suite of tax & accounting applications enables real-time updates, better virtual collaboration with clients, and above all, business continuity at all times.
Definitive internal protocols and security roles
Cybersecurity risk is a major concern for accounting firms. Keeping in mind the sensitive nature of client data handled, it is imperative to define internal protocols for information security, especially you’re your workforce is functioning from home. These policies must be readily at hand for reference, reviewed periodically, and include specific guidelines for working from home. Some measures include multi-factor authentication, protection in the form of antivirus security software, mandatory deletion of browser cache data, cookies, temporary internet files, browsing history, an encrypted password management application, and most importantly use of a secure encrypted Virtual Private Network (VPN) from home networks.
Some tips for a sane working environment from home
- Choose a designated space for your work. It provides consistency, helps gain focus and avoid distractions. It is important to communicate your working hours to your family and emphasize not being disturbed unless in case of an emergency.
- Understand that working less is more beneficial than working past your office hours. This helps prevent stress and facilitates spending quality time with family outside of your work.
- Dressing formally even when staying home is a good way to get into a professional state of mind before starting work.
- When working from home, be sure to stay off social media to maintain a high level of productivity. A little of your after-work hours can be spent on social media.
- The fact that you are working remotely does not mean the end of networking. Take a break from your virtual connections, gain some face-time with local businesses, look for potential clients, employers, and employees. Let your team understand the importance of interpersonal connections with a clear process definition, solid work ethics, and transparent collaboration.
- Manage client communications better, embrace the virtual options such as online portals to exchange documents, hosting solutions to access your work desktop, and practice management tools.
Outsourcing with remote accounting
As businesses react to the new challenges in an unpredictable marketplace, a cost-effective and reliable option would be to outsource accounting functions. Outsourcing bookkeeping & accounting functions provide organizations with increased scalability, improved financial efficiency, and agility to take advantage of the evolving demand without procrastinating on hiring, training, and retention hassles. Businesses that have engaged with trusted outsourced bookkeeping and tax return preparation service providers are a testament to the multipronged benefits on offer.
To make sure that your firm is well equipped to successfully navigate through the changing business landscape, turn to a trusted outsourcing service provider like GKM. GKM offers a wide range of options to ensure efficiency and productivity in your bookkeeping & tax return preparation services are maintained with top-of-the-class security measures in place.