Mastering Remote Accounting

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote work in the accounting profession. This transition brings both challenges and opportunities for accountants as client expectations and work practices evolve. In this article, we explore emerging trends, essential tools and best practices for remote accountants. We’ll also highlight how ABLE CRM’s solutions cater specifically to remote accounting teams, helping to streamline workflows. Let’s get started!

remote accounting

The demand for remote accounting roles has surged, with over 600 such positions recently listed on Robert Half’s talent firm job board. Many accounting professionals now seek hybrid or fully remote arrangements, with 63% wanting a hybrid schedule and 47% expressing interest in full-time remote work.

While remote work was previously uncommon in finance, the pandemic nearly doubled its adoption among tax professionals as firms shifted to more flexible models. This indicates the profession’s move towards updated work structures aligned with modern client and employee preferences.

As remote work becomes standard, client expectations and accountants’ work patterns will continue evolving. Firms that implement flexible, remote-friendly systems stand to benefit the most in this climate.

Optimizing Your Remote Accounting Toolkit

Equipping yourself with the right technology is vital for remote accounting success. Essential tools include:

  • Cloud accounting platforms like QuickBooks Online for efficient data access and management from anywhere.
  • Document sharing and storage tools like Google Drive for centralized organization.
  • Video conferencing platforms like Zoom for virtual meetings and webinars.
  • Project managers like Asana for workflow coordination across remote teams.
  • Cybersecurity solutions for data protection.
  • Time tracking apps like Time Doctor for automated billing and invoicing.
  • Intuitive CRM systems like ABLE, tailored for accountants’ relationship management needs.

By effectively leveraging technology, remote accountants and firms can boost productivity, security and service quality.

Enhancing Client Relationships Remotely

Maintaining strong client relationships remotely comes with unique challenges when in-person meetings are limited. Accountants can overcome this through consistent and effective virtual communication.

Scheduling regular video calls or phone meetings with clients allows accountants to provide status updates, explain financial reports and answer questions in real-time. Setting cadences like weekly or monthly check-ins ensures clients are frequently informed on the progress of their accounts. Preparing agendas and talking points keeps these check-ins focused and productive.

Clear, comprehensive email communication avoids confusion while allowing detailed explanations and easy document sharing. Following up calls with summary emails outlining next steps provides helpful reinforcement for clients. Being concise yet thorough in email content prevents misinterpretations.

Video calls add helpful visual engagement compared to phone interactions alone. Seeing facial expressions and body language fosters better understanding between accountants and clients. Platforms like Zoom facilitate screen sharing for walking through financial documents collaboratively.

Most importantly, empathetically listening to client needs during calls fosters understanding and connection. Avoiding distractions and being fully present displays care for clients and their financial health. Implementing these best practices helps remote accounting pros genuinely connect with and serve clients.

Improving Remote Teamwork

In the remote world of accounting, fostering effective teamwork is crucial. Here’s how your team can stay connected and collaborate efficiently:

Regular Virtual Team Meetings

Use platforms like Zoom for consistent team meetings. This keeps everyone aligned and fosters a sense of community.

Shared Digital Workspaces

Tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams enable continuous communication and easy information sharing, essential for remote collaboration.

Effective Project Management Tools

Implementing tools such as Trello or Asana ensures clear task tracking and deadline management, keeping everyone on the same page.

Defined Communication Channels

Establish specific channels for different types of team communication to enhance clarity and efficiency.

Open Feedback Culture

Encourage a work environment where sharing ideas and constructive feedback is the norm, leading to innovative solutions and team growth.

Shared Accountability

ABLE’s dashboards provide a transparent view of each team member’s progress with their most important relationships. This insight fosters accountability and highlights areas where collaboration or support might be necessary.

Time Management and Productivity Tips

Working remotely presents unique time management challenges without the structure of an office. However, developing intentional routines and staying organized can boost productivity.

Here are some best practices:

  • Compartmentalize work and home environments. Have a dedicated office space if possible and set boundaries on working hours.
  • Minimize distractions by turning off notifications, closing extra browser tabs, using focus features and productivity tools.
  • Create a routine that delineates work time and personal time clearly. Mark breaks and finish times on your calendar.
  • Set daily and weekly goals to provide direction and a sense of progress. Break larger tasks into manageable chunks.
  • Leverage productivity features like time tracking and automated reminders to stay on top of tasks and client requests.
  • When you feel your attention wavering, step away and do a quick reset with stretches or fresh air.
  • Evaluate when you have the most energy and focus. Structure your schedule to tackle demanding tasks during your peak productivity periods.

Developing strong remote work habits takes effort but pays dividends for your efficiency and work-life balance.

Conclusion: Embracing the Future of Remote Accounting

The ongoing shift towards remote work and flexible arrangements is not a fleeting pandemic-driven trend, but rather a permanent transformation of the accounting profession and its landscape. As remote models become standard, the needs of accounting practices and professionals will continue to evolve at a rapid pace.

We invite accounting industry leaders to explore how ABLE’s purpose-built functionalities can slot seamlessly into modern remote work strategies. Our CRM solution helps to drive productivity, enhance client service and foster team collaboration. Let us show you how ABLE CRM can help master remote accounting best practices—schedule a demo today.