Published Date: May 13, 2020 . Last Updated September 8, 2022
Remote work is not something new but it’s been out and about for more than a year now. Lately, the number of remote CPAs has increased in the past two years out of the necessity of working from home due to the worldwide epidemic. The businesses now are secluded from operating full or even partially hired CPAs, who do not mind remote accounting jobs.
Remote CPA firms that are looking to staff remote CPA professionals want someone who has the round skillset, strong functional knowledge, and IT proficiency (that goes without saying). Remote work requires high communication skills so the CPA must also be able to collaborate on a Zoom call or whatever medium of the channel you opt for.
A poll conducted last summer 2020 showed that only 4% of 223 CPA firms were headed for full digitization due to pandemics. About 61% of firms had remote talent while the other 27% wanted to work in-house.
If you happen to be an accounting professional wanting to improve working remotely effectively, this article will provide you with the tried and tested hacks to work as a remote CPA.
Can a CPA Work Remotely?
CPAs are the Certified Public Accountant. They can work from anywhere in the world, where
Remote CPA firms are known to hire accountants, bookkeepers, and CPAs from all over the world. With the tax season approaching fast, work for an accountant is bound to increase soon. These days accounting work is digitized, which is a good thing, so it can be done online.
So if you are an accounting professional with the degree or certifications as a CPA, then you can find some conclusive hacks to make it work. Once the remote work setup is active, a remote CPA can become productive using the right tools.
It’s a successful career for those who can sit in the comfort of their home and still make good earnings. It’s a win-win.
8 Productivity Hacks for the Remote CPA to Work Effectively
By the time the pandemic ended, more than 81% of the firms are expected to be working with remote employees. As the economy flirts with the job holder, remote work provides a consistent form of income for many. Accounting work shows a remote flexible routine in the foreseeable future.
So if you are one of those accountants who can work from home, the following hacks will make things easier for you.
You are a CPA. it is expected from you to be organized. But surprisingly, if you lack the experience, things can become messy.
A remote CPA has a better chance of managing their clients when organized. It’s time for you to experiment with the project management software. Also, make a quality investment in a microphone. Noting is worse than losing connectivity or low sound quality during a video or audio call with the client.
It is important for remote CPA firms to provide effective accounting software like My CPA Dashboard that helps CPAs to maintain their work on a single dashboard. The use of professional practice management software for accountants will work wonders to enhance project transparency especially if you are a project manager managing your own team of CPAs.
One cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of no paperwork! Replacing paper checks and invoices with online payments is a MUST to do a thing.
CPAs have to cling to the checks like a bee to honey. Keeping a proper check and balance of the payments and invoices helps in auditing.
And of course, let’s not forget the tax filing. Any sophisticated CPA will make online payments, and use accounting software to keep full-fledged records. Better yet, automate the payments using the billing and invoice software.
The use of AI platforms is still sparse, but with the right tool, generating invoices results in high-value work.
Say Hi or Wave – Time to Collaborate
Remote CPAs sit on their chairs working behind a screen with almost a non-existent social interaction with their team members or CEOs for that matter.
Staying collaborative can be a tough call but it’s not impossible. To induce collaboration among the clients and team members, online interactions are crucial. Our advice: begin with soft introductions.
Then catch up with the rest of the tasks you want to discuss. Screen sharing mode is a really handy feature of Zoom and Skype. It gives an online visual illusion of being in the same room giving a better understanding of what the discussion is about.
You can share online documents without any worry using any of the cloud storage base portals like My CPA Dashboard or Quickbooks. Streamlining the files for the live view is easier too.
Avoid Over Efficiency
Sometimes it can be hard for accountants working remotely to recognize a fine line between productivity and being extra proactive. It’s great if you are working towards your goals and accomplishing them.
However, there don’t become annoying for your clients and team members. Yes, clients want someone who is active when it comes to their taxes and payrolls but the job of remote CPA firms is to provide a legal helping hand eliminating the fear of being shut down.
So be available in the emails. Keep them simple, precise, and relevant to the task. Avoid creating a longtail story tale. A strongly written email once a month (or as a requirement) will send the message.
Concision is the Key
No drama! CPAs working remotely must understand that to shine out in your work means that one needs to make their time count. Want to communicate? Write an email. Want to assign a task? Use effective accounting software.
It’s best to organize the work schedule to work more effectively if a client sends an email, reviews it, and responds actively if it’s a query. Deliver the points of concern in your emails. Using the accounting software also allows you to send a direct message to the client or team members to avoid waiting for the email too.
If you find yourself overdoing a message, think carefully about the points you want to discuss. If it’s something you’d rather say, schedule a call.
Flexibility in Professional Interactions
It can be challenging for your staff to carry on business as usual when an accounting company works with you face-to-face and sets up shop in a conference room for a week. It can occasionally be upsetting, triggering an instinct to host or changing the dynamics of the workplace.
The majority of an accountant’s daily tasks actually involve information digestion rather than dealing with important stakeholders. Giving your accountants a batch of invoices or many Excel spreadsheets is typical; these are papers they need time to review. Collaboration isn’t necessary at all for these tasks.
Accounting professionals can do their work without being distracted or experiencing the hosting inclination when they work remotely. It’s simple to start a video conversation when you need to meet to catch up on progress and provide further details or clarifications. Almost often, this intense attention leads to quicker and better results. That also holds true for emergency situations: on the same day, everyone can join a video conference call if they require quick assistance with a crisis.
Technology is an Aid, not a hindrance
Over the past few years, integrating digital technology has been crucial to business success, and by this point, many companies have mastered the technology necessary to enable seamless remote work.
Accounting workflow management tools provide easy solutions for managing accounting workflows ensuring all the documentation that is necessary for a successful client engagement framework. With checklists, visible workflows, and obvious indications of required paperwork, these tools are simple for businesses to utilize. Such products are a key factor in accounting settings’ increased productivity.
Platforms for video conferences are also crucial. Be deliberate in your use of these platforms. We strongly rely on them to establish and manage relationships for busy clients in an effective manner, as well as to periodically check in with stakeholders throughout an audit and throughout the year.
Time is one resource that is limited for each of us. Fortunately, everyone can make effective use of their time by working remotely with an accounting business. Working with a remote company saves time for CFOs, Controllers, and Executive Directors. Accountants do not need to spend time commuting and can function effectively from home. It’s simple to see how everyone’s time can be better managed through remote engagement when those advantages are combined with the workflow efficiencies provided by remote-first technology.
This also has intangible psychological advantages. A remote accounting staff checks out at the end of the day to spend time with friends and family, engage in hobbies, and unwind. They are prepared to go and will offer their whole attention when they return the following morning. Even more, clients can also save on flights, hotel rooms, and meals to get a triple win.
The Cons of Remote Work with an Accounting Firm
There are several difficulties when working remotely with an accounting company, and it’s not the best option for all businesses. Even while many accounting companies have created a strategy that tackles them, it’s still vital to be aware of any potential downsides to a remote-first strategy.
Keeping Secure Electronic Files is a Must
Modern arts and culture organizations must have a safe digital accounting system in order to succeed. For those who want to work remotely with an accounting firm, this is especially true.
It is quite challenging to carry out a thorough audit procedure remotely if a firm still employs paper-based filing systems. Of course, you can mail all of your documentation, but doing so is inefficient and prone to error. Thankfully, very few businesses still carry out accounting operations in this manner, and those that do are quickly switching to safe, digital-first methods.
Managing Emergency Situations
Occasionally, during an accounting assignment, an urgent emergency will arise. It can feel more difficult to manage possible pitfalls when a team of accountants isn’t physically present, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You’ll be able to stay focused on what’s vital if you have regular email or videoconference touchpoints. It’s simple to arrange a short video chat with your accountants to get professional assistance on pressing issues, and that’s true even outside of audit periods.
Building relationships can be challenging
Although many accounting firms have made substantial investments in developing client relationships through remote platforms, others find this to be more difficult than developing ties in-person. To get to know them better, to focus your team, and to give your organization exposure surrounding an audit, you might want your auditors on site.
Realistic goals help you become more productive. Working as a remote CPA allows ample time so that you can set a schedule that works best for you. There are several remote CPA firms that are flexible with their work regime.
To make it all count, you need to have sound discipline. Focus on that and everything starts to fall into place. Try the above-mentioned productivity hacks to boost your effectiveness and let us know how it goes for you.