What We've Learned About Going Virtual
We have never experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic; and it has had a tremendous impact on all industries, including accounting.
Faced with incredible challenges a vast majority of accounting professionals have shown resilience, deploying new workflow practices and ways of interacting with clients. Most notably, has been the move - by an enormous number of firms - to a fully remote working model.
What this pandemic has taught us, is that great work can happen anywhere. Organizational psychologist Dr. Rick Lash sums it up perfectly in his latest blog Don’t let a good crisis go to waste: Covid-19 is your leadership classroom when he states, “The most trying times are also the ones of greatest learning and personal growth.”
So, it’s no wonder that it is expected that many firms may actually consider having their employees work virtually moving forward.
And why not?
As reported by Dr. Jana Schmitz in In the Black Magazine, the remote working model triggered by the COVID-19 crisis, “fast tracked the implementation of new technologies” such as leading-edge, cloud-based practice management tools, virtual conferencing and secure portals. Accounting firms were able to demonstrate to clients that they remain productive and continue to deliver important audit, tax and advisory services when their employees were not in the office.
Do you intend to join all these other firms by going more virtual when the pandemic subsides?
Enabling your employees to work remotely means that you will have less need for physical space on your bricks and mortar premises. Eventually, costs associated with overhead as well as the need for storage thanks to cloud technology could be significantly reduced – which translates to a better bottom line for your firm.
Technology has made it incredibly easy to implement a virtual working model. There are technologies available that make it possible for your employees to collaborate with colleagues and clients and do productive work remotely.
What does going virtual mean for your clients?
Your clients want to be able to access information whenever they need it. Implementation of technologies such as portals will afford your clients this valuable benefit. Portals make it easy for them to transfer scanned slips, review returns and exchange signed documents.
Being perceived as a firm that is on the vanguard of virtual technology, will help you build your business. It’s a fact: prospective clients want to work with organizations that are on top of things - deploying tools that enhance workplace efficiency, increase productivity and foster better client/accountant interactions. And by embracing virtual technologies that keep you up to date on the latest tax changes and trends, you will position yourself effectively as a trusted advisor that potential clients want to sign on with.
COVID-19 has given many accounting firms the opportunity to demonstrate how a full or partial virtual environment should be an embedded part of their future. And many practitioners already have their feet firmly on that path to the future.