If more firm owners knew how productive their employees are when working from home, they’ll be more eager to take full advantage of this new work reality.
In a 2022 research by career expert, Zippia, 94% of employees said they were more productive working from home than working in the office. Similarly, employers in this PwC survey said their collaboration, employee onboarding, and client relationships improved when they switched to remote work.
With remote work, employees spend less time (zero time, actually) commuting to work, experience fewer social interactions, and have more time to balance their work-life engagements. All of these make for a more productive staff.
If you’re running or considering a virtual accounting firm, you’re in good company. We have made this short and sweet list of accounting work from home productivity tools that will help your employees do the most in the shortest possible time.
In-office teams complete a lot of business functions by just going from one desk to another, one office to another. Stripped of that luxury, accounting work from home teams have to replicate those processes to complete business functions while working from—possibly—different corners of the world.
These distributed teams rely on tech tools to help them manage:
Work from home collaboration tools enable accountants to work on client work with the same clarity (if not more) as when they work together in the office. These tools allow them to organize tasks and find the information they need to complete client work on schedule. They also inform team members of their assigned tasks and how it relates to those of their teammates.
86% of employees attribute their company failures to poor communication. It’s easy to see why.
When your staff cannot find accurate information to do client work correctly, they will make errors and spend more time on rework. Plus, your client will be forced to take their business elsewhere.
Remote (cloud) communication software solutions have made team communication significantly better. They not only enable employees to share information, but they also allow them to share it in time and context. They don’t need to jump in and out of many applications to connect the dot between internal or external interactions because most communication software solutions allow for an audit trail of staff and client communication.
Client deliverables depend on your ability to track task progress, understand what work is getting done (versus what is due or overdue), and analyze where your team is spending time.
Work management tools allow you to do these and more from your workflow dashboard so that you can make informed decisions that improve your firm’s work quality and delivery.
Report: Financial Cents State of Accounting Workflow Automation 2023.
File sharing has to be easy for the sake of client experience. But beyond that, data security is a huge deal in accounting because of the sensitivity of the information clients share with their accountants.
A good file-sharing software should protect your client’s receipts, invoices, checks, passwords, and entity documents during the transfer from your client’s browser to your client portal and when stored in your client management software.
Although there are reduced social interactions for work from home employees, a hyper-connected internet makes doing deep work difficult. Distractions are just one click away.
Focus Apps can help your accounting staff concentrate on client work by blocking distractions from non-work-related websites, social media, and digital notifications.
Remote working is the future of work, but it also has its challenges. Identifying and addressing them will keep you ahead of other work-from- home accounting firms.
Whether it’s looking up industry breaking news or chatting with friends and family, work from home employees are exposed to distractions that could affect their ability to do the deep work their tasks require of them.
And because you’re not physically present to hold them accountable, they are more likely to indulge in these time-wasting activities. But you can address this with a focus app.
Working from home can get lonely as your employees will not be able to interact with their colleagues as usual.
For the average person, out of sight is out of mind. It’s easier to lose your company culture in virtual accounting.
This can result in boredom, low work quality, and errors leading to a myriad of issues.
Your remote staff can only function to their optimum if they can access the files and information they need to do work.
If you don’t get the right accounting workflow software for your firm, your distributed team will struggle to meet client deadlines.
Remote work is a recipe for work-life balance, but as you can expect, this is not so for a few workers.
This group struggles with closing work for the day to do other things that are important to them.
More Resources for You: 7 Ways to Build a Collaborative Remote Work Culture in Your Accounting Firm (+ free team meeting agenda template)
You may also be interested in our review of The Best Accounting Practice Management Software options.
Effective Communication improves productivity, employee engagement, and client service because it makes information available for the accurate and timely execution of projects.
The following software solutions will help your work from home teams share and receive the information to avoid guesswork.
Slack’s instant messaging capability allows teams to send and respond to messages on the go.
It also helps accounting work from home teams simplify their email. They can track their internal interactions in Slack, and make more room for clients in their email inboxes since clients like to communicate by email.
Channels: Slack is so robust that you can create channels exclusively for a select number of employees that are relevant to a specific work.
Search is another powerful feature in Slack that allows teams to find specific information among several interactions.
All you need to do is type what you’re looking for in the search field. You can even select the format of information you need by clicking on either Messages, People, Files, or Channels.
Slack also allows teams to share and store files safely and other team members can find those files by searching for them in the search bar.
Here’s how to start using Slack
For more information on creating or running your slack group, refer to this link.
Zoom has become a favorite communication tool among professionals mainly because of its video and audio conferencing capabilities. Accounting teams use Zoom for internal and external communication when they want to see the people they are interacting with on video.
The fact that attendees do not need to have a zoom account to attend a zoom meeting makes it accessible to more people.
So, with your Zoom account, you can meet with clients, speak with your staff, or interview a candidate from your home.
To start using zoom for our firm’s communication needs:
Zoom’s Free Plan is free for up to 100 attendees per 40-minute meeting. But if you want to enjoy its advanced communication features, you’ll need the
Chasing clients for additional files to do their work can cost your firm up to 10 or 15 hours a week. And using the wrong tool can make sharing more difficult for your clients.
Use these software solutions to securely receive client files for your remote team to do the work you’re proud of.
Financial Cents makes receiving files from your clients significantly easier. For one, they will not need to create a username or password. Financial Cents uses secure magic links and verification codes to secure clients’ access.
Once you create a list of tasks for them, they will receive an email with a link to follow to upload the relevant files.
Once they open the client portal, they will see the list of files you want them to upload and upload them accordingly.
Financial Cents uses Secure-Socket Layer and Transport Layer Security to protect your data during transfer between your browser and Financial Cents storage.
The following accounting workflow management tools will help you track work, staff, and clients so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Financial Cents gives you a bird’s eye view of your firm to see where your team may be missing the mark. Its workflow dashboard shows you the high-level information you need to make informed decisions on your firm.
To see granular details about client work, one click on any client work will open the project details to show you the accompanying tasks, subtasks, dependencies, and any other project-related information.
Financial Cents’ work management features include
Financial Cents costs
Basecamp allows you to manage your distributed team’s work schedule and track progress.
Its home page allows you to create projects for your team, reassign work to your staff, and track who is working and who is not.
Basecamp To-do lists also allow you to create and assign a list of tasks to your team members for easy implementation.
Here are more of Basecamp’s work management features:
Wrike helps teams meet their project management needs by presenting everything they need to plan, perform and track work in their dashboard.
To get the best out of your project dashboard, Wrike offers
Wrike has a free plan, but most of its features are only available in the
You may be interested:
2023 Report: Financial Cents State of Accounting Workflow Automation
Most accounting tasks are repetitive. Yet, failure to pay adequate attention can result in a mistake that compromises your clients or cost them their hard-earned money.
Use these focus apps to arm your team to protect their attention.
Dewo is a software solution that helps professionals concentrate on doing deep work when users hit the “Focus” button.
The Focus button immediately silences notifications across their devices, enabling them to work without digital notification distractions.
If you do this long enough, Dewo will learn your productive pattern and can help you automatically mute distractions during your productive hours.
In a nutshell, Dewo helps you to
Dewo is a free product but may become paid in a few months or years.
FocusMe helps work from home employees conquer their distractions by controlling their online habits.
This is particularly helpful for employees suffering from social media, streaming, or online gaming addictions.
It improves productivity by
Remote work has enormous benefits for accountants, but all that potential will elude your firm if you don’t assemble the right tech stacks for your team to do their best work.
The productivity tools above are some of the best on the market. While offering standalone features like collaboration, others—like Financial Cents—are full-on practice management software for accounting teams that combines all the features your accounting work from home team needs to thrive.
Using Financial Cents saves your team the stress of jumping in and out of different apps to get work done. Don’t take my word for it; try it for free today.