In this episode of The Accounting Firm podcast, host Shahram Zarshenas interviews Alisa McCabe, the owner of First Step Financial. She owns an accounting firm with 10 team members and over 75 clients. He shares his valuable insights and strategies on how she creates culture and keeps her team aligned as a remote firm. This episode offers practical advice and actionable tips for accounting professionals and firm owners looking to attract and keep their team connected in their organizations.


Episode Summary:

Alisa starts by delving into the challenges and strategies of maintaining a happy and connected team in a remote work environment. As businesses worldwide have shifted to remote work setups, it is crucial for leaders to adapt and find effective ways to foster employee engagement, collaboration, and satisfaction. She also discussed valuable insights and practical tips for creating a positive work environment in a virtual world.

Key Takeaways:

Understanding the Remote Work Landscape (02:12 – 07:36)

  • Alisa explains the current state of remote work and its impact on employees’ well-being.
  • Discusses the challenges of maintaining team connections and the importance of communication and trust.
  • Emphasizes the need for employers to prioritize mental health support for remote workers.

Building a Remote-First Culture (09:05 – 15:17)

  • Alisa highlights the significance of establishing a remote-first culture within organizations
  • Explores strategies for building trust, encouraging collaboration, and fostering a sense of belonging among remote teams.
  • Offers suggestions for using digital tools and platforms to facilitate communication and teamwork.

Promoting Employee Engagement (16:02 – 20:15)

  • Alisa discuss methods for promoting employee engagement in a remote work environment
  • Highlights the importance of setting clear goals and expectations and providing regular feedback and recognition.
  • Explores the concept of virtual team-building activities and their positive impact on team morale and cohesion.

Overcoming Challenges and Pitfalls (22:03 – 28:02)

  • Common challenges and pitfalls that organizations may encounter in remote work settings.
  • Discusses strategies for addressing communication gaps, managing time zones, and preventing feelings of isolation.
  • Offers practical advice on how to overcome potential distractions and maintain work-life balance in a remote setup.

Prioritizing Employee Well-being (32:30 – 36:21)

  • The importance of prioritizing employee well-being in remote work environments
  • Discusses the significance of flexible work hours, mental health support, and encouraging healthy boundaries.
  • Provides tips for leaders to support their teams and create a healthy work culture.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Remote Work (37:59 – 42:12)

  • Insights on the future of remote work and how organizations can adapt and thrive in this evolving landscape.
  • Discusses the potential hybrid work model and the importance of finding the right balance between remote and in-person work.
  • Highlights the need for ongoing learning and development opportunities for remote teams.


As remote work continues to shape the way organizations operate, it is essential for leaders to understand the challenges and opportunities it presents. In this insightful episode of “The Accounting Firm Podcast,” Alisa McCabe provides valuable advice on creating a positive and connected remote work environment. By embracing remote-first cultures, prioritizing employee well-being, and utilizing effective communication strategies, organizations can successfully navigate the evolving remote work landscape and maintain a happy and engaged team.

Note: The timestamps provided are approximate and may vary slightly when listening to the actual podcast episode.