The concept of virtual accounting isn't anything new. It's been around for a while, yet a lot of accounting firms have struggled to move to this business model. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have had to make this transition, and they had to do it on the fly. If you're making a switch to virtual accounting, here's a few things to keep in mind.
Having your employees work remotely is going to change things up a bit and this change may be a bit daunting for yourself and your employees. They may have children at home, or they may not even have the right equipment at home for this. The first thing you want to think about is how you're going to keep your employees connected. All meetings that you have should be proactive for support. You can set up mediums for communication, such as live chats as well. This will help support communication, camaraderie, and the company culture. There should also be face-to-face video calls. This will add the human element to it that would otherwise be missed. Set up regular times for department and company-wide meetings. It's also important that employees can communicate with each other. Emphasize an "open-door policy" for video calling between employees. This way, employees won't feel that they are separated from each other and alone on an island.
Another thing to think about is how you are going to maintain a community in a virtual format. What about things like hosting a happy hour or sharing lunch? You can accomplish this by giving each employee a gift card and then setting up a video call to experience happy hour and lunch together. This will help keep the community vibe alive.
Your clients are used to dealing with you in the physical presence. You have employees that typically meet with clients face-to-face or you have clients visiting your place of business. How you typically deal with clients will have to change and you can use software for this. Consider moving to a cloud software-based program for virtual accounting and to deal with clients. This software will help you to communicate with clients and also provide a safe portal to send documents. Setting up video calls should also be a part of your strategy to engage with your customers. You want to maintain a human touch with clients and never have them feeling left out or distant from your operations.
Making the switch to virtual accounting will change up your company processes. It will change how you do work. Try to document these changes so that you can always revert back to previous processes. Keeping a tight process on how your company handles its accounting will be a key driver to being successful while virtual. Many businesses felt that could never go virtual, but are now are realizing that they can successfully do it.
The Firm's Cash Flow
You can't stay in business and serve your clients without the right cash flow. You need to keep the virtual lights on and pay your employees. Pay your employees electronically. This will let you know how much cash you have. In addition, make sure you have the right employees in place to be proactive about your clients paying you promptly. Get paid timely from clients and pay your employees on time. This will help your company stay in business.
Employees, clients, company processes, and cash flow are all the four elements you need to consider when transitioning to virtual accounting. These are the four things that can be impacted by the change. Give full consideration to each element. That way, your company will be able to thrive in the future.