Remote work became vital in 2020 and is not backing down. More and more accountants are working from home or other remote locations. A Gallup study found that 3 in 10 people in the US work exclusively remotely.
Working remotely allows accountants to work from anywhere and any time, providing more flexibility in their work schedules. It's a way to reduce the time and money spent commuting between home and work. From the perspective of a business owner, remote work helps reduce costs - no need to pay for ample office space, furniture, or utilities. Also, a study conducted among 12,455 employees found that the option of remote work increases employee happiness by 20%
While this can be a great way to achieve work-life balance and enjoy greater flexibility, it can also present unique challenges regarding staying productive and motivated. Here are some tips and strategies for staying on task and achieving your goals as a remote work accountant. There's a paragraph specifically for accounting firm managers on every topic to learn how to make your employees' lives easier when working remotely as an accountant.
How to create the perfect working space for an accountant's remote work?
One of the most significant things you can do to stay productive as a remote working accountant is to create a dedicated workspace. It should be a quiet, distraction-free area where you can focus on your work without interruption.
Some of us enjoy the hustle of a cafe, and others can't deal with any distractions. The only way to find out what suits you is to try out different locations like cafes, the library, a co-working space, or even other areas in your home. You never know what kind of inspiration you might find in a new environment.
Sitting for hours on end can be draining. Use a standing desk to mix up your work routine, or invest in a good chair. Office chairs can be expensive, but you spend 40 hours a week sitting on the chair for years. The benefits a more expensive chair has on your posture are worth more.
Good lighting is key. Ensure that your workspace is well-lit and has adequate natural light, which can help reduce eye strain and headaches. It's also easier for the eyes if your workspace is clutter-free.
If you're the manager of an accounting firm, assure your employees that you encourage working from home or remotely. Provide necessary equipment, if needed, like computers and noise-canceling headphones.
- Create a dedicated workspace with good lighting, comfortable seating, and no distractions.
- Try different locations like cafes or the library to find what suits you best.
How to stick to my work schedule?
Another key to success as a remote work accountant is to stick to a schedule. This means setting regular work hours and sticking to them as much as possible. A consistent routine will help you stay focused and productive and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Family members or pets can be a distractive factor when working from home. It can be challenging for those who need a quiet and focused workspace. The solution is to tell your family you need peace during working hours. Giving your family or pets attention at a particular time is an excellent way to incorporate hourly breaks into your work day.
If you're the manager of an accounting firm, set clear expectations for the working schedule and give your employees ways to prove it to you. For example, implement work management software. The key is to be an example, so accountants don't think you are setting unrealistic expectations.
- Create a consistent routine for your work day to fulfill your daily working hours.
- Set up boundaries for family members or other distractions at home.
How can technology help a remotely working accountant?
Working remotely as an accountant often means relying on technology to stay connected with your team and communicate with clients. Whether it's cloud-based accounting software, work management software, or video conferencing platforms, many tools can help you stay organized, communicate effectively, and manage your workload. We recommend using software that is made specifically for the accounting industry. For example, for managing working tasks, use Uku, the work management software made for accountants.
Cloud-based accounting software is your office's best friend when some or even all of the employees work remotely. QuickBooks, Xero, and e-conomic are among the most popular accounting software. When using the same software over the company, it's much easier to be on the same page about clients or other work-related topics.
A way to do work more fun is using a productivity app that turns your work into a game. For example, Habitica turns your to-do list into a role-playing game with quests and rewards for completing tasks. It may sound childish, but diversifying your work can be a great way to stay motivated and focused.
If you're the manager of an accounting firm, it's your responsibility to ensure your employees have access to software and know how to use it. After all, it is for the benefit of the company. You can even hire a project manager to teach your employees how to use the software.
- Use software to make work easier. Integrate cloud-based accounting software and work management software.
- Use a productivity app to make working more fun and efficiently achieve your goals.
How can accountants boost efficiency when working remotely?
Have you ever discovered you've worked hours without a break when working from home?
Getting caught up in your work and forgetting to take breaks can be easy when working remotely. However, taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining focus and mental health.
Schedule time for breaks throughout your day, and use that time to recharge your batteries and clear your mind. A study at the University of Illinois says you should take a short break every hour.
Another way to be extra productive is to take a short nap. When you're working remotely, it can be tempting to work through your breaks and keep pushing until your work is done. Taking a quick power nap can help you stay more productive in the long run. Set a timer for 20-30 minutes, close your eyes, and recharge your batteries. You'll be amazed at how refreshed you feel afterward.
- Don't get caught up in work! Include small breaks into your working day to rest your eyes and relax the mind.
- Take a quick power nap to recharge your batteries and get through the day.
How to stay connected with your accounting colleagues when doing remote work?
Even though you may be working remotely, staying connected with your co-workers is essential. Make an effort to communicate regularly with your colleagues. Don't hesitate when asking for feedback and support if needed.
Communication can be tricky when working remotely. Always use your camera when attending meetings to give your co-workers the feeling that you are on the same page.
If you're the manager of an accounting firm, plan team-building events that unite employees. For example, try out a cooking class or go on a hike together. This will help your team stay motivated and engaged and ensure you work effectively.
- Communicate regularly with colleagues to ask for feedback or support
- Use your camera when attending meetings so others know you are putting in the effort.
- Plan team-building events to grow a sense of belonging.
How to ensure your accounting firm manager you are working as effectively remotely as in the office?
One of the biggest concerns for managers regarding remote work is ensuring that their employees stay productive. To alleviate your boss's concerns, the easiest yet most effective solution is communication. To assure your supervisor, you are doing your best when working remotely:
- Communicate your progress and availability proactively.
- Set up regular check-ins with your manager to discuss progress and any obstacles you may face.
- Keep detailed records of your work with work management software. This helps you stay organized and provide evidence of your productivity to share with your supervisor.
- Be available during your designated work hours. Demonstrating your reliability and accountability can assure your boss that you work hard and contribute to the team's success.
In conclusion, remote work can be a great way to achieve work-life balance and enjoy greater flexibility as an accountant. However, taking proactive steps to stay productive and motivated in your remote work environment is essential. By creating a dedicated workspace, sticking to a schedule, using technology to your advantage, taking breaks, and staying connected with your team, you can thrive as a remote work accountant and achieve your professional goals.
How to make remote work easier for an accountant?
Try work management software. With software, you can
- Track the time you spend on tasks conveniently.
- Send automatic emails to colleagues asking for or delivering client information.
- Compose detailed reports about how much time I've spent on work.
Because work management software does it for you! Try out Uku.
These options are just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of ways work management software made for accountants makes the job easier. For example:
- Recurring tasks, which are standard in the accounting industry, appear on your dashboard when it's time to deal with them.
- Convenient time measurement provides a clear overview of the working time spent by clients, projects, and tasks.
- A thorough CRM helps you conveniently find and share your client data with colleagues.
- Comprehensive reporting and efficiency analysis help you visualize your workload and ask for a fair fee.
- Compose and send out invoices faster than ever before. Uku does them automatically based on the data you or your employees have entered.
Annika Lattik, a long-time Uku member, has said her office used to deal with invoices for two days, but now Uku helps her do the job in 15 minutes.
- Automate recurring emails and send them to clients directly from Uku. Most emails in accounting are similar, like reminders, data requests, or notifications.
The easiest way to discover all of Uku's opportunities are: