12 Workflow Tips to Create a Stronger Virtual Firm



Working in 2020 has been anything but business as usual. Since the spring, regular business processes and workflows have been upended as a global workforce has been forced to operate from home and the demand for remote solutions has skyrocketed.

Most accounting firms were able to react quickly, implementing temporary solutions to keep their remote employees up and running. As the year has stretched on, though, most of us are realizing that we won’t be back in the office anytime soon, at least not in any way that looks like what we were used to. Temporary solutions have given way to a newfound appreciation for cloud-based tools that make long-term remote work sustainable.

The key for accounting firms that want to succeed going forward is to find the right cloud-based practice management tools and processes that integrate with current workflows to allow for seamless functioning through whatever uncertainties arise.

The New Realities of Remote Work

Working remotely has forced accounting firm employees and their clients to be more flexible toward everything from time zone gaps to at-home interruptions, and factors like time and location have far less influence on when or how work is getting done. Asynchronous tools like email, Slack, Google Docs and cloud-based practice management systems are more popular than ever, since they offer fluid information sharing and the ability for one person to easily pick up a project or activity where another left off.

The key to making the most of these tools for collaboration, though, is having effective workflows built around them. Workflows offer much-needed structure at a time when many employees may feel they’ve lost control over their daily routines and the ability to connect with others. Whenever the business environment shifts, workflows need to be reevaluated and adjusted. Implementing systematic workflows throughout the practice management lifecycle is crucial for accounting firm efficiency in the new normal.

Practice Management Lifecycle: Remote Workflow Examples

The practice management Lifecycle model identifies 12 elements that represent the sequence of core activities that firms take on to support clients and manage business, from new client prospecting through final reporting and analytics. In current times, accounting firms need to focus on being able to handle each of these aspects remotely or in a virtual environment with the help of the right practice management and cloud solutions.

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Source: CPA Practice Advisor

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