What I’ve Learned from Running A Remote Accounting, Firm
Usually, when people think about accounting jobs and accountants in general, they imagine someone sitting in an office behind a desk, dealing with a plethora of files and meeting with clients. Working from home without any direct contact without the other parties might seem impossible. But nowadays there are many business accounting firms that are operating from remote locations.
At the beginning of my journey when I searched up for the possibility of finding an accounting job which I can do remotely, the options did not look that well. The majority of accounting jobs which were available for a remote location were mainly involving tax-related work, which was not what I was looking for because it does not align well, with my experience and I was not interested in that. After considering the amount of paperwork I needed to do as an accountant and how closely I needed to work with my colleagues at my office, I thought doing accounting business from a remote destination was not possible.
Now let’s fast forward to a few years later… I found a great job opportunity at a distributed company. Now I have prepared an office in my home that I am thrilled to work in.
Aside from being able to work at the comfort of home, I found several other benefits of working as an accountant remotely; which are as follows:
• The first benefit that you get from working as an accountant remotely is that you save a lot of money and time by removing transportation fair or fuel costs.
• Another great benefit that I get is opting for a healthy lifestyle. Working from home allows me to make healthy meals throughout the day, work in a clean office, and use the time I save on the transportation to workout at home or gym.
• Another obvious benefit is that you can work from any place you want. You can work at your favorite café or your friend’s house.
Lessons I learned while working as an Accountant remotely
Meetings: When it comes to business meetings with clients, there is not that much difference in working in-house and working remotely. When I worked in my office, most of the meeting was either scheduled or unscheduled, and there is no difference in working remotely. The only difference that you get is you will be conducting the meeting through online video calls. This saves a lot of time and money in booking a conference room.
Water cooler moments and Communication:
Communication is the key factor of any remote job, and the same goes for a remote accounting team. When you are working in an office environment, you will come across the needed information or data just by listening to conversations or observing your surroundings. You will get the context of what is happing with the rest of your team by simply watching them. When you are working remotely, you do not get such opportunities.
But there are a lot of new tools and online bookkeeping services that are specifically designed for such tasks. These tools help you spread to the word to your entire team even if you are conveying to one specific person.
Through these public communication channels, one can keep the rest of the team in the loop on what everyone is working on and stop your teammates to from feeling isolated.
Work: As far as working as a remote accountant goes, from my experience, I think it is not that different from working in an in-house office. My entire teams have weekly meetings; we work on shared files, we complete month-end financials together, 1:1 meeting, and we also ask each other for suggestions and their perspectives on the concerned tasks. We utilize could based apps to share files and our work with each other.
• We make use of Quickbooks online to run reports, add journal entries, import transactions.
• We share spreadsheets files with the help of Google sheets and Excel online, which allows our entire time to work on the same files at the same time.
• When we are writing company policies and announcements, we make use of Google Docs. It is a great tool for sharing work with the whole team, and it also allows everyone to make changes and editing suggestions.
Aside from these, we use several different tools to work in a similar fashion as working in an office environment. So these are the things which I have experienced and learned while working as an accountant remotely.