How to manage a remote accounting team?
In recent years, remote work is becoming increasingly popular, whether it’s to reduce costs, address labour shortages, or create a better life balance for employees. In line with this, there are more and more opportunities to work online every day. This trend is booming, especially in the finance industry. Many companies choose to outsource accountants because they are not limited to their local area when looking for brilliant finance talent. Since remote accounting is very different from corporate work, it is important to know how to effectively manage a remote accounting team. Below are some tips to keep in mind.
What is remote accounting?
Remote accounting is the provision of financial services outside the client’s company. This means that companies hire an accounting team remotely to handle the company’s financial functions, as opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar firms where clients come to you. Outsourcing accountants handle all the company’s financial functions, including bookkeeping, payroll, financial reporting, financial accounting, taxes, accounts payable, accounts receivable, debtor tracking, and other accounting-related services.
Remote accountants use specialized technologies like cloud computing software, which means they are able to streamline processes and automate tasks. It also saves money on inventory and time by reducing filing and storage.
Why choose a remote accounting team
There are many advantages to choosing an external accounting team over an internal finance department, which is why many companies and organizations have chosen to use remote accounting services. Some benefits include:
- Diversifying the talent pool of financial professionals – remote access to a professional team of people with different skills from around the world;
- Saves money – hiring in-house accountants can be expensive when you factor in office space, insurance, sick days, etc. But with a remote accounting team, you can eliminate expensive staffing costs.
- Boosts productivity – according to one study, six out of ten workers say they are more productive when working remotely. Having a trusted finance team also gives you useful financial reporting insights that can inform your business performance, cash flow, budgeting, and more.
- Ease of scalability – accounting can be difficult, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With an external accounting team, you’ll be working with an experienced and talented team that has done the job many times before.
- Reduce the risk of losing important records – with an in-house finance department, you will most likely have to manually back up your files, which increases the risk of data loss if this task is not performed.
- Streamline financial processes – with an external accounting team, you also get access to their accounting software and systems, which means you are able to track and standardize processes.
Therefore, more and more companies choose remote accounting teams as they can provide their business with the support it needs to grow and prosper.
Managing remote accountants
Hiring an outside accounting team can help your business save money and time and grow. However, to achieve this, you need to manage the team well. Therefore, as a company, you should look for a trustworthy outsourcing company, keeping the following in mind:
#1 Hire talented and well-educated financial professionals
When it comes to your finances, you want to make sure they are in good hands. That’s why, when outsourcing accounting, it’s so important to find highly qualified and well-trained professionals who can help you with all aspects of your finances, from bookkeeping and compliance to tax planning and preparation. This makes sure even your accounting team is working remotely, your books are always accurate, payroll is compliant and timely, and you don’t risk penalties or regulatory errors.
#2 Familiarize them with all the processes in your company
The biggest fear of someone who has not worked with remote teams is how to help someone understand their particular business needs. That’s why it’s important to develop a training system that familiarizes your remote accountants with your company’s methods and practices.
At FinSuperstars, for example, we provide financial professionals to work as an extension of your company, but before that, all of our employees must be certified by FinAcademy. This involves a special course program with your team, in order to familiarize accountants not only with your financial affairs but also with your company’s culture and rules so that they can truly act as part of your team.
#3 Make sure they are working with the right tools
There is no question that the decentralized accounting team needs the right tools to do their jobs effectively. Considering that they deal with sensitive financial data on a daily basis, having the right accounting software is one of the crucial requirements. This is perhaps the most important tool for any external accountant. They should have access to all the features they need, including invoicing, tracking expenses, and preparing financial reports. Of course, they also need quality equipment that can handle powerful accounting software and large amounts of data, as well as good IT support.
#4 Designate a point person
If the remote accounting team has a contact person, you have nothing to worry about. Having a member of the accounting team as a point of contact for specific questions or reports gives you more confidence that everything is under control and makes communication easier. Make sure everyone in your company knows who the finance contact is and how to reach them.
#5 Choose a team with aligned values
Behind every effective work is a partner who agrees with your values. Identify the values that are important to you and your business, then see if the team’s values align with yours. When partnering up with accountants who share your vision, you can be sure you’ll get that far. That’s why it’s important that you not only have financial expertise, but also work with a like-minded accounting team.
Want to get started with remote accounting?
If you are ready to reduce the cost of an in-house finance team by hiring remote finance professionals to work as an extension of your company, FinSuperstars offers you dedicated and experienced staffing that can save you 32% on your labour costs. We can take your accounting and finance practice to the next level with a tailored package to suit your individual needs.