5 Tips to Improve Your Virtual Firm's Workflow
Few things have transformed the workplace the way 2020 did. Thanks to the global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to change their processes and workflows to adapt to a remote working environment. As the lockdowns have also seen companies permanently shutter, significantly impacting the economy, it’s become more critical than ever for businesses to stay afloat.
As a result of these changes, there has been a skyrocketing demand for remote solutions. Fortunately, many accounting firms quickly transitioned and implemented work from home solutions to ensure employee productivity. However, most people hadn’t expected to work remotely for this long, which means that businesses need more long-term solutions to support remote work. Given the remote workplace’s unique characteristics, that means your firm will have to make some adjustments.
Here are five tips to improve your virtual firm’s workflow:
1. Analyze Your Client Intake
The new normal has upended many things, and one of that is the onboarding experience for new clients. It’s difficult to process things when you can’t meet face to face, so you’ll need to create a centralized system for inputting and updating client information. Streamlining this process will improve the client experience while establishing a workflow that provides your accountants with everything they need when a client calls.
2. Review Your Scheduling
As a newly virtual firm, you’ll have to integrate your scheduling into your practice management system through a calendar that everyone can access. Through this, you can push essential information, invitations, and other calendar items from any system to your company email. That way, everyone will stay in the loop, which will keep your processes smooth and seamless.
3. Revisit Your Scanning
Making copies of documents is a crucial practice of every accounting firm. Like your scheduling, it must be saved to a centralized system so that your accountants can access and search them easily. It must be simple to organize and intuitive to navigate to avoid any bottlenecks in the process.
Opting for centralized document management tools guarantees that all your employees have access to information whenever they need it, allowing them to work and fulfill their tasks without interruptions.
4. Assess Your Staffing Requirements
When your workforce is scattered across the state—or even the country—it can be challenging to manage their needs when they are so far away. Fortunately, you can have a more accurate picture of your staffing requirements by viewing your pipeline, budgeting, and resources in one place through cloud-based tools. That way, you can accurately view assignments, forecast workloads, and evaluate resource availability to provide more streamlined operations for your practice. Such tools will also help you transition from busy tax season to slower months more smoothly.
5. Look For Cloud-Based Workflow Solutions
Automation is vital when managing a virtual firm, as you’ll now be working on everything online. Every business consultant worth their salt will advise you to move to cloud-based solutions to digitize your workflows, especially in these circumstances. That way, you can define, review, and revise everything as needed. You won’t have to be scrambling through several files or apps to find what you need—they’ll all be based in one place.
For instance, you can use software that includes notifications based on workflow to remind your employees of crucial tasks. You can also have a time tracking tool that will give your firm a more accurate view of your profitability, utilization, and realization.
Staying adaptive and productive amidst a pandemic is challenging in itself, but it’s essential to keep your business afloat during a difficult time. As we are slowly progressing into a new normal, your firm will have to keep up to stay ahead of the game. With these five tips, your virtual firm will remain efficient and profitable as a remote workplace.
If you need more business guidance, be sure to let us know at Quasar Cowboy Consulting! We consult with and advise software companies and bookkeeping firms in 24 states and four countries. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you modernize your firm!