Managing Remote & WFH Accountants Without Micromanaging or Neglecting

Tim Sines

In response to the pandemic, the entire way that we do work has shifted. Many organizations have adopted remote or hybrid work arrangements for their employees. While there are a ton of benefits to working from home, it does present new challenges for team managers and business decision-makers.

Not only are you tasked with the usual challenges, such as managing deadlines, billing, client success, and employee productivity, but you’re required to do all of that from your computer remotely. So, how do you effectively manage your remote team, especially if remote management is new to you?

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use accounting practice management software to successfully manage your remote team and business objectives. The following tips will help you strike the balance between micromanagement and being too hands-off.Remotely Managing Your Accounting Team

Manage your clients

Your clients are the reason you’re in business. As a manager or key decision maker, a big part of your job is ensuring that your clients are receiving the best service from you, even if you’ve switched to a remote setup. Clients don’t really care about the internal processes of your business, as long as they get what they paid for. But on your end, you must ensure that your service not only works, but that it works well with the client’s processes. And if they’re accustomed to doing business with you one way but you’ve switched up the process, it’s your job to make the transition easy for them.

For this reason, you need an accounting practice management software that incorporates client relationship management. With this software, you can streamline your process and handle all things related to your client from a single application. It reduces the risk of error and ensures that all of your client information is contained in one spot. This includes current and prospective clients. With the right accounting practice management software, there’s no need to jump from one app to the next. Instead, you can do all of the following without leaving the app:

Send email newsletters to your contact database. You can use this feature to promote a new service or notify your clients on any exciting news that may be relevant to them.

Generate custom collection and engagement letters. You can use the same software to send out letters to those with overdue balances. You can also create custom envelopes from the same software.

Interact with clients through an easy to use portal

Client portals can be inconvenient for your clients, and when a process is inconvenient, it won’t be used often or efficiently. For this reason, you need an accounting practice management software that includes a user friendly (but secure) client portal. Otherwise, both you and your clients will be frustrated with lack of adoption and missed deadlines.

Look for a software that makes it easy for your clients to share their data with you without needing to sign up for and remember another password. ImagineShare’s Secure Send email plugin eliminates client frustration. Instead of logging into a portal, your client can simply attach a file to their email and send it to you. The message and attachments will then be uploaded to our secure servers so that you can access them. All of the data we received is stored and backed up in real time, allowing you to access it wherever you are, which is perfect for a remote setup.

Manage your team’s workflow

Gone are the days when you needed to stand over each team member’s desk with a cup of coffee and a concerned look on your face. While you still need to keep a watchful eye on your employees (even in a remote setup), you can do so much more effectively by using the right software.

While you still need to keep a watchful eye on your employees (even in a remote setup), you can do so much more effectively by using the right software. Click To Tweet

For example, you can use workflow management software to do the following:

Keep track of basic tasks that your team needs to accomplish. Sometimes, it’s a tiny task that can derail an entire project if it’s not completed on schedule. Your workflow management software should allow you to assign these tasks to team members and receive notifications if the tasks are completed on time.

Manage deadlines more effectively. Every good manager is focused on deadlines and deliverables. If you’re not careful, that focus can cause you to micromanage your remote team. Instead of becoming that type of manager, you can use a deadline management software to ensure that your team stays on the right track. This software can send messages to your team to remind them of an approaching deadline. You can also use this software to break a larger project into smaller sub-tasks, and then assign a start and complete date to each of those tasks.

Automatically notify staff of upcoming due dates. In addition to tracking one-time, weekly, quarterly, monthly, annual, and even bi-annual deadlines, you can also set your accounting practice management software to send out automated reminders to your staff on high priority tasks that need to be done right away. And your team members can update your office calendar with status reports in real time so that everyone is on the same page. This internal feature ensures that you and your team remain on schedule, and you don’t miss any important deadlines, such as tax submissions and regulatory filings.

Identify your top employees

When you’re managing employees remotely, it’s essential that you know how they’re performing individually and as a team. You can do that through the right accounting practice management software, too. For example, Mango offers comprehensive employee reports that give you insight into your team’s performance. You can use these reports to understand who’s ahead of schedule and who may need a little help. This will ensure that your project is never derailed due to an oversight.

This can also help you identify top performers in your team. You can use this data to fairly recognize and reward your best employees individually and your team as a whole.

Employee reports can also reveal which team members may not be the right fit for your organization. The data doesn’t lie, and if you notice that an employee isn’t able to contribute positively to your team, it may be best to part ways.

Manage your reports

To know the health of your business at all times, you need access to data analytics. This can provide insight into your firm’s profitability as well as highlight areas of opportunity. You need a software that’s easy to use and easy to understand, otherwise you probably won’t use it. And, if you’re concerned about efficiency, you need software that can automate the reporting process. A management software with report automation will eliminate the need for you to create (and ultimately struggle with) spreadsheets.Remotely Managing Your Accounting Team

Integrate your tax software

Do you use Quickbooks or some other tax software platform to work with your clients? If so, you need an accountant management software that plays nicely with your financial management suite of choice. This way, you can continue to help your clients with their needs, including tax filing, invoicing, payment processing, budgeting, expense management, and so on, while also tracking your team’s time, and billing your clients accordingly.

By using Mango’s time billing software, you can run your entire accounting business remotely. Mango is a trusted cloud-based solution that integrates seamlessly with tools like Outlook, Quickbooks, and more.

With basic integration, you can import your clients’ names and addresses as well as unbilled time slips and accounts receivable data. And, by the way, the integration between Mango and Quickbooks goes both ways. You can also export deposits and journal entries to QuickBooks.

With advanced integration, you can build upon what you’re already able to do through basic integration. This includes being able to post your Mango invoices to Quickbooks and process credit card transactions in Quickbooks, as well.

Final Thoughts

Managing a remote team can be a challenge, especially if it’s new to both you and your staff. However, you can use an accountant management software to support and even improve your management.

See how Mango can help you become a better manager. Sign up for our free demo here.

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