The COVID-19 pandemic changed accounting practice management as an increasing number of CPAs turned to working from home. And even though some employees are returning to the office, a whopping 80% of workers now expect to work from home at least three days a week.
And it’s not hard to understand why. Remote work offers some amazing benefits, like an average savings of $6,000 a year for employees, and improved job performance. 94% of employers stated work productivity was the same or higher since people started working from home.
So if your accounting firm wants to make the change from an in-person workplace to a work-from-home or hybrid model, you may want to consider a cloud-based practice management software.
Cloud-based software keeps your clients’ information secure and lets employees access their work across multiple devices. With any on-premises software, an employee has to use their work computer in the office, but a cloud-based software stores every important document in the cloud so you can access necessary files everywhere.
If you’re considering switching to remote work permanently, explore these five benefits of cloud-based software for your accounting firm.
1. Remote access makes it easy to work from home and retain top talent
It’s difficult for your employees to do any work outside of the office when your firm uses on-premises software. Let’s say an employee finishes an invoice on their work laptop but then forgets their laptop at home the next day. If they live an hour away, it’s not feasible to return home to retrieve it, which puts them behind on their workload. But when you use cloud-based practice management software, all of your documents and files are stored online in the cloud, so your employee can easily access an invoice at work that they finished on their laptop at home.
Plus, remote access to any of your company’s necessary documents makes it easy to work from home and helps any of your employees who might be parents or caretakers. If they don’t have to be at the office to complete their work, it lets them work on their schedule. So if a new mom or dad wants to spend time with their baby when they’re awake, they can then finish their work once their baby falls asleep.
All of this creates a more employee-friendly working environment, and when you let your employees do remote work in a way that works for them, they’re more likely to remain loyal to you. A FlexJobs survey found that 79% of people would be more likely to stay with an employer if they worked remotely. Less turnover means you save more money by having to train fewer employees and you hold on to the employees you’ve spent years pouring time and money into.
2. Remote work stays safe with secure file sharing
A major concern of storing information over the internet is safety. And while there are cybersecurity concerns with remote work, certain cloud-based software offers features that protect you from the threat of cyberattacks.
When shopping for cloud-based accounting software, make sure it offers the SHA 256-bit encryption algorithm. By using software with bank-level security, all of your documents become encrypted and stored behind a dense firewall. This means if someone tries to break through, they won’t be able to read the information because they don’t have the right key.
But it’s not enough to just have a secure location for your files with remote work, you also need to be able to share them. Look for software that integrates this algorithm into your email so you can share files securely via email. The right cloud-based accounting software should also offer e-signatures, so you can get key documents signed quickly online instead of asking clients to come into the office to sign important paperwork.
3. Cloud-based practice management streamlines your workload
On top of making it easy to work from home, cloud-based practice management software streamlines your workload so that your employees can find all the documents they need in one place. Everyone can check project dashboards so that even when they’re working remotely from home, they can see what tasks need to be completed.
Lots of cloud-based accounting software comes with master templates, so when your employees start a new invoice, they don’t have to start from scratch. These templates are available on the cloud, so an employee can use them when they’re doing remote work. You can also set up automatic email reminders when your employees are assigned a new task or when a project is ready for review so that there’s no miscommunication even when your employees work outside the office. You can usually filter these tasks based on importance, so anyone with remote access can see which task has the highest priority.
4. Your clients can easily find what they need with cloud-based software
It’s not just the employees who are remote these days—clients are also seeking services remotely.
The right cloud-based accounting software will offer client portals that your clients can access from anywhere and from any device. They can use this portal to pay invoices or upload files. Make sure you use cloud-based software that encrypts data with something like SSL encryption to ensure your clients’ information is protected.
5. Automate simple tasks and reminders
Quality communication creates successful remote work. Cloud-based software lets you automate tasks and reminders for your employees. When you create new tasks for your team, you can set automatic notifications that remind them when they’re due. Instead of spending your time calling anyone who works outside the office, the software keeps them on track for you.
Cloud-based software can also automate other elements of your team’s workday, like creating recurring invoices or importing client data. By automating busywork, you give your team more time to focus on important tasks.
Try Mango’s cloud-based practice management today
If you’re in the market for cloud-based practice management software, Mango can help. Our software offers everything you need to manage your company in one easy-to-use program, so you don’t have to rely on a patchwork of different software to meet all your needs. Mango was made by accountants, for accountants, so it’s specifically tailored to exactly what your CPA firm needs in their workday.
And while it can be overwhelming to consider new software, Mango offers free, unlimited data migration and training. Our support team can walk you through every step of the implementation process. We also offer integrations with popular tax and accounting software, so you can keep using the software you’re already comfortable with.
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