The Best Bookkeeping and Accounting Practices for Remote Working
By Neil Cornford
With the current corona virus crisis this article aims to help you with the Best Bookkeeping and Accounting Practices for Remote Working
What Are The Best Bookkeeping and Accounting Practices for Remote Working?
The emergence of the coronavirus global pandemic has seen companies and business practices undertake dynamic changes, with the adoption of flexible models and policies becoming the standard. With the UK government’s recommendation for companies to adopt the working-at-home policies as a way of curbing COVID-19, a significant number of employees have adhered to the call. While social distancing remains to be an essential course of action globally, accountants and bookkeepers are experiencing increased demand in their services.
More businesses are seeking for advice and support to have their books updated for loan applications or to establish the survival of the business against the reduced revenues. As bookkeepers and accountants continue to meet this demand from home, they are left to face two critical concerns; Data security and employee accountability.
Best Work-from-Home Practices to Enhance Data Security
Data security is one business element that cannot be left for remote workers or freelancers. This is because some rogue operators might take working from home as a loophole to steal company data. With the consistent disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, the critical concern is how to balance employee productivity and data security. Here are some best practices that businesses can leverage productivity as their data remain secure.
1. Get the Right Security Protection
While protection measures such as antiviruses and firewalls are fundamental, they are not quite efficient in protecting your business against attacks. The best security protection option is Multi-factor Authentication (MFA). According to Microsoft, MFA is 99% effective in protecting business accounts against attacks. The good thing with MFA is that it can be enabled to user accounts via mobile apps or text messages.
2. Seek Professional Advice
The coronavirus pandemic has proven how essential IT and digital innovations are to businesses and organisations. It is vital to seek advice from IT specialists, as you explore the available options to keep your business secure. Fortunately, most of the security options can be enabled remotely, placing your business and employees at a better position security-wise.
3. Implement Virtual Desktops
The ideal security solution for employees working at home is implementing a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). VDI involves having virtual desktops hosted on servers. These servers must be situated in secure locations, such as public cloud like Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS or a data centre. With a VDI, users can connect from anywhere as they meet business objectives. Remote access software can also be used to serve the same purpose.
Best Work-from-Home Practices to Enhance Employee Accountability
While some employees may be delighted by the opportunity to work from home, most workers might be overwhelmed by the prospect of transforming their homes into offices. This is because of the innumerable distractions that come with working from home, including managing children who are studying remotely and daily news briefings on the pandemic. However, how do you ensure that client projects are handled efficiently and effectively, and that employees are accountable enough? The following are some tips on the best practices to enhance accountability in such times.
1. Schedule Daily Meetings
There are plenty of virtual platforms that you can use to schedule daily meetings with the rest of the employees working remotely. Such platforms include Zoom and Skype for Business. Having brief meetings daily not only enables employees to be accountable, but it also enhances a connection amongst the workers. The virtual platform you choose should be a replica of a physical office. What this means is that you should agree with the employees to be available for the meeting in time and have their cameras turned on for an experience like that of a typical office meeting.
2. Work Around a Dashboard
When engaging other workers in the daily virtual meetings, it is essential to have everyone share an update of the status of their allocated projects. However, you do not want your email to be flooded with new messages on these updates. This is why working around a dashboard is essential. This means that you can see other workers’ projects via their shared dashboards. Sharing dashboards to update each other on certain projects enhances accountability and increased productivity.
3. Establish an Environment for Co-Working
While some employees thrive in isolation, other workers work best when around other people. Setting up a co-working environment enables workers to meet each other virtually, collaborate on a project, and meet specific goals. Such an environment can be facilitated by virtual meeting software, such as GoToMeeting, Skype, or Zoom.
Just like the medics are the first responders on the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, financial services providers are the first responders to businesses. This implies that bookkeepers, accountants, and other employees must work efficiently and effectively in providing professional support to businesses during such economic times. Enhancing employees’ accountability and data security as everyone works remotely goes a long way in meeting your clients’ needs.