Staff mobility: just an excuse for them to work from home in their PJs, right?
In fact, the shift from a desk-bound 9-5 to always-on-from-anywhere is one of the most compelling developments that new technology has to offer to a smart, ambitious, fast-growing firm.
First, there’s the attitude shift.
While few companies are likely to completely scrap the office in favour of working from home full-time, a little flexibility (and the tech to make it possible) is much more than a crowd-pleasing perk; it can actually improve your team’s performance.
When people are given more autonomy and responsibility, they tend to become more motivated and produce better work. Switch the focus from “presenteeism” (being visibly sat at your desk all day) to productivity (how much you actually got done) and you immediately foster a more energetic, dynamic environment.
Second, your team can use their time far more efficiently and effectively when they can access applications, projects and documents from anywhere.
Hour-long train journey to a meeting? Use it to zip through some emails or work on a spreadsheet.
Made a great new contact at a conference? Strike while the iron’s hot: access your latest presentation, to showcase your firm, or add their details into your CRM system on the spot.
Tools like these help to create a leaner, more industrious operation – which, in the long-run, means fewer late nights and a healthier work-life balance.
While innovations like these are good news for just about any business, cloud and mobility solutions for accountants have huge profitability potential.
Accountancy firms all over the world are having to adapt to the pressures of the digital age like never before. To compete, cloud-based, mobile and remote access technologies really ought to be a key element of your long-term plan.
Increasingly, tech-savvy clients seek accountancy solutions that allow them to be responsive and proactive, as well as reducing lead times when implementing new projects and plans.
In practice, this means speedy communication, real time access to data, and access to “virtual accountant” services, to facilitate rapid, accurate, targeted analysis.
And, for your firm, it means fantastic new opportunities to up your game by moving from “the guys that look after the books” to an indispensable, strategic, trusted business partner.
You’ll need to work in close collaboration with your clients, offering holistic advice and guidance that helps drive forward their business goals. You’ll need to spend more and more time at their offices, fighting alongside them in the trenches instead of giving financial directives from a distant HQ.
And here’s the great news: cloud technology offers fantastic opportunities to do all these things, while actually saving you money and making your day-to-day operations cheaper and more efficient.
I know what you’re thinking: this sounds far too good to be true. How can improving my customer service go hand in hand with boosting my bottom line?
The answer is actually very simple.
Complex physical infrastructure and locally stored, licensed programs are expensive – not only in terms of direct costs and capital expenditure, but also in terms of the IT resources required to keep everything running smoothly. And every 3 to 5 years, there is a big, expensive, distracting project to upgrade the hardware, taking away from your billable time.
Cloud alternatives, on the other hand, are securely handled offsite on enterpise grade hardware (owned and managed by the provider), so your in-house IT department don’t have to spend their time on migrations, everyday maintenance and troubleshooting. Instead, they can focus on big, business-enhancing projects, while you reap the benefits of mobile working, reduced downtime and improved agility.
Plus, because they are run in the cloud, everyone can use the same version of Microsoft applications, meaning that you eliminate compatability issues and always have access to the latest and most secure versions – adding value for your clients without you having to lift a finger.
Remote working and mobility solutions for accountants really is a win-win scenario. Not only can you flourish, but with the right support, your clients will too.
Want to find out more about how remote working can boost your business? Click below to download your FREE ebook, How Accountants Grow their Bottom Line from the Cloud.