Beyond the Close

How Lessons Learned From Managing Remote Accounting Teams Can Impact Post-COVID Plans

Remember when work-from-home looked like a short-term solution? Remember when managing remote accounting teams seemed more like flying by the seat of your pants than

That was six months ago.

Today, it’s clear that teams may be working remotely for a long time — maybe even permanently. But instead of looking at this as a negative, it turns out this arrangement could work out in favor of business and their employees. Remote work has actually proven to be more productive as long as you do it well. With the economy quickly going global, remote teams are going to be the new normal whether — we’re home in our pajamas or not. 

There is a right and wrong ways to manage remote accounting teams (okay, there are many wrong ways). Some teams are coming out on top and others are struggling to create a sense of normalcy. Recently, FloQast hosted a webinar featuring Shina Coley, Accounting Manager for the Atlanta Hawks, Geraldine Hegarty, Managing Consultant at CrossCountry Consulting, and Jen Iwanicki, Director of Technology Solutions at CrossCountry Consulting, to discuss what they’ve learned about strengthening accounting teams in a post-COVID world. 

Here are a few of our key takeaways:

Employees are Human

Along with the challenges of a widespread team, employees are also facing normal, human fears and stressors. We’re creatures of habit suddenly taken out of our routine. Many of us have kids at home (well, I don’t, but many do) and are still adjusting to the new work/life balance. 

It’s crucial to maintain a strong company culture, stay sensitive to each team member’s unique situation, and create a return-to-work plan when the time comes. 

Process Enables Scalability

Many businesses are struggling unnecessarily because they didn’t have firm processes in place for collaborating, sharing, and communicating before COVID-19. The right processes make it much smoother to work together remotely and — as a bonus — make it much simpler to scale or bring on new team members. 

With the right processes in place and properly documented, you’ll be more efficient and productive working remotely and when you return to a standard office setup. 

Productivity Has Increased

Yep, you read that right. Productivity has increased for businesses that do work-from-home right. At FloQast, we’ve been advocating WFH for a long time. With the right tech tools and processes, it allows your team to do more in less time, spend less on office expenses, and reward your team by shortening their day and eliminating their commute. 

Technology Adds Operational Value 

A big part of the productivity increase is making good use of technology to collaborate as a team and automate manual processes. Companies are finding that “nice-to-have” software tools are “must-haves” in this new work environment. 

Those new tech tools act as multipliers for the team and allow them to focus on real work rather than tasks that can easily be automated. And they’ll continue to add value long after we’re back to a more normal world of work. 

How to make your accounting team stronger and more effective

John Siegel

John Siegel is a Corporate Communications Manager at FloQast. Prior to joining the company, he wrote about Los Angeles-based tech companies for Built In LA. You can follow him on Twitter @JVNSiegel.