Since the COVID-19 has started impacting humanity and economies across the world, a significant impact has been experienced by businesses worldwide. The impact has hit in the form of supply chain disruptions, workforce shortage, lack of capital, and increasing piles of unorganized financial information.
Adding to that, serial uncertainties in the marketplace are increasing difficulties in handing core business accounting. Due to many implications of the coronavirus outbreak, accountants, CPAs, and CPA firms are having a tough time managing their clients’ accounting while some are tackling challenges smartly. To know more about this, let’s take a look at the stats below.
SmartVault recently conducted a survey (ADD LINK – https://www.smartvault.com/resource/state-of-accountants-covid-19-impact-report/) – Impact of COVID-19: State of Accountants Report, on over 1,100 accounting professionals from 18 countries. According to the report;
“The majority of firms (62%) who felt they are responding to COVID-19 successfully were more likely to be using cloud-based technology, particularly, cloud-based document management and online client portals.”
“Firms which identified themselves as being less successful in their response to the pandemic are putting more energy into incorporating new technology to enable remote work and communication with team members and clients.”
“The survey data shows that firms need to use this opportunity and the lessons learned from COVID-19 to create and implement a business continuity plan to address critical scenarios which may impact them in the future.”
Starting your business as a virtual accounting firm (https://www.cogneesol.com/virtual-accounting-bookkeeping) is more manageable than transforming your conventional accounting practice into a modern, digital, virtual accounting firm. Well, if we discuss the current situation, working in a virtual environment is becoming a trend. However, before you start converting your accounting firm into virtual, here are a few steps you can follow to ensure effective conversion.
Get your accounting practice go virtual against the Covid-19 outbreak!
1. Determine your vision and what holds the most value for you
Your vision for your business will basically revolve around what you want your business to be. Ask these questions to yourself. Ask yourself these questions to get help in defining some essential pointers:
What type of business owner do you see yourself to be in the coming years?
What kind of employees and clients do you wish to work with?
What type of services are you planning to offer?
Having a vision and understanding your core values is essential to establish a rough plan about how you will pursue the vision you have. You may compile a list of values and shortlist them, keeping the vital ones that will support you achieve your goals. Vision and values complement each other.
2. Target a market
By following the first step correctly, you will be able to naturally define which market you want to target. As a virtual accounting firm is not restricted to one location, you get more opportunities to get clients from any corner of the world, with an ability to choose your specialization.
You might spend a few months or years to establish your niche client base finally, but along with that, you will get projects that you might need to refuse concerning they don’t match your specialization.
3. Build a responsible team
Build a team that would be perfect for the services your firm will offer. For example, if you have more manufacturers as your clients, your team should be well-informed about accounting practices generally implemented in the manufacturing industry.
Besides, you need to make fundamental decisions, for instance, whether to hire employees on a contractual or permanent basis. Both have their own advantages and just a few disadvantages; therefore, it would best to have a combination of both. Hire a few permanent employees while acquiring some contractors. All you need to ensure is that they put their best for your firm’s growth.
4. Strategize marketing efforts
You can market your virtual accounting firm in numerous ways as there are several channels available. Let’s discuss some of the marketing strategies you can utilize.
1- If you haven’t yet, step into social media marketing and expand your digital footprints by consistently posting info-rich content on your profiles. Sharing helpful information while keeping a target audience in mind can help generate potential leads.
2- Send newsletters or try email marketing; it is a conventional practice, but still very effective when it comes to marketing.
3- You may also organize an event such as debates or seminars on topics/subjects relevant to your service areas. With this, you get to establish your brand as a professional firm that is willing to educate and help others.
5. Select software
In the current time, good accounting software is vital to run a virtual accounting firm. However, deciding the best one for your firm will majorly depend upon the type of services you offer and your workflow policies. Consider the points below as they can help you choose the most suitable.
If you are dealing with a lot of labor-intensive, time-consuming accounting tasks, you need to acquire the software with automation features.
In case you prepare taxes for clients, and this is your specialty, reliable tax software is a must.
If you are planning a digital transformation, it will require essential training for your team and might disrupt operations and workflow. Thus, for a smooth transition, ensure providing training before beginning with the change and do it partially within a specific time, so that the entire team gets enough time to get on the same page.
The steps discussed above can help you convert your accounting practice into a virtual one, and you may follow the same steps if you are planning to start a virtual accounting practice. Going virtual will not only help you in times of crisis like the current but will also keep you competent for long, even when these crises come to an end.
Virtual Accounting beyond the COVID-19
The crises arisen due to COVID-19 have taught a lot of lessons to the business world, for example, becoming ready; to tackle workforce shortages, for a virtual working environment, to manage accounting issues efficiently.
These social distancing measures will be followed for months or years to come, and businesses will now think deeply about working virtually. In such time, your virtual accounting firm will be ready to assist any of the prospects you get. This way, your virtual accounting practice is not only supporting your clients’ in the current crises but also will come up as a reliable and competent brand in the post-pandemic period.