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A Modern Accounting Firm – Acing the Growth Game with a Hybrid Workforce in 2021 and Beyond!

Written By Indrajeet Pradhan

A Modern Accounting Firm – Acing the Growth Game with a Hybrid Workforce in 2021 and Beyond!

The Accounting industry is facing a severe talent shortage. There is absolutely no doubt this is the kind of problem that requires an innovative solution. Now, couple this problem with The New Normal. This is a scenario wherein accounting firms are working from home. There is a palpable fear of getting infected with the virus if employees return to work (although the vaccination number is up, and businesses are opening up). Many businesses across domains have decided to implement a permanent work from home policy for employees who want it.

But this changing of work environment has resulted in its problems. Overnight firms have had to make a significant investment in technology that allows their staff to work remotely. Firms also had to invest in data security whose cover extended to their remote employees. As can be imagined, this was not a seamless process, and there are many firms out there who are still finding it difficult to cope. Managing a virtual accounting staff is a problem and ensuring the same motivational work culture is difficult.

Add to that the complexities associated with meeting data compliance regulations and regularly investing in technology, and you have a situation wherein the growth of firms is impacted by leaps and bounds.

Challenges Impacting Growth

Accounting jobs are some of the most challenging jobs to fill. There is a demand and supply problem in the industry. This is well-known. Also, the pandemic has left its mark on the working model of accounting firms and businesses across diverse domains. The ‘work from home’ model has become popular, wherein accounting professionals are working remotely from the comfort of their homes.

The pandemic and the danger of catching the infection if one came to the office necessitate a ‘work from home policy. But, this wasn’t easy for accounting firms, mainly because most firms did not know how to think beyond the traditional in-office approach. Almost overnight, firms had to scramble to implement the technology that would make remote collaboration possible. While some firms had already moved to cloud accounting, others had to decide to move their IT processes to the cloud quickly.

The accounting profession thrives on in-person collaboration. It is also an industry that thrives on drill-down man-management; as can be imagined, this interfered with the existing work culture, which was seamlessly ingrained in the psyche of accounting professionals and in-house staff. When the work process and culture go for a toss, productivity suffers, and so does efficiency.

Add to that the need to quickly build an IT infrastructure aligned with the new work environment and the risks therein, such as ransomware, phishing, and more. But it wasn’t only about deploying new processes, but ensuring employees were able to understand these and use them optimally.

This overall scenario is made for putting a stop to a firm’s growth story.

Talent shortage, complex IT landscape, and the difficulty of managing an increasingly hybrid workforce made up of in-office, and remote staff is impacting growth.

What is the Solution?

The solution is maximizing the potential of a hybrid workforce. While we have two strands of a hybrid workforce, the in-office staff and remote workers, there is a third and critical strand – an outsourced team.

Together, the trio, makeup a hybrid workforce. The question isn’t whether you should use a hybrid workforce, but rather how you make this workforce more productive.

A More Productive Hybrid Workforce

The three critical pillars of a more efficient hybrid workforce are People, Process, and Platform. These three arms of an accounting firm should work in perfect synergy to deliver positive outcomes.

The key here is that firms shouldn’t be caught in geographical limitations and should explore the merits of a global workforce. Just like they would work with a recruitment agency to bring professionals on board, they must work with accounting outsourcing service providers to source some of the best available global talents. This will ensure that your firm doesn’t face staffing issues.

But what about managing this workforce and the IT challenges, including data security? The key here is to work with an outsourced accounting services provider with a successful track record of working with accounting firms of all sizes. Also, please take a look at the IT processes and infrastructure this firm has in place and its focus on data security. E.g., SOC 2 Type II compliance is an absolute must!

This is just a brief overview of solutions and a growth-centric approach to deploying a hybrid workforce. Join us for a webinar hosted by Accounting Today on 27th October, Wednesday, 2 PM ET to get more insights into building a growth-focused modern accounting firm with a hybrid workforce.

Book Your Spot Now!

A Modern Accounting Firm – Acing the Growth Game with a Hybrid Workforce in 2021 and Beyond!

ABOUT Indrajeet Pradhan

My name is Indrajeet Pradhan and I am the Marketing Manager for QX Accounting Services – North America, and wordsmith behind the QXAS blog. Hope you enjoyed reading this piece. My job is to help accountants access the knowledge they seek through blogs, guides, and other content assets that are meaningful and actionable. More Posts(27)  

Originally published Oct 14, 2021 02:10:31, updated October 14 2021

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