Accounting firms and their leaders are facing a lot of challenges during the ongoing pandemic, especially given the ever-changing landscape. From getting each team member up and running virtually to managing them remotely, accountants had to make tough decisions quickly. Now, the focus has been on making changes required in offices that make it safe for reopening.
As their emphasis has been on immediate issues, strategic concerns raised by the pandemic over the long run is ignored or put on hold. Many experts believe such a move can be dangerous and encourage accounting firms to create strategies that will not only help them to get through the current crisis but also thrive afterward.
Start with a positive mindset Whether you are in a crisis or not, the approach and mindset that you have at the start decide how you come out of the situation.
When faced with uncertainties, some individuals become isolated and feel anxious about the future. However, what you need is the confidence that you can adapt to the situation and add value to the clients even during hardship.
Firms that quickly transition into remote work are worthy of praise. Hence, firm leaders should have a positive, transparent attitude and whenever necessary, acknowledging that they don’t have answers to everything.
You may need to look at your service offerings because some of them might not have the same demand as before. For instance, litigation support services and any other verticals that focus on struggling industries like hospitality will likely face trouble. Therefore, firms should thoroughly evaluate their existing services and start making decisions regarding those offerings.
Apart from de-emphasizing under-performing services, they need to focus on creating new ones. It is the right time for accounting firms to put innovation into work, like adopting a digital accounting solution to reduce the time spent on mundane tasks.
This period of transformation is the right time to start training your workforce so they can do the work of tomorrow. It is critical to gain new skills that will be on-demand in the future. The technical skills, such as data analytics and project management, will help the accountants to be more efficient at getting the client information and provide them with a seamless experience. As the method to reach your customers will change, it is also crucial to gain marketing and business development skills.
Due to the lack of people to people contact, your relationship with the clients could be at risk. So, be as close to your clients as possible. Even if your whole team is working remotely from home, there should be a mechanism set to keep your clients updated about the latest situations.
Many firms, who could well be your competitor, are actively engaging with their clients. If some of your clients find out that they have been in the dark for a long time, they might even start questioning whether they are with the right accounting firm.
In addition to moving your team’s workflow to the virtual office, you should start enjoying the full potential of the tools available online. You might already be using video conferencing and project management tools. Apart from tax preparation and audit, cloud-based accounting solutions help to automate your tasks, enabling you to focus on other core processes.
You should consider technology adoption as an integral part of your strategy and integrate IT into the core principles of your firm. Whether you are planning for growth, hiring new talents, or transforming your workforce, you should strategize not just for today but for the long term.