COVID-19 had a major impact on nearly every industry. For most accounting firms and departments, shifting to a work-from-home model was a necessity.
Some companies had very little time to transition, often having their hands forced by state stay-at-home orders and similar events. In some cases, the shift was relatively smooth, considering the nature of the situation. However, they weren’t all equally successful.
What determined success was the technologies that were (or weren’t) in place. Similarly, implementing new solutions will likely decide which firms thrive going forward, especially if a resurgence does occur.
If you wonder how COVID-19 has altered the accounting landscape, here’s what you need to know.
Cloud-Based Technology Will Become the Norm
As mentioned above, some accounting departments could transition to a work-from-home model with greater ease than others. Often, the biggest determiner of success was the existence of cloud technology within the company.
With cloud-based computing and digital storage systems, critical resources and programs are accessible from nearly anywhere with an internet connection. Employees authenticate themselves as authorized users and review documents, update records, and handle various other duties.
Since companies had to switch to a remote work approach with little warning, pre-existing cloud solutions made that process easier. Additionally, cloud-based technology will continue to facilitate working from home.
Many firms considered this a critical lesson. For those that haven’t already embraced cloud solutions, an effort is being made to transition. Usually, the initial focus will be on critical systems that are used frequently to handle high-value tasks. That way, productivity can remain high regardless of how the COVID-19 situation changes.
For those that already had cloud-based technologies in place, expanding those solutions into other business areas will likely be common. It increases the capabilities of a remote workforce, making the approach easier to sustain over the long-term.
Virtual Communication and Collaboration Tool Expansion
In a similar vein, accounting firms are increasingly relying on virtual communication and collaboration tools. Technically, this isn’t anything new. Nearly every company had some form of online-based communication options available, such as email or a messenger platform.
However, companies are seeing increased value in more robust and comprehensive feature sets. For example, integrated video calling, and file-sharing centralize collaboration, ensuring critical resources and capabilities are available in a single platform.
Accounting departments are going to increasingly rely on virtual communication and collaboration tools. As a result, many companies will invest heavily in these technologies, ensuring the preferred solution is robust.
Additionally, many are going to go further. They are going to find solutions that not only enhance collaboration among team members but communication with clients. For example, some firms are looking for messaging solutions that customers can access outside of the company, ensuring they can reach out whenever the need arises and receive a response quickly.
Ultimately, COVID-19 altered the accounting landscape, and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. By embracing the right technologies, firms can weather the proverbial storm, increasing their odds of long-term success.
If you’d like to learn more about how companies can adapt to COVID-19, the staff at The Squires Group can help. Contact us today.