Many more people are working remotely than ever before today and this includes professionals in more traditional roles like accounting.

As most accounting tasks are carried out using computers, and the business world is connected through the use of digital tools and technologies, accounting from home is completely viable. If you are an accountant working from home, you’re likely to experience a number of advantages but it will also require some adjustments.

Have the right hardware and software in place

You can only work from home if you have the right infrastructure. You will need to have the right hardware and reliable internet access. You will usually need to rely on cloud-based accounting software and other supporting strategies. There are cloud-based tools made specifically for accountants.

Other software that can help you a great deal is Imagine Time’s time and billing software for accountants. It helps track time accurately and efficiently for a time log that you can instantly convert into an invoice. Some accountants use a client portal to securely exchange documents and information without having to meet in person.

Create a dedicated workspace

Carving out a dedicated workspace in your home is essential for a high level of focus and productivity. There are usually distractions in the home environment, such as barking dogs or crying children. It is best if you can have a separate room where you can close the door.

Establishing a good work-life balance is probably one of the most difficult aspects of working from home and having a dedicated workspace can help to set certain boundaries.

It signals to family members that you are working and shouldn’t be interrupted to attend to family matters. You can also arrange and organize your workspace to make sure you can work efficiently.

Follow a schedule

A remote accounting job may save you from that commute but you will still need a schedule. Depending on your employer and the trust you have built up with the company, you will usually have the freedom to set up your own schedule, as long as you get the work done. Following a set schedule signals to your brain that you’re entering a period of the day when you need to concentrate.

One good reason for following a set schedule is that you’re available to managers, clients or colleagues at set times. They must know when they can contact you. If you need to start late or finish early for some reason, you need to communicate this.

Communicate frequently

Try to touch base with your team on a daily basis. Video conferencing tools like Slack and Zoom make having effective meetings possible while working remotely. You need to communicate more often than less often when working remotely.

Whatever method of communication you prefer, communicating regularly keeps everyone on the same page. You may consider scheduling 30 minutes in the morning to sync up. Working at home does not mean you work alone – it is important for others to see your talents and respect them.

Take intermittent breaks

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) suggests sticking to regular working hours and taking intermittent breaks to help you stay focused. Taking breaks away from your screen is important for your eyes, your brain and your state of mind.

It may be difficult in the tax season to find the time but it’s important. Take a short walk, call a friend, eat a snack and you will return to your work refreshed and with improved concentration. Before long, you should find a work rhythm that suits you and keeps you most productive.

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