In this guest post, CPA Bryan Kesler offers tips to accountants finding themselves working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people across the world in all industries to stay at home as much as possible. For most of the working population, working from home (or WFH) has been an entirely new experience. Some have grown accustomed to it, while others report a significant drop in productivity—longing for the days when they can go back to their office. If you are one of the many accountants working from home or planning to be one, here are some tips for you to make the most of the time at home to work towards boosting your career. Businesses are still hiring. And if you use your time well, you can emerge as a top candidate when the economy recovers.
Tips for Accountants When Working Remotely
Establish Boundaries for Work-Life Balance
One of the workplace terms that’s meaning has changed significantly since the lockdown period is “work-life balance.” When you are in office, you cannot afford to cater to house chores like plumbing and laundry. And on weekends, you would refuse to look at work emails.
When you’re an accountant working from home, you must maintain a schedule to balance the time you spend on professional and personal duties. Create a workspace at home where you will be free of distractions. Make enough time for necessities like food and to relax and unwind at the end of the day.
Accountants typically work with multiple screens, so check if you can rent or buy new monitors. If you don’t have them at home, here is a useful link to help you set up a remote workstation.
Pursue a Degree or Certification
Online courses are booming since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an accountant working from home or someone who wants to rise to a superior position, one of the most prestigious qualifications you can earn is the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) certification.
The time you save from not having a commute or being able to travel is the perfect opportunity for you to set aside time to invest in a CPA review course. As a result, you’ll be more prepared to pass the CPA exam.
The training process is quite challenging. But you now have the time to study. With a CPA review course, you can brush up the skills you have and work toward learning more. Continuous education is always important and is the first step towards making your career recession-proof in accounting or any other profession.
You can achieve productivity by also listening to webinars, reading online journals, and catching up on the latest news about hiring and accounting. Try out new accounting software. Or learn about some work practices apart from your efforts toward the CPA exam.
Understand the Technology Available
Daily routines and habits have undergone a substantial change in the last few months. Live classes, crowded subways, and dinner dates have become unthinkable now. However, current modes of technology have provided new solutions for people to carry on with their activities.
Interacting with your colleagues and peers in person is not possible. But video calls and meetings are becoming popular to learn or teach something. You can continue doing business with the necessary communication with your superiors and clients, and make sure you have a fun or social call now and then to check how everyone is doing. Here are some ways to improve employee engagement when your team members are working remotely.
Build Your Digital Infrastructure
Using the technology available, build your digital infrastructure at home to work seamlessly. As an accountant, you will have to be available on multiple channels. This is because your work involves significant collaboration with your team. Let them know your schedule: when you are open for calls, what time of the day you have chores, and so on.
Ensure you have whatever accounting software you need at home, whether it is a simple spreadsheet or more sophisticated tools. Automate whatever work you can so that you have more time on your hands. Make the most of video conferences. And since you can’t interact with colleagues as and when needed, plan for a short standup for 15-20 minutes every day to catch up on everyone’s work updates.
Here are some tips you and your team should follow to make the standups effective.
To be eligible for the CPA process, you don’t need to have a background in accounting. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t have the time to study for and pass the CPA exam if you are new to accounting or have a day job in another field. However, the pandemic has allowed everyone to make a fresh start in their education. So, check out some CPA review courses today and start your journey to becoming a first-rate accountant!
Bryan Kesler, CPA is a passionate CPA exam mentor with a mission of helping all CPA candidates struggling to pass the CPA exam find success. As a business owner and licensed CPA, his first priority was to find a firm who could manage his own accounting and provide him with CFO services. He understood that if he was to stay focused on his singular goal of helping as many CPA candidates pass the CPA exam, he shouldn’t be the one to handle his own accounting or tax services.
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