The cloud has changed the world of work as we knew it.
Today, the cloud isn’t just a place to store files and share pictures online; it’s an environment that people can tap into to access their software and data wherever they are.
In the evolving workforce, it means that access to the cloud is all you need to be productive and valuable, wherever you are.
For many industries, access to cloud technology means that employees no longer have to be physically present in an office to drive benefits for the business.
Rather than spending hours tied to a desk, professionals ranging from lawyers to consultants can work from anywhere, at any time.
Even the accountant – one of the professions most commonly associated with deskwork, is finding a more flexible way of life.
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Why the Gig Economy Is Perfect for Accountants
Accountants don’t need an office to be good at their jobs. All they need is access to their client’s files and the right software.
Fortunately, several technology developers are now producing cloud solutions for productivity.
- Microsoft Office 365, for instance, offers a blend of storage and task management applications bundled together into a neat package.
- SmartVault is a document system that can work with Intuit products for secure storage of accounting files on the cloud.
- Accountants can even access solutions like com to manage cash flow online.
- With options like intelligent cloud hosting, specifically for tools like QuickBooks, registered accountants also have the potential to access documents and files wherever they are.
So, why would the average accountant want to embrace this cloud-focused lifestyle?
The simple answer is: Flexibility.
37% of US employees have done some remote working in recent years, and the numbers are growing.
When accountants have the freedom to move from place to place while they work, they can experience benefits like better work/life balance, greater efficiency, and even stronger work satisfaction.
Could Remote Working Save The Accounting Industry?
The rise of remote working as a powerful source of motivation for budding accountants couldn’t have come at a better time.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for auditors and accountants is lower than ever – dropping to around 1.8% at the end of 2018.
There just aren’t enough specialists out there, and accounting isn’t a profession that’s going to go away any time soon.
The traditional view of accounting as a job where you’re shackled to a dreary office desk isn’t particularly appealing to the modern workforce. Younger generations are more invested in finding opportunities where they can work in flexible environments, at a schedule that suits them. It’s millennials and Generation Z that are driving the demand for remote working today.
In the skills-short accounting market, employers that can be more flexible and give accountants a way to work from home are more likely to attract the best talent on the market.
Additionally, if students begin to realize that they can live the flexible lifestyle they want with an accounting career, we may also start to see the rise of new entrepreneurs opening their own accounting firms. This could be crucial to the accounting space in the future.
After all, if we don’t do something to change the current environment, then we are going to have a hard time finding anyone to check our tax return!
Are Remote Accountants Still Productive?
One of the most significant issues that employers have when it comes to remote working is that their concerned workers won’t be as productive as in the office environment.
However, flexibility doesn’t necessarily cause procrastination among people with the right frame of mind.
According to a study from Stanford University that divided 500 employees into two groups – one that worked at the office, and one who worked from home; the remote workers had a better level of productivity.
Additionally, the company in question was able to save a lot of money on their utilities and infrastructure.
The remote working accountants not only are as productive as they would be in the office, thanks to the right cloud software, but they’re more cost-effective too.
There is less expenses to worry about when it comes to office space and overheads, and the accountants themselves don’t have to deal with expensive or exhausting commutes.
Additionally, employers can enjoy the benefits of being able to hire the right talent, regardless of where in the world their accountant is located.
That means you, as an employer, can choose the CPA that’s right for you – even if they’re living halfway across the globe. The benefits of remote working through the cloud are limitless.
Studies even suggest that remote working accountants are healthier and more well-balanced than their counterparts because they’re able to fit their work schedule around the rest of their life. That leads to happier, more engaged employees.
Ready to Embrace the Cloud?
Though moving to a cloud-based strategy for work can be a complicated process for both accountants, and the people who hire them, it could be the best way for this profession to continue growing.
Through the cloud, any accountant can access the tools that they need to perform better in their roles. What’s more, with video conferencing, they can even stay in touch with their clients without compromising on face-to-face interactions.
In a world where the cloud can deliver security, speed, and productivity for accountants in any environment, the old-fashioned way of working is quickly losing its appeal.
The only way is up for tomorrow’s CPAs.
Note: Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer and a content marketing consultant at MyWorkDrive, cloud file sharing solution software company enabling safe and smooth virtual collaboration. She loves being on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.
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