7 Tips for CPAs to Manage Remote Employees During Coronavirus Crisis

In these challenging times, when the coronavirus outbreak has become a menace for most parts of the world, it is not only insisted but advised by the authorities to stay at home and maintain social distancing.

Recently, US has become the country with the most number of recorded coronavirus cases, even more than China.

For all businesses, including accounting, suspending their office operations and urging employees to work from home has become a necessity.

However, managing remote workers can be extremely challenging. Implementing proper software solutions and platforms can help to manage employees easily and improve their productivity.

CPAs need to adjust their approach to work and simplify the management complexities created in an environment supporting remote connections to employees.

However, benefits such as better retention rate and enhanced productivity typically overshadow the potential disadvantages created while offering remote connections to employees.

Here are some tips to ensure that the remote workers’ efficiency is not affected in any way.

1. Give Importance to Evaluation and Accountability

Some of the members may log in at five in the morning or plug-in at eight in the night. Assessing remote workers can be a daunting task as they have a varying working schedule.

Focussing on the appropriate statistics and metrics can help to evaluate the remote workers’ performance better. Work can be assessed on the basis of clear objectives developed after taking inputs from the remote workers. Eventually, this results in more engaged workers.

2. Build a Good Office Rapport

A virtual workplace requires intense efforts to build the same rapport as the physical office. Whether it’s featuring individual employees in the monthly newsletter or hosting an online hangout, find ways to bolster ties among all remote workers.

Scheduling monthly or weekly face-to-face meetings can help to discuss business priorities better.

3. Use Better Collaboration Tools to Share Knowledge

The emergence of various technologies and collaboration platforms has simplified the process of knowledge sharing. Cloud is one such technology that can help the accounting team view and edit files in real-time. They can also share files with clients on the cloud.

Recommended Reading: How QuickBooks Hosting Can Help You Successfully Embrace Remote Working During Coronavirus Outbreak

Moreover, video and screen capturing tools enable information sharing with other team members sitting at remote locations. Video conferencing can help users to collaborate easily, brainstorm on a whiteboard, share screens, and instantly resolve issues related to expense tracking and payroll management. This enables better collaboration and efficient handling of financial data.

4. Conduct Diligent Analysis

Although there are various challenges that your accounting team might face during the outbreak, employees’ activities must be analyzed regularly. It will help you identify any factors that are affecting the accountants’ productivity.

Keep a check on employees responding late to emails, phone calls, or instant messages. The performance of resources should be analyzed, and the highest performing employee must be rewarded.

You can identify the workers who are negligent in meeting the deadlines. This will help in identifying those members of the organization who appear to be counter-productive.

5. Connect Staff to Right Resources at Right Time

The time zones of the employees must fit their work schedule. Try to avoid assigning tasks to employees working in different routines. This leaves team members perpetually in the hurry-up-and-wait-cycle, as their fellow mates are half a world away completing their part of a project.

Tools like Sharepoint can be used to connect users with useful resources. It ensures employees have access to up-to-date and accurate information.

6. Get Feedback from the Remote Staff

Take feedback from remote workers to build up a better staff management process. Interact with employees directly to ensure the feedback received is accurate. Depending upon the feedback, offsite staff management can be improved.

Ask remote employees for their input on the challenges they’re facing and what they need to be more successful. Accurate input from the remote employees regarding their problems can help them to learn what they need to be more productive.

7. Build an Encouraging Work-Environment

Distance dilutes the urgency of getting things done. A better engaging environment and an active workforce can be built by informing the team members of what is exactly happening on-site. Team-based goals can be set, and competitions can be conducted to encourage the active engagement of the employees.

Mood-monitoring tools can help to judge the engagement levels of the remote workforce. This would also encourage self-awareness among the employees.


During the outbreak, it is essential to encourage employees to stay safe in their houses. However, accounting being a critical process for any business, the CPAs must try to work remotely with the utmost productivity, even during these testing times.

A remote workforce can help businesses keep their economy stable if appropriately managed. Keeping employees informed and engaged can help to create a better workplace remotely. Additionally, motivating employees and promoting plenty of interactions can help businesses to build a better community of remote workforce.

Analyzing the issues encountered by the remote employees as done for an in-house employee can help to get through the coronavirus outbreak.

For more tips on how to keep accounting operations up and running during the Coronavirus pandemic, download this free ebook.

About Julie Watson

Julie is a dynamic professional with over 16 years of rich experience as a VDI and Application Hosting expert. At Ace Cloud Hosting, she humanizes disruptive and emerging remote working trends to help leaders discover new and better possibilities for digital transformation and innovation by using cloud solutions with an enterprise-class security approach. Beyond work, Julie is a passionate surfer.
On the weekend, you will find her hanging out with her family or surfing around the North Shore of Oahu.

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Comments (1)

  • Samuel says:

    Recent technological advancements have allowed to CPAs to benefit from remote employees. However, it is essential they treat these employees the same way they would treat in-house employee. Accountancy is a very crucial job for any organization so it is important that they maintain a healthy relationship with the people that work for them.

  • Sharon says:

    Great post aditi. You covered all the topics that managing remote employees should cover but I would like to complement your post by adding that another great tip is having regular interactions between the remote employees and your clients via video conferencing. This helps in giving a face to the name thus building a sense of loyalty and dedication in the remote staff.

  • Travis says:

    An encouraging and collaborative work environment is a must for efficient management of remote accountants. CPAs should strive to make their remote staff feel appreciated and reward them when they are performing good. This instills in them a feeling of improvement. The benefits are reaped by both the CPAs as well as the remote staff.

  • Corey says:

    With the advent of internet, working with a remote task force is hardly any different than working with people in the same office. Tools like cloud data storage, video conferencing, emails, chats, etc. if used properly can help a CPA make sure that its remote employees are able to work at an optimum level.

  • Aaron says:

    Have a data pool that can be shareable and accessed by everyone from anywhere. The many cloud hosted data storages can help you out in this. Shared data allows for better real time collaboration between a team that is based away from each other.

  • Dustyn says:

    It is often more affordable to work with remote employees and these employees too feel more comfortable working in their own comfort zone. However it is necessary for both the accountant and its agents to collaborate in an extensive manner so that there is no communication gap between them.

  • Andrew says:

    Analysis is an often overlooked factor when remote employees are concerned. Efficient analysis of their work and performance can help in identifying shortcomings as well as achievements. Acting on these analysis reports can ensure that the CPA’s operations are running smoothly and efficiently.

  • Brandon says:

    Great post Aditi! Was really informative. I would like to complement your points by saying that it is very essential when dealing with remote employees that they should be made to feel as important as in-house employees. This tends to develop a sense of loyalty in them allowing them to work with a lot more dedication as they feel more connected with the firm.

  • Gregory says:

    Remote Staff should be considered exactly as valuable as the workers working in your office. They should be not be thought of as expendable resources. An employee who has been working with you for some time is a lot more valuable than a new one even if the new one sits on the next desk to you. There are many things about accounting that only time teaches. So respect these remote employees the same way you would a regular office employee.

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