I’ve been a big fan of remote offices for a long time: most of our team has been remote for the past five years, and this past July we finally gave up our office space altogether and never looked back. But until this year, many people thought our remote-office structure was well, kind of nuts. You can’t run an office entirely online, they’d tell me. You can’t use the cloud for everything. You can’t just run all your meetings virtually!
But in 2020, everyone learned a valuable lesson: you can do all those things. Covid19 pushed companies to move their offices online, and for many businesses it’s working so well that they are wondering whether or not they should stay virtual when the pandemic ends.
Even if you keep your office, you still need the cloud
You may not be ready to give up your office space just yet, but it’s still possible to use the cloud and virtual solutions to create a more efficient workplace. That’s why we have a Director of Accounting Technology whose entire job is helping our clients find the best cloud-based tools for their business.
There are a wondrous variety of cloud-based solutions for your accounting needs. If you’re using the desktop version of Quickbooks, consider moving to QuickBooks Online. You can also handle payables and receivables through bill.com, manage expenses through Expensify or Receipt Bank, and handle sales tax with TaxJar or Avalara.
These products can streamline processing, increase integration, and improve accuracy. They will also standardize your accounting. We had one client company that had a delicate situation; they wanted to replace their controller but realized he was the only one who knew the protocols and passwords on their desktop system. Cloud-based solutions allow for an easy transfer of responsibilities.
Change is a Big Part of Dashboard NY’s business
Sometimes a client comes to us after hitting a financial crisis, like realizing they suddenly didn’t have the money in their business account to cover a crucial expense like payroll. All businesses have working capital stress at times, but if a shortfall comes as a surprise then you need to make changes to be better prepared.
Sometimes a business is functioning well but cannot grow without change. And change is hard; the biggest obstacle is those who fear it. “If it’s not broke why fix it” has been said by many people shortly before they discovered it actually was broke.
We All Changed in 2020
Last year a potential client asked for our onsite presence, feeling the work couldn’t possibly be done remotely. We were going to accommodate them, but nothing ever came of it. Recently he contacted us again: “We get it now,” he said.
We have all made changes, because, well, what else could we do? Businesses that had written off remote offices and cloud-based software as impractical, expensive or unnecessarily disruptive found themselves rushing to online spaces and procedures. And they found many of the reasons they had fought similar changes in the past were unfounded.
Once the pandemic ends, many of the changes that came from it will live on in new ways of doing business. But don’t wait for a disaster before making changes. If these new ways of doing business have turned out well, ask yourself what changes you haven’t made yet that could make your company even better.
If you want more ideas about bringing your business into the future, sign up for our Newsletter.
Carol Soman CPA
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER