Hybrid Working: Embracing A Flexible Future
When remote working became a necessity during the pandemic, some saw the idea as a flash in the pan – something that would quickly be tossed to the side once ‘normality’ returned. In practice, however, companies across all sectors are realising that hybrid working is head to stay, including accountants.
The percentage of firms allowing their team members to work remotely in 2022 on a regular or fluid basis nearly doubled to 80 percent, while 43 percent of firms have now said they are making remote recruiting part of their talent strategy. Among accounting professionals looking for a new position in 2023, well over half (63 percent) are seeking a hybrid position, and 47 percent are interested in a fully remote position.
For firms looking to attract, retain and grow their talent pool, hybrid working will definitely be part of the picture, but making it work for you and your clients requires a new approach to the ways you work.
From digital to hybrid firm
In many ways, the processes that enable hybrid working have been taking hold for some time. The rise of cloud accounting has enabled some firms to work with clients anywhere, automating manual work and streamlining workflows. These firms have been able to grow, scale and improve their efficiency, while also aligning better with the expectations of new clients who want to be able to manage their business on the go.
The rise of hybrid work has the potential to create an even bigger gap between digital leaders and firms who have held back in their cloud transition, with modern firms not just attracting more clients, but also more talent. For firms who haven’t yet made the leap, hybrid working may be the push they need.
Digital firms rely on a range of technologies – cloud-based services, automation tools, AI, and more – to digitise operations and facilitate collaboration across physical distances. The goal so far was to close the gap with clients, working together in real time using reliable, shared data, efficient tools and value-driving processes. The challenge now is to apply that same process mindset to your internal processes.
Embracing the hybrid mindset
The challenge at the core of hybrid working is rebuilding processes that once relied on face-to-face, in-person communication to a digital way of working. That often means analysing the way you work to document what the goal of each of your processes it, and reimagining them from a hybrid point of view, including:
- Communication and collaboration: Without the default of face-to-face, firms need strong communication and collaboration processes, such as workflow management, video communication and project visibility.
- Tools and enablement: Ensuring that all the systems on which your team rely can not only perform their tasks from disparate locations but also enable teams to work on projects together with shared visibility and data.
- Office space: Instead of moving entirely beyond physical assets, hybrid is a chance to rethink how you can best use them, aligning time in the office with activities that benefit most from in-person work.
- Training and onboarding: New joiners in a hybrid team need to be brought into the key processes, culture and teams, using a purposeful mix of online and in-person training to ensure they can align with the way you work.
- Company culture: Hybrid accounting firms need to be more intentional about creating a culture that can connect the team, even with hybrid work, ensuring shared values and ways of working are clear and shared.
Scaling your hybrid firm
Effective hybrid work requires the right tools to connect and empower your team to make the right decisions, no matter where they’re working. Futrli’s advisory platform brings all your client and firm financial projections into a single place, streamlining planning and advisory services to help offer new services and maximise client value from anywhere.
- With intuitive dashboards, automated forecasting and easy-to-access explanations, accountants can work closely with clients on how to maximise growth and minimise risk, providing valuable insight from anywhere, without having to juggle arcane technology stacks or swap spreadsheets.
- With real-time data at their fingertips, firms can scale value across their client-base, offering predictions, scenario planning and contingency advice based on AI-assisted analysis.
- Accessing shared information through Futrli ensures full data integrity, with no need to manually share data between systems, helping firms stay compliant with data protection regulations while offering more value for clients.
No matter how you structure your firm, Futrli gives you the tools to deliver accurate, real-time reporting and reliable forecasting. Start a free trial and discover how it can work for you.
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