Running your accountancy practice remotely during the coronavirus crisis
Accountants have a key role to play in helping UK businesses during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW).
However, if your firm is going to be a valuable support to its clients, there’s a real imperative for you and your practice staff to become a truly online business. With the whole accountancy sector now on lockdown, your firm must make the most of the available online and cloud resources, so you can work remotely and can retain digital contact with your clients.
We’ve highlighted 5 key areas you can put in place to keep your practice running.
1. Remote working set-up
With everyone except key workers now self-isolating at home, your firm won’t be able to work from the usual office space. So, having the ability to work remotely is crucial.
Many firms will already have embraced cloud technology in some form. So, if you’re using an online accounting platform – such a Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent, KashFlow or Sage Business Cloud – then you already have the ability to log in to your client’s accounting information from your remote location. If not, now’s the time to bite the bullet and switch to cloud accounting.
2. Video conferencing apps
Contact with your clients is obviously going to be limited during the current lockdown. So, most of your communication is likely to happen online.
Video-conferencing apps allow you to have client meetings, board reviews or one-to-one confidential meetings with your clients, without leaving your home. Apps such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams, provide the audio-visual functionality needed to see your clients in real time – allowing you to advise them through these challenging times.
3. Online messaging for your team
Staying in touch with your practice team when you’re all working from different locations will be tricky. Some form of online or instant messaging will be vital if you’re going to overcome this.
Obviously, you can still pick up the phone to each other, but live online messaging can be more productive, allowing the whole team to chip in and interact. A team messaging app, like Slack, can help to build some team connections when working remotely. And having a WhatsApp group for the team makes it easy to quickly send out short messages and updates to each other. Staying in touch with the team is a critical factor in maintaining morale while in lockdown and you'll be surprised how natural socialising online becomes after a few weeks of doing it.
4. Emergency updates for clients
Keeping your business clients updated as the coronavirus crisis evolves is a vital service, allowing you to reassure your clients and provide some proactive assistance.
Many small businesses are facing a highly uncertain future over the coming months, so any resources, tips, links and advice you can share will be incredibly helpful. Assisting clients with cashflow issues, staffing problems and disappearing revenues will all be critical services – and online comms are likely to be a key starting point for conversations.
5. Cloud-based CRM system
Managing your client interactions, enquiries and follow-ups can be hard enough under normal circumstances, but it’s more difficult than ever when your team is working remotely.
To stay fully in control of client interactions whilst in lockdown, you need a client relationship management (CRM) platform that works in the cloud. An online CRM system, such as Capsule CRM, provides one cloud-based point of truth for all your client information – allowing everyone in the team to access and update client notes, campaign details and contact information.
A helping hand from Capsule
Capsule CRM gives you online control over your client information, emergency communications and follow-up tasks during the tough times that lay ahead.
You can sign up for Capsule FREE for 30 days, for a professional CRM platform with a key suite of tools to help you stay in touch with clients.
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Capsule is a CRM system.
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