Effectively managing remote employees requires intuitive software that promotes productivity, simplifies workflows, and enhances collaboration among every team member.
More than half (55%) of companies employ remote workers. Those within the accounting sector need industry-specific remote employee management tools.
Here we share programs that we highly recommend for accounting firms that manage a remote workforce. There are also helpful tips for supervising these employees and suggestions for choosing the best software.
Tips for Managing a Remote Workforce
In recent years, there has been a steady rise in the number of remote workers. Experts predict that 36.2 million U.S. employees will work remotely by 2025.
Here are a few ways supervisors can effectively manage a remote workforce:
- Minimize distractions
- Encourage a work/life balance
- Schedule regular check-ins
- Provide the necessary equipment
- Offer efficient remote workflow software
How to Choose the Best Remote Workforce Software
The best remote workforce software should enable firms to ensure employees remain on task and reach performance goals. The right program will also keep an active company culture.
Every remote workforce management program is different and offers a wide range of features. The most suitable programs will include the following tools:
- Time management and calendars
- Project and task management
- Collaboration and file sharing
- Resource and asset management
Top 10 Most Powerful Software for Remote Employee Management
One of the biggest advantages of employing a remote workforce is that 79% of employees state that they are more productive and focused when working from home.
However, for accounting firm staff to remain productive and focused, they need the right tools. Here are ten software programs to help accounting firms manage their remote employees more efficiently.
1. SharePoint by Microsoft
SharePoint is a complementary program within the Microsoft 365 platform. It delivers an extra layer of enterprise-grade functionality that’s vital for productivity. Notably, it also offers improved data security to safeguard confidential company information.
2. Microsoft Teams
Another Microsoft software program for managing remote employees is Microsoft Teams. It’s a centralized hub for communication and facilitates better teamwork.
There are over 50 features available from Microsoft Teams, including multiple chat options, @ mentions, assistant bots, and customizable alerts, to name a few.
It also offers multi-factor authentication for enhanced security along with file sharing and screen sharing to promote collaboration. Here are a few additional reasons accounting firms should use Microsoft Teams:
- Enhances video conferencing
- Streamlines communications
- Seamlessly integrates with all Microsoft 365 applications
Accounting firms can bring work communications together in one place with Slack. It delivers real-time messaging, multiple channels for specific team members, and message archives. It is the closest application to a virtual office available.
One of the most interesting things about this tool is that users can sync all their other team collaboration tools with Slack, so people can receive all platform notifications in one place.
Another tool accounting firms use to streamline workflows and enhance team collaboration and communications is monday.com. With employees working in a fluid work environment in and out of the office, it is significantly challenging and increasingly critical for staff to keep track of where everything is and which employee is doing what.
Legacy systems and manual processes won’t cut it for successfully managing remote employees. Collaboration and automation are more straightforward with the monday.com platform. Its advanced features include:
- Cross-functional visibility
- Kanban boards
- Shared calendars
- Real-time collaboration tools
- Task dependencies
- Gantt charts
5. Gantt Charts
Salesforce and monday.com both offer Gantt charts which are one of the most familiar and effective scheduling tools for project management. This tool assists accounting firms with planning and scheduling tasks and they’re also effective at simplifying complex projects.
Another teleconferencing tool remote employees of accounting firms should use is Zoom. Employees should upgrade their setup with a nice webcam, ring light, and microphone. It is also a good idea to have noise-canceling headphones to reduce distracting background noise. (Check out our blog “How to Look and Sound Stunning on Zoom“.)
7. Dropbox Business
Create a smart workplace where teams, tools, and content come together with Dropbox Business. It safeguards and syncs files, making it easier for accounting firms to share documents, contracts, and data assets.
The most impressive thing about this tool is that over 300,000 companies globally trust Dropbox Business for its industry-leading collaboration, file sync, and extensive security and administration features.
Accounting firms (and other organizations) use Toggl as an online timer with a robust timesheet calculator. It boosts employee performance and measures the actual time staff spends on work. It also allows managers to assign various projects or tasks to each period. The best part about this tool is that Toggl integrates with other productivity tools seamlessly.
Quip is a real-time document editing and sharing platform that allows employees to work on and transfer shared documents. This software comes with a useful notification tool. The only thing an employee has to do is mention a colleague, and the software program will ping them.
Quip simplifies the process for a new team member to catch up quickly. Also, the program displays conversations alongside any materials.
Let’s not forget about the importance of checking in on your team to ensure that everyone is happy, healthy, and achieving their goals. Lattice (which was developed by Slack), is a simple-to-use platform that brings your entire team together. Everyone in the company is given weekly updates to fill out to show overall progress. Pulse surveys are commonly used as well – they’re short and sweet and allow employees to express how they’re doing in terms of bandwidth, satisfaction, etc. Lattice then takes this information and creates insightful dashboards that display the overall progress and health of your firm at a glance.
Tech Guru Helps Accounting Firms Integrate the Best Remote Workforce Software
Accounting firms have three options when choosing the most powerful software for managing a remote workforce: combine various single-feature tools into one integrated employee management system, use a comprehensive software solution with every feature needed, or hire an IT firm to help develop an IT strategy to maximize productivity and processes.
Every company is unique, and every accounting firm has its own set of unique challenges. At Tech Guru, we help accounting firms manage their remote workforce by integrating the best software programs with their clients’ existing infrastructure.
Do you need a better system for managing a remote workforce? Contact us today to speak to one of our solutions architects.