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Benefits of Hiring Remote Accounting Staff for Your Firm

Benefits of Hiring Remote Accounting Staff for Your Firm

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by Jennifer Altschuler

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remote accounting employees

It's time to face up to the virtual facts. Remote accounting employees are not only here to stay (at home) post-pandemic, they are quickly rising to the top tier of the talent pool when it comes to finding quality applicants for your accounting firm. The days of day gigs, desk jobs, and desktop software have gone by, making way for millennial-friendly flex schedules, remote work spaces, and cloud-based accounting tools.

The sooner you bring your accounting firm into the new age, the sooner you'll reach new heights in growing your practice, accessing A-level employees, and achieving optimal operational efficiency. It's time to get moving and go remote.

Accountants Working Remotely - Nothing New Here

Chances are, you've already embraced letting employees work remotely on some level, even before the events of 2020 forever altered our working arrangements. Even a simple task, such as checking work emails at home, qualifies as remote work. And according to a pre-COVID SHRM study, this practice is more prevalent than you may think with seventy-one percent of employees checking their work email between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 70 percent checking it after 6 p.m.

So there you go, chances are you already have remote workers within your accounting firm!

Benefits of Hiring Remote Accounting Employees

1. Widen the Talent Pool

Restricting your candidate search to a limited geographical area means you aren't necessarily getting the best candidates. By removing physical location as a recruitment factor and including remote candidates, you are effectively widening the talent pool, and giving your accounting firm a competitive advantage.

Growmotely cites that more than half of the employees surveyed said they prefer working in a fully remote environment, and emphasized that having the option to work remotely is a top priority when seeking employment. The vast majority of U.S. workers say they would reject an offer without remote work options.

If you are not including remote work options in your job postings, your best candidates may move on and look elsewhere. Mentioning remote work options in your job descriptions and during interviews helps increase the quantity, quality and specialized skill level of applicants.

Go ahead and give yourself the freedom to hire outside of your HQ radius.

2. Promote Job Satisfaction

Providing flexible working options will increase the likelihood of job satisfaction amongst your staff and keep them around longer. Remember, the end goal is getting the job done and delivering results. Don't focus on who the early bird is or which employee is the last one out the door at closing time.

Providing flexible work options demonstrates that you run a progressive practice that rewards employees based on performance vs. the hours they put in. The best part is, flexible working arrangements won't cost you any more. But on the upside, you'll reap the benefits of loyal employees, lower turnover rates, and a satisfied staff.

So keep them happy and keep them in your employment!

3. Boost Morale and Productivity

Besides employee retention, keeping employees happy directly impacts their engagement, productivity and overall performance levels. Employee productivity has been shown to increase dramatically when they work from home. According to Forbes, remote workers are 35-40% more productive than their office co-workers, have 41% lower absence rates, and deliver result with 40% fewer quality defects. People are at their peak performance when they're happy.

Plus, putting your trust in your staff's ability to prioritize their projects and schedules while working remotely promotes employee empowerment, an important element of engagement. Giving employees more autonomy in their decision-making fuels their enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to get the job done.

Telecommuters are also less distracted, less likely to use sick time, and have lower tardy rates since commute time is eliminated.

4. Increase Profitability

Maintaining a remote workforce is also easy on the wallet with significant savings in operating costs. The most obvious cost savings is reduced overhead, such as:

  • utilities (electric, heat, ac)

  • real estate

  • equipment (computers, phones, copiers)

  • supplies

  • maintenance

According to Global Workplace Analytics, companies that allow employees to work remotely 50% of the time reduce their cost-per-employee by $11,000 per year. Your workers will also be elated to save up to $4,000 per year on gas, coffee, lunches and wardrobe (remember happy employees = productive employees).

Lower attrition rates is another factor that puts money back in your pocket. When you consider that attrition could cost you up to 50% of an employee's annual salary in hiring and training, employee retention is financially beneficial to your practice.

5. Lower Payroll Costs

Surveys show that the majority of employees are willing to take a pay cut in exchange for flexible work options. This doesn't mean the employee has to be 100% remote. You may consider negotiating a shortened workweek in exchange for lower pay. Many employees will also opt for a flexible work arrangement in lieu of vacation time.

You may also consider hiring remote employees in lower cost-of-living areas or from other countries with lower hourly rates. Since salaries are based on market factors, locations have their own set of cost-of-living expenses, including housing, transportation, parking, etc.

In addition, employers hiring nationally, or internationally, will find a greater supply of potential employees, which will mediate the need to meet high salary demands.

6. Go Green

Since transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., telecommuting is also the greener choice when it comes to working. Even working from home one or two days a week can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, leading to less traffic congestion, less road erosion, less fossil fuel usage, and decreases the amount of greenhouse gas going into the atmosphere.

Commercial properties are also a culprit when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions. Think of how much energy is required to heat, cool and light a large office space. A remote workforce can help lower the carbon footprint, since less energy is required for a residential home.

The Gift of Going Remote for Your Accounting Firm

Remote employees can help address a number of challenges faced by small to mid sized accounting firms, including talent acquisition, employee retention, productivity and profitability. Consider these benefits when searching for your next accounting employee, or sweetening the deal for your current staff.

Find more articles on accounting practice management in our blog library. If you would like more information on Build Your Firm, check out our marketing programs for accountants, or contact us at 888-999-9800, ext. 1, or email us at [email protected].

Jennifer image
Jennifer Altschuler, BYF Outsourced Marketing Program Director

Jennifer oversees The Outsourced Marketing and Online Advertising Programs at Build Your Firm, helping our clients with lead generation, online presence and reputation management.