Tips for Running Your Accounting Firm During the Coronavirus
Get advice on how to support your accounting team if they have to work remotely. Learn how to keep your accounting firm safe during the coronavirus.
To flatten the curve and to minimize the risk of their employees contracting the coronavirus, many businesses are sending their employees home. In several areas, government mandates are even forcing firms to send workers home.
If you run an accounting firm, you may be wondering how to handle the shift from an in-office team to a remote team. To streamline the process, check out these tips.
Take Advantage of the Extended Deadlines
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has moved the deadline for submitting 2019 tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The new date applies to individuals, trusts, and corporations, and your clients also do not have to make payments until this date.
Make sure that your accounting team knows about the new deadline, and consider taking advantage of the extra time to spread your work out over a more extended period.
If you need extra time, you can file for extensions, but keep in mind that even if you request a filing extension, payments are still due on July 15, 2020. Interest and penalties start accruing after that date.
Limit Face-to-Face Meetings
To safeguard the health of your accounting team, limit face-to-face interactions. Send out letters to clients telling them that you are limiting in-person meetings, and give them alternative options. For instance, you may want clients to meet with your staff members over the phone or using video chat tools.
If your clients need to bring in paperwork and tax documents, you may want to request that they mail documents or send out tutorials showing them how to capture documents, save them, and send them to your team over the internet.
Invest in Cloud-Based Tools
If you’re not already using cloud-based accounting tools, now is the time to make that leap. These tools allow your team to collaborate, regardless of where they are located in the world. As long as they have internet access, your accounting professionals can make changes that are instantly saved to the cloud and that the rest of your team can see in real time.
Find Ways to Keep Your Team Connected
In addition to cloud-based tools that help with your firm’s core accounting activities, you also need to look into solutions to keep your team connected. For instance, you may want to hold meetings with Google Hangouts Meet, you may want to look into Microsoft Teams collaboration tools to track progress on big projects, or you may want to explore other options.
Consider the Security of Your Network
When you start working remotely, you face a new set of cyber concerns. In particular, when your employees are accessing your data or your clients’ information on their own devices, you may not have the same firewall protection you have when they are accessing that information on devices housed in your own office.
To protect your data, your employees, and the reputation of your business, you need to consider the security of your network and how engaging with a remote team changes your risks. Then, you need to implement safeguards addressing these concerns.
At 360 Smart Networks, we have helped our clients weather a lot of risks and guided them as they went through significant changes to their tech environment. If you need helping to select and implementing cloud-based tools to support the workflow of your accounting firm now that you have people working from home, we can help.
We can help ensure that your network and IT environment are as safe as possible, while you take measures to keep your employees’ health as safe as possible. To learn more about our managed IT and cybersecurity services, contact us today. We are an Atlanta-based company that works with organizations in Atlanta, Charlotte, and across the rest of the Southeast United States.