Each passing day, more and more Americans are switching to working from home. In 2017, around eight million Americans worked from home. This figure increased by 5% compared to 2016. And since then, the trend has only seen upward growth.
But what about more specialized roles, such as an accountant? Can accountants follow suit and work from home? Let’s find out:
What are some common remote accounting jobs?
Here’s a list of some of the most common accounting jobs that can be carried out remotely:
An accountant is not the same as a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers are usually in charge of recording and maintaining financial accounts. They also record transactions and create annual reports.
On the other hand, an accountant analyzes these reports, after which they make recommendations that will ensure the company’s financial health. They also review the financial statements of a company to make sure they’re accurate and complete.
It’s a lot easier for accountants to work from home because their immediate job is to stay connected with clients and internal leadership, while having access to all the financial information.
There’s also little paperwork involved. If the company has adopted digitalized accounting processes, accountants can continue working as long as they can access the accounting software and easily download the required information on their home computer.
Communication with clients can take place via phone calls, emails, and video conferencing.
An auditor’s job is to make sure that all financial statements comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). They gather financial information about the company’s processes, quality controls, financial statements, tax returns, and other financial activities. They also scrutinize the data and look for any discrepancies, non-compliance, and inaccuracies.
One of the biggest aspects of an auditor’s work is communication with different departments. As long as the auditor is either meeting clients occasionally or holding online meetings, they can work from home easily. This is why there are plenty of independent auditors who work on a freelance basis.
c. Payroll accountant
Payroll is a highly specialized function, and therefore, many businesses outsource it. They also outsource it because many businesses don’t have a payroll module in their accounting software, since it’s an add-on in most cases. If you have a version of an accounting software with a payroll module, you can carry out most payroll-related tasks from home.
Common payroll duties that can be carried out from home include timely payroll generation, calculating employee paychecks, keeping track of their leaves and absences, and accounting for tax operations.
What has made work from home easy for accountants?
Accountants used to be caricaturized as figures who would always be surrounded by piles of documents and endless files. Thanks to cloud computing, however, this notion no longer holds true. Cloud computing has been one of the biggest breakthroughs in the field of accountancy, and has largely enabled work from home.
One of the biggest benefits of cloud technology is flexibility. As an accountant, you now have access to the same information and company resources that you have at work.
The company just needs to provide you with specific credentials that can be used to log into the system from virtually anywhere in the world. In short, a single server has the capability to facilitate globally shared information.
This means that one primary central office can easily connect its online resources with multiple remote offices.
What are the benefits of working from home?
Work from home helps accountants choose their own work timings. You can also set-up your workstation wherever you’re comfortable. Employees are most productive when there are comfortable. Instead of putting a formal suit on, you can slide on some pajamas, sit in the lawn outside, and work on the profit and loss account while sipping your evening coffee.
And if you’re a self-employed entrepreneur who frequently travels and manages financial documents yourself, this feature is really handy. You could go about your traveling schedule and hold meetings without compromising on payroll deadlines. The cloud will also keep you connected to your office back home, no matter which device you own.
QuickBooks Pro can enable all of this. This version of QuickBooks is basic and well-suited for companies in the startup phase, especially for business owners who look after their accounting tasks themselves.