Remote work has become the new normal for many professionals, that includes CPAs. However, while it has a long list of advantages, it also presents a new set of challenges. Working remotely may make staying productive and focused more difficult. Hence, exploring strategies to solve these challenges is essential to help you stay productive and organized.
A day in the life of a CPA involves handling multiple responsibilities for your clients that require the utmost focus. This blog will discuss 6 strategies you can utilize to help you manage your workload, stay productive, and achieve your objectives.
Organize Your Workspace
The first productivity hack for a remote CPA is to have an organized workspace. The best place to start is by setting up your workplace. Create a workspace that is devoid of distractions. It can be as simple as having a room with a door or a quiet corner of your room where you can be entirely focused. Set up a comfortable office chair and a table with everything necessary at arm’s length. You can also keep a couple of potted plants and decor elements to make the space more lively and effective.
Setting Up Your Calendar and Schedule
According to Zippia’s 2023 research around remote work, 40% of remote workers say that struggling to unplug at the end of the workday is their biggest challenge. This is most likely the case with a remote CPA as well.
With remote work, the line between work and home becomes blurry. To fix this, you must create a schedule that works for you. It should account for everything – when you wake up, start work, take your breaks, go for a walk with your pet, and everything else. You have the final say on when you work as long as you finish your tasks on time.
However, it would help if you kept it slightly flexible. For example, if there is a need to attend a meeting outside your schedule, you should be able to do so without jeopardizing your work.
It is essential that you communicate with your team and your clients about your schedule. You can do that by setting up your day on your calendar and integrating apps like Calendy with your calendar. This way, anyone can set up external meetings directly without your involvement.
When working as a remote CPA, you can use technology to make your workflow easier. Leveraging new technology and productivity solutions is a great productivtiy hack. Many tools can help you improve your productivity and stay focused. For example, manual and repetitive accounting tasks like expense tracking, invoice processing, payroll processing, and more can be completely automated. Automating accounting reduces the risk of human error while enabling you to work on other value-adding tasks that need your expertise.
Embracing cloud accounting can also help you tremendously. It opens the doors to working from anywhere. It also makes it easier for you and your clients to access financial records in real time. In addition, it promotes transparency and collaboration. Plus, it ensures the client that you can address all of their requests and needs wherever you are.
Compartmentalizing and Prioritizing Tasks
As a remote CPA, your responsibilities are endless. Multiple tasks need to be done every day to ensure the financial health of your client’s business. As a result, you might get overwhelmed with everything you must do. Start by creating a list of all the tasks you have to do in a book or tools like TickTick to organize everything. You can then sort them based on importance.
Some categories in important, important but not urgent, urgent & unimportant, not urgent & unimportant. You can also sort your tasks by how much time each task will take. This exercise gives you a framework to begin your work in a much more organized fashion. It also helps set the agenda for your day or week.
You can also use other productivity techniques like the Pomodoro technique. This essentially uses a timer to split your day into small periods of 25 minutes spaced out by 5-minute breaks. Then, after 3-4 cycles, you can take a longer break. Experiment with techniques like this to find what really works for you.
As a remote CPA, being transparent is highly expected from your client. Lack of it can reflect poorly on you, and they will lose faith in you. You are responsible for providing accurate and accountable financial information, so ensure your client is aware of your work to maintain a healthy and professional relationship.
Take Regular Breaks
And finally, prioritize your mental health above all else. Working remotely can become monotonous. You have to constantly remind yourself to take breaks to refocus. While it may sound counterintuitive, taking regular breaks is one of the best productivity hacks. Make sure you read a book, grab a cup of coffee, take a walk, or listen to music to let your mind rest. As a CPA, working with a lot of numbers can become taxing, and overworking can lead to errors that could cost you.
Productivity Hacks for the Remote CPA – Summary
If done correctly, remote work can be more productive than going to an office. Try to incorporate all the above tips, research more ways to improve productivity, keep experimenting and iterating your methods and figure out a workflow that makes you your productive best.