COVID-19: How can practices still serve clients effectively?

here to help
By James Nadal | 24th March 2020 | 9 min read

The tentacles of the coronavirus crisis have reached into every part of society, with businesses furiously scrambling to adapt to the sudden changes demanded of them.

Continuing to operate under these conditions, with staff working from home, or unable to work due to sickness, is likely to be one of the most testing challenges many firms have faced.

Some accountancy practices have adopted flexible and remote working arrangements in recent years, making the transition somewhat easier.

But if your practice is among those with a more traditional office set up, how do you quickly change to meet the requirements for remote working?

How do you continue to serve clients effectively?

How do you ensure your practice is still operating at peak productivity and carrying out vital compliance work?

At IRIS, we’re here to bring certainty for customers despite the uncertain times and, with that in mind, we’ve produced a simple one page guide to help you solve these very questions.

Download it for free here for the full lowdown. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts of what you need to be thinking about for your practice to get it set up to work remotely effectively.

The same PC set up

Moving to different locations to work is very disruptive, with all the associated challenges. For staff, they may have to adapt their homes if they don’t have a dedicated office. So, they need as much continuity as possible, especially with their computer set up. It is possible to get your teams working as if they are on their normal office PCs – with their screen displays and software, operating and looking identical.

Work anywhere

It’s crucial that your employees have the ability to work from anywhere, any time. No matter where they live, they should be able to log in to your business systems and carry on as if they were in the office. You need to ensure that the system you have in place just requires the simplest things – access to a computer and the internet. No more complicated than that.

Work anytime

The point about time is even more relevant with the school closures. You may have staff who are facing the enormous challenge of trying to look after their children, school them, and work all at the same time. The current crisis means flexibility is necessary. If your staff can complete essential tasks at any point during day or night – perhaps at times outside the usual office hours when they can concentrate more easily because kids are being cared for or asleep – that is a far better alternative than not getting it done at all. So, a system that enables 24/7 access to your work set is important.

Cybercrime and security

For every practice, the security of client data is paramount. You’ll want to ensure that a change in the way you work doesn’t open the door to cyber criminals. You need to take care that, when your team is set up to work remotely, connections are fully secure and encrypted, safe from hackers, viruses, ransomware, so your business remains compliant with strict legislation.

Here to help

IRIS is here to help, regardless of the accountancy compliance software you use. Whether you’re using Sage, Digita, CCH or TaxCalc, we can assist and you don’t need to change your practice software.

With IRIS Hosting, you’ll get the capability to achieve all of the key points mentioned in this article – and more.

And to respond as rapidly as possible in the current COVID-19 crisis, we’ve launched a new Fast Track Service means you can be working from home in days, not weeks.