Did accountants have it wrong about homeworking?

government’s job retention scheme extended until June and hmrc’s portal has gone Live | Did accountants have it wrong about homeworking?
By Alan Gregory | 4th June 2020 | 14 min read

It’s the beginning of June and I’m celebrating a birthday.

On such occasions its natural to reflect on the prior year and look forward to the next. The last few months have been truly astonishing. This time last year who would have thought about social distancing, self-isolation, and lockdown?  These words were not even in our vocabulary.

You wouldn't have believed it

If they had been asked in February, many practices would have said their staff could not work from home; they would not have the space, the infrastructure costs would be too great, there would be too many distractions and so on. There were countless objections. I suspect, however, that the real question on the minds was ‘How do I know my staff would be working?

Necessity is the mother of invention and when the lockdown was announced in late March most practices found a way to work from home. They have reacted to the situation with astonishing speed and agility. Zoom meetings have become a way of life, our pets have become our team mascots, and we have juggled home schooling between conference calls. It has been truly remarkable how we have all adapted in a few short weeks.

Was it the wrong question?

Maybe managers were asking the wrong question. Maybe they should have been asking ‘Is the work getting done?’ or even ‘Is the right work getting done?

At IRIS, we have helped many practices address their concerns around infrastructure. Our IRIS Hosting solution has helped many practices ensure they have access to their systems. Using IRIS Practice Management, managers can outline the most important work and ensure their teams focus on these tasks as a priority.

The Government is keen to restart the economy and, notwithstanding the reservations of some, schools are opening today, and businesses will be looking forward to reopening as lockdown eases. It’s easy to assume we could quickly return to ‘normal’ but there could be a second spike in infection rates or a third, leading to a stop-start return.

Building a new resilience

At this stage it would be best to reflect on recent events and to consider the impact on our practices.

Most of us were able to react quite well with the sudden changes but think what can be achieved if practices were to take steps to build a new level of resilience into their processes and the way they interact with their clients.

IRIS can help practices reduce the cost of their calls, secure their IT infrastructure, and supercharge their performance. We also help transform client relationships. Rather than being reactive they become supportive and then evolve towards truly collaborative.

Cutting effort and costs

We have systems allowing practices to build forecasting and cashflow management plans to help clients through these momentous times. We can even help you and your clients reduce the time, effort, and cost of managing their businesses.  

As I contemplate another slice of birthday cake, I wonder what the next few months hold. I know IRIS will be here working hand in hand with our customers ensuring they can address the challenges that lie ahead.

Do you feel your practice needs to become more resilient and efficient? Keen to find new ways to adapt and succeed in this much-changed landscape?

Let us help you. Watch our recorded webinar series.

Give one of our specialists a call today on 0344 844 9644.