The next normal: A day in the life of an accountant

HR manager
By Steve Cox | 10th December 2020 | 17 min read

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we all live and work – quite possibly for good.

The level of transformation has been enormous – no matter what profession you work in.

The severe and rapidly changing restrictions have meant businesses must be more flexible than ever.

This has severely disrupted what the typical working day may have looked like pre-lockdown.

So, what does a ‘normal’ 24 hours look like for an accountant in the age of COVID? And how can technology help to make life easier and more productive, despite the challenges?

Below, we imagine a typical day in the ‘next normal’, looking at how IRIS may help each step of the way….

This is the day in the life of Charlotte Smith, Partner at Andrews & Brown Chartered Accountants.

6.30am – Charlotte logs on to IRIS Accounts Production from home via IRIS Hosting to check today’s office rota on IRIS Practice Management. The practice has implemented parallel teams and staggered working hours.

7.15am – Part of Team A, she arrives at the office. She quickly catches up on staff timesheets and work in progress, which are managed and recorded through IRIS Time and Fees. It’s then used to bill clients and calculate recoverability.

8.30am – Julie, one of Charlotte’s team, gets a call from her son’s school. The whole year is being sent home after nine pupils test positive for COVID. She’s able to leave and work from home on IRIS Accountancy Suite using IRIS Hosting.

10am – The Government reveals new financial support for businesses. Using AccountantGo, Charlotte sends clients text messages, or push notifications, with a news link demonstrating she’s up to speed and to offer reassurance.

10.55am – Paul, one of Charlotte’s tax specialists, is away, looking after his mum, as she recovers from COVID. He completes work for three important client deadlines remotely via IRIS Hosting, using IRIS Accounts Production and IRIS Personal Tax.  Every change is automatically logged in IRIS Practice Management, giving Charlotte instant visibility.

11.45am – A client calls to ask for her surname to be updated following her marriage. The change is made in IRIS Fixed Asset Register and, thanks to the IRIS centralised database, is automatically updated throughout the system, including IRIS Company Secretarial, which prepares forms ready for Companies House.

1.10pm – Charlotte’s long term client Bill, who used to bring bags full of receipts to her practice but is not travelling because he’s shielding, texts to say he’s successfully submitted his first batch of digital receipts via IRIS Snap and KashFlow.

2.25pm - The practice website receives an enquiry from a potential new client. IRIS WebPortal sends a text alert automatically to Charlotte’s mobile, enabling a client call back within ten minutes.

4pm – Charlotte, working in Team A, finishes her shift. Handover to fellow Partner Martin is seamless due to tracking and job visibility in IRIS Practice Management.

Continues below...


4.20pm – Breaking news: the local area is being moved into the highest tier of local lockdown, starting in two days, requiring offices to shut. A curfew begins at 8pm tonight.  It’s payday later this week. While the office is going to be off-limits, Martin’s outsourced payroll system, IRIS Managed Payroll, ensures staff will be paid on time; staff can access their pay slips remotely via MyEPayWindow.

5.10pm – Martin receives a batch of tax return documents and e-approvals from clients (including some sent by Charlotte via IRIS Personal Tax earlier in the day) via IRIS OpenSpace. Much faster than post, it’s also removed the need for handling mail.

5.55pm – Martin receives a call from David, one of the tax team, who has bad news to report: a thief has broken into his car and stolen his laptop. However, thanks to IRIS IT Security and ESET’s disk encryption capabilities, there is no danger of data being stolen. On top of that, it enables the firm to track and locate their stolen computer and identify thieves via the built-in camera.

7.15pm – A concerned client rings the office, which is now closed. The call diverts via IRIS Cloud Telephony to Martin, who has arrived home. The client needs immediate access to some documents. IRIS Docs enables Martin to access and share this directly without breaching the curfew by returning to the office.

Want help adapting your working day to thrive in the next normal?

Give our team a call on 0344 844 9644 or email