How to be a Remote Accountant
07 Sep 2022 2 mins read By Beverly Abela

When many people think of accountants and accounting jobs, they imagine someone sitting behind a desk in an office, meeting with clients, and dealing with piles of paperwork. Working from home, without any face-to-face meetings or paper handoffs, might not seem possible nor realistic in this kind of profession. 

As the pandemic urged companies around the world to resort to remote work, accountants, and finance professionals were also encouraged to support remote accounting to help slow the spread of infection as part of social distancing measures.

Accountants in Malta and around the world are forgoing the daily commute and face-to-face contact to switch on their spreadsheets and accounting software from the comfort and safety of their own homes.  

Although the switch to a remote accounting job may seem accessible, it can be challenging for accountants who are used to working at their professional desks at the office. Similarly, restructuring workflows to accommodate remote working can be a problem for both businesses and accountants.  

With the above in mind, the following article presents some tips on how you can work effectively from home as an accountant, and the best methods to adapt to the new world of work and continue to be professional and productive.


Invest in powerful accounting software  


Accounting software automates your workflow and ensures that your work is fully monitored, assigned, and completed on time. With the right online accounting software, you can streamline your workflows and increase your accounting efficiency.

Fortunately, most platforms are easy to use and require very little time to understand. Not only do you complete your daily routine and tasks, but you can also generate reports and analysis to create the most revenue with each statement and increase your clients' lifetime value through financial liquidity.  

Overall, accounting software facilitates remote bookkeeping. It keeps track of your transactions, accounts receivable and accounts payable, and provides insights that you can use to improve your business operations alongside remote jobs.  


Set a budget for new solutions and operational changes  


Can accountants in Malta and in other countries work remotely? Of course, they can, if they have the appropriate tools and background to complete their tasks online.

However, these solutions and even the additional training to work remotely require funding. With this in mind, it’s good practice to organise a budget for new tools and additional modules when you start building your remote accounting work structure. Given today’s workplace context, many organisations are willing to support you on training and equipment opportunities, so it’s worth discussing your needs with your superior as appropriate. 

Additionally, if you want to get accounting software, you can look at diverse price plans and see if these suit your budget. Look at the features of the different packages and determine which tools you require for your work. There are software and similar platforms facilitate any type of remote finance job, like Quick Books and Xero. 


Successful accounting firms with remote working strategies  


Before the pandemic, many businesses in the finance industry and accounting firms alike were working remotely. Likewise, many accountants in Malta and elsewhere, have successfully worked from home and enjoyed flexible benefits, which only highlights the advantages of adopting remote work strategies or acquiring work-from-home technology tools.  

Whilst there are many online resources to support a remote working strategy, you can take the time to explore certain options with your employer and peers, or request suggestions on how to adapt to remote working processes. Companies who are happy to apply remote jobs will be keen to help you out.


Find your routine and rhythm


Making the complete switch to remote accounting requires rhythm. If you work in an office, you already have a set routine of what happens day to day. Even though you may have worked at home before, making the transition to full-time remote work amidst the disruption of your daily environment requires a large adjustment.  

For example, you may find that you lack social interaction whilst working remotely. You can no longer, walk over to your colleague's workstation and easily start a conversation. However, there are platforms where you can communicate with your colleagues while maintaining a professional channel for work-related matters.  

Apart from the help of technology, you can also develop a routine for working from home. For example, start your morning with meditation and make breakfast before going to work. 

After work, you can go for a walk around or near your home and relax. You can also choose an activity that helps you relax after a long day. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with yourself and this new work structure. 


Remember that the world moves on despite remote working  


Remote accounting in the midst of a pandemic will not always go smoothly. While you are evaluating an essential financial report, a family member or pet could be standing next to you, easily distracting you. During an important announcement, someone could suddenly be cooking in the kitchen and the noise could prevent you from listening carefully.  

When asked for tips on how to work effectively from home as an accountant, the changing perception of professionalism is usually left out. We should remember that we all deal with this differently and work in different environments. For example, working parents will balance their professional tasks at home with their family ones. Certain distractions at home can be an obstacle to feeling productive.

Even if you want to be as productive as possible, life will go on around you. One of the most important tips for accountants working from home is to find a good work-life balance and recognise that working from home will present its challenges, but they can certainly be overcome with the right flexible mindset and approach to establishing a new routine.

With the above in mind, remote work in accounting is about working towards a specific goal. You must have the will to work with global change and give up the fear and worry that it might not work out. Always create a plan that fits the new working society we live in and reassure your clients that you are still in accounting and can still do the work from anywhere, even from your little study at home. 


Summary of becoming a remote accountant


Throughout this article, we’ve looked at ways to transform your present accounting job to facilitate a new, remote work environment. This article is applicable for those professionals who are just adapting their business schedules, or for individuals who are looking for a new remote accounting job. To summarise, we suggest the following ways to begin a remote accounting job:

  • Look for and apply software to conduct your finance tasks,
  • Organise a budget and determine what you need to effectively work from home, including equipment,
  • Explore and learn from large accounting firms and their remote work strategies,
  • Build and develop a remote work routine, and
  • Remember that professionalism adapts over time, and this encourages career growth.
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