Howard Marks, a legendary investor, says in his famous memos – it is nearly impossible to forecast the future accurately; but, you can still prepare for it. The COVID-19 effect has been on the businesses that have been left exposed due to outdated enterprise management infrastructure.
No one could have predicted the pandemic and its impact. Now that we are experiencing a change in working pattern because of it, we can prepare our business systems to respond quickly. Accounting firms that have been using the legacy systems have the right opportunity to get a fresh start.
The Corona impact on finance is clearly showing up – employees are forced to work from home, the ones in the office have to maintain social distance, and operational efficiencies have gone down. These changes will stay here for a long time. Hence, the best way to proceed would be by harnessing the power of the cloud.
Here are some cloud initiatives that can help your business sail through the COVID-19 effect:
- Make Communication Channels More Effective and Efficient.
Make Communication Channels More Effective and Efficient.
The best way to minimize physical interaction is by developing stronger alternatives for the firm’s management system.
- Video ConferenceWhile there are many off-the-shelf solutions available for this, the firm’s cloud system should have the ability to record and store the meetings. Even the minutes of the meeting should be available in an accessible format, for weeks after the meeting is over.
- Chat Systems, Knowledge Base, and Forums :In order to avoid meetings, the firm will have to realistically draw a plan that has the right alternatives. The easiest way to begin is by taking the firm’s training material and converting it into a blog or e-book. This way, the need for training sessions will get eliminated.
- Web meetings should be conducted using video conferencing apps in cohesion with collaboration and real-time document sharing apps.
A large part of the problem with communication is the unequipped workforce. The IT team or the firm’s technology vendor can conduct training sessions to create an online work culture where all the employees, from the intern to the senior partners, know how to use the new tools.
- Develop a Work Culture Open to Collaboration and Laissez-Faire.
Some managers have reported the Corona impact on operations by highlighting the dropped productivity levels. With the change in enterprise resource planning systems, managers and leaders will have to adapt to new methods of assigning, monitoring, and shaping the firm’s deliverables.
- Work Assignment SystemOne of the major tasks that have become complex is assigning work. Up until now, managers were aware of their employees’ most recent assignments. They could just walk to the employees’ tables desks and brief them about new tasks. That will no longer be a viable or healthy option.
Assigning work would depend on the availability of human resources. Hence, the firm’s cloud enterprise management system should be able to provide real-time updates on who is assigned what tasks and what has been the progress made so far. This will help managers with their resource managementresponsibilities.
- Work Monitor System: Managers cannot ask their employees to keep their webcam on while working. Hence, the cloud application should provide timely updates and automatic notifications on each level of completion of the task.
While such monitoring systems are great, the managers will have to look into making their employees more responsible without supervision. The company’s knowledge base and accessible resources should help employees learn more about the quickest way to execute their responsibilities.
Instead of supervising, the managers will have to develop systems that share role & responsibilityby letting employees work in their own way, as far as they can deliver quality on time.
The culture of working without aggressive supervision is called Laissez Faire and is a critical component for business growth.
- Migrate to a Comprehensive Online Work Platform.
Every accounting firm has used some form of management system up until now. They used it for online payment, storing documents, or even monitoring their employee productivity. Whatever functionalities they were using, will now have to be extended on to a more comprehensive work platform.
Employees and managers should be able to share documents and resources while collaborating in real-time. Thus, the entire online work platform has to be seamless. At the same time, the data critical for performing everyday jobs has to be made accessible to all the people with the right credentials. Some of this data will also be proprietary or sensitive in nature.
Hence, logging, tracking, and data security functionalities will have to be amped up to mitigate the risk of data misuse or leaks.
As the pandemic’s impact settles, firms are getting divided into two camps – the proactive ones and the reactive ones. The reactive ones are busy looking for solutions after they locate problems. The proactive firms are mapping out all the potential impact of the pandemic and using cloud applications to help them prepare for problems they are facing and are yet to face.
With the right cloud-based enterprise management system, your transition from the former to the latter type of firm will become linear.