Remote working facilities have been in the market for the last decade but came into the trend after COVID-19. The pandemic proved how hiring remote accountants could be beneficial for companies. You pay less than an in-house accountant without compromising the quality.
Who is a remote accountant?
A remote accountant performs similar bookkeeping and accounting tasks as in-house accountants but works from a home office or their comfort zones. Some of their fundamental responsibilities include:
- Recording transactions
- Preparing financial statements
- Analyzing financial reports
- Maintaining compliance
- Preparing and filing tax
- Manages cash-flow
- Keeps books up-to-date
- Ensure best financial practice
- Oversee payroll operations
- Help in bank reconciliation
- Assist in making critical financial decisions.
The hiring process for a remote accountant
They must have a degree
Anyone can call themselves an “accountant” and the term has no legal boundaries. However, your business finances need to be in the hands of the right people. Look into the academic qualifications of an accountant to ensure if they are eligible to perform accounting tasks and whether they have a certification or are a member of any professional accounting body.
They have experience working in your industry.
An accountant with no experience in your industry may not understand your business and its requirements. Therefore, ask an individual before hiring about their previous work and if they can help your business grow.
They should have excellent communication skills.
Remote accountants largely depend on their communication skills to maintain client relationships. You need to find someone who has excellent communication skills and can speak out efficiently with other team members, clients and stakeholders.
They use the latest accounting software.
In the digital era, employees remotely working is easy with cloud-based systems, and so is with accountants. An online accountant using cloud-based accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks can help you access financial data anytime and from your comfort place while maintaining data security.
They can use different accounting tools to automate financial tasks, leading to no error in calculations and increasing business efficiency.
They can work on your schedule.
Global businesses are shifting to twenty-four hours workdays, asking for the ability of remote accountants to work at any schedule and adjust hours according to need. Additionally, when a business owner hires a remote accountant, there are no geographical limitations, making working in a flexible schedule important.
They fit the company culture.
You need to understand if the candidate you are hiring for your accounting needs meets your work culture; when they are compatible with the business, their work efficiency, productivity, and engagement increase.
Look into their teamwork spirit, leadership quality, time management, problem-solving abilities, and a few other soft skills to understand if they are eligible for your company.
They provide the services that you need.
You may run a small business and want standard accounting like day-to-day bookkeeping, preparing taxes, and maintaining compliance. Look into candidates who provide you with such services. Ask your accountant for the area of specialisation which ensures what services they provide the best for clients.
A specialist accountant can provide payroll management, Bank reconciliation, help in audits, and other complex accounting tasks.
Test their skills and knowledge
To hire potential accounting candidates, arrange a qualifying exam. You can also set a face-to-face interview to ask a few questions or throw a scenario and see how efficiently they solve the situation.
For example, tell them you failed to file tax within deadlines and want to avoid paying penalties. See what solutions they provide you under such conditions. Or, ask them how they can improve your business operations by keeping your mission and vision in mind.
Ask for their charges.
Accountants may charge you an hour or fixed fee for a service. Ask their costs per service and how you will pay them. Being remote employees, they will ask for online payments instead of paychecks. You need to consider your budget and payment standards.
Ask for client references.
Don’t forget to ask for client references. It will help you look into the efficiency of the accountant when they work with other clients. They may have websites, ask for their link, and visit their site to see how people react to their services and way of working.
It may take time and effort to hire a remote accountant, but it saves your money without compromising the quality of work. It reduces your overheads like utility bills, food and drink, telecommunications, purchasing hardware and software, etc. Ask your friends and business associates to provide referrals that make the hiring process less tiresome and less time-taking.