Chris Biggs, Managing Director of chartered accountants Theta Financial Reporting comments on how to keep your business connected and relevant in testing times
The last few weeks have been a testing period both for the accounting sector and the global economy in its entirety. Particularly in the UK, many workers who can work from home have been encouraged to. That means that thousands of accountants are having to completely change their working environment in a short period of time. To move accountancy operations online and onto cloud services from being entirely offline, is an expensive and timely exercise, especially for firms with thousands of employees. So how can these firms move to accommodate home workers?
At Theta Financial Reporting, we have adopted flexible and home working from the inception of the business. In fact, you could describe the business as being ‘homeless’ i.e. without a fixed base. We have achieved this by using, and investing in, the best business tools including security and communications software, ensuring our operations and data is safe when working remotely, and giving our employees and clients the best possible tools to communicate on the move. For large businesses with proprietary software, much of this hasn’t been designed with laptop, mobile or tablet integration in mind, so working away from the office is significantly harder just in terms of access to their network. In fact, I have heard of people physically packing up towered PCs to work during the COVID-19 crisis. This isn’t a sustainable way to work, especially if people are self-isolating or avoiding travelling into work over the coming months.
To act swiftly, firms need to adopt more readily available software and security measures, while ensuring the safety of their clients and their data, to ensure that workflow does not grind to a halt. This may mean that in the future, large firms are creating security features, firewalls, tokens, and software to work on all work devices, rather than just the office PC. In the coming weeks, it will become clearer how the large firms are adapting to the change of the working environment and whether they start to build this offering into their network over the coming years.”