Remote Work Success Helps Solve Staffing Shortages

Businesswoman relaxing in the office with bare feet up on her deskTax reform boosted those ready for consulting.

By Carl George

The two most significant changes that I have seen so far are:

  • “COVID has forced us to run our businesses better!” With so much being unknown when COVID first started, many firms developed plans and forecasts under numerous disaster scenarios. Accountability (and in some cases, behavior changes) of each owner was essential and I have seen many firms “pay more attention” to running the business. I believe these changes will become permanent.
  • “We became more comfortable with our technology capabilities and it saved us!”

MORE: COVID-19 Shakes Up M&A Activity | We’re in the Fast Lane… Can Your Partners Keep Up? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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The most significant change we will see long-term will be a significant portion of a firm’s practice will be accomplished by a permanent remote work force – at least 25 percent. We have seen that it works, we will continue to refine the model, and firms will be more efficient and profitable once the final model is in place.
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Firms Face Business Realities

Pandemic means there’s no room for those who can’t embrace change.

By Angie Grissom

The working from home mandate has changed the way people think, work and communicate and has accelerated the move by four to five years (at least) over what I think would have happened without the pandemic. This has impacted the adoption of technology (Teams, Zoom, Adobe Connect, etc.) and has shown team members what works and what doesn’t work.

MORE: Remote Work Is More Productive | We’re in the Fast Lane… Can Your Partners Keep Up? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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People now know how and where they are the most effective. Clients are also seeing accounting providers as more essential and more as advisors, especially those dealing with the PPP loans and other programs that assist them with staying afloat during this time.
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5 Ways to Incentivize Growth

number 5 drawn in sandMake it profitable for your employees to bring in business.

By Ty Hendrickson

Flash back a year ago, pre-pandemic, to yet another after-work networking event that you feel like you have to attend to build your practice. You have some good conversations with people you always see at these events. You have some food and drinks, but you don’t come home with any new real leads. The only thing you get is an extra pound on the scale in the morning and another night away from friends and family. Does this sound familiar?

MORE: Five Time Management Tips to Survive Busy Season | Sales Shouldn’t Be Scary | 5 Ways to Rethink the Way You Communicate | Get Goal-Ready for 2021 | Three W’s for Networking the Right Way
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Fast forward. Many of these events no longer exist … not that you were finding them all that effective anyway. How do you find leads in our current environment?
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COVID-19 Brings High-Net-Worth Opportunities

You (and only YOU) are in charge of your success.

By Anthony Glomski and Russ Alan Prince
Your $5-Million High-Net-Worth Practice

We have presented the following equation:

Conviction + Process + Expertise + The COVID-19 Crisis =

$5 Million High-Net-Worth Practice Built Quickly

MORE: Working with the Super-Rich and Single-Family Offices | The Power of Stress Testing | Guiding Clients through COVID | Maximize Referrals from Wealthy Clients | Building a High-Net-Worth Practice During COVID-19 | Setting Financial and Practice Goals During COVID-19
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So, let us review. Working backward …
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A Rapidly Changing Business Environment Requires Flexibility

notepad with word "hire" crossed out and "outsource" written in underneathThis includes outsourcing.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

One of the revelations arising from the Great Recession was that CPA firms found they could do more with less human resources, or at least maintain the same level of productivity. We are now operating in what is referred to as the gig economy, in which important functions can be outsourced and firms and companies can still focus on core competencies that impact growth and profitability.

MORE: Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People | SWOT’s the Purpose? | Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent? | Building Teamwork under COVID Pressure | Make Your Writing Count
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Because it is increasingly challenging to maintain high standards in all functions while still focusing on core competencies that drive growth, seeking outside help is becoming an attractive option. So, when should you outsource services?
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Remote Work Is More Productive

Young businessman punching and breaking clock with fistAn unexpected pandemic benefit.

By Chris Frederiksen

After distancing (A.D.), senior people want to work at home all the time. Younger staff members want to work in the office all the time. So, what is the new normal?

MORE: 2021: You’ll Never See ‘Normal’ Again | SURVEY: We Adapted to Remote Work … Now What? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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The most likely is a hybrid model, where people work at home most of the time but come to the office one to two days a week for meetings and team projects – with appropriate masking and social distancing. In 2020, many firms are more profitable than in 2019 because they cut costs and raised productivity.
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Advisory Services: Real Commitment or Just Talk?

Overhead view of two businessmen meeting in lobbyHow your answer affects growth.

By Sarah Dobek

The unfolding events of 2020 will continue to be the tailwind of change for the profession.

The most significant and obvious change is the forced adoption of remote/flexible work. So many firms were convinced that remote work just wasn’t feasible. The pandemic has proven otherwise.

MORE: 2021: You’ll Never See ‘Normal’ Again | SURVEY: We Adapted to Remote Work … Now What? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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Yes, for some firms, it’s not working well. But on closer inspection, these challenges are actually bringing to light systemic management and operational issues. From today’s vantage point, long- term operational change is inevitable as firms evaluate more permanent work-from-home scenarios in both the long and short term.
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COVID-19 Shakes Up M&A Activity

Arrow rising above ever larger blocks in businessman's hand, indicating growthWant to grow? Make sure your tech stack can keep up.

By Terry Putney

We are in a fluid environment as firms adapt and learn more about what to expect. I think earlier this year there was hope that we would emerge from this economic environment by the end of 2020. It looks now like this could definitely have an impact through 2021.

MORE: 2021: You’ll Never See ‘Normal’ Again | SURVEY: We Adapted to Remote Work … Now What? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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It is a mixed bag so far for M&A. Some firms have pulled back and I suspect that is because, although this may not make sense logically, it may be hard to internally sell buying a firm and hiring more staff when the firm is laying off people and cutting back on partner draws. However, we are also seeing very motivated buyers and sellers because of the opportunities that appear to be available. One thing that can’t be avoided is the difficulty of negotiating and evaluating targets when you can’t meet face to face regularly.
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