Build Your Own Virtual Accounting & Virtual Bookkeeping Office

Virtual is not where the profession is heading … it’s where the profession is. Advanced cloud-based technologies allow firms to operate at maximum efficiency – supporting streamlined, paperless and collaborative workflows. This is where firms want to be, because being anywhere else (that is, still following traditional modes of operation) will eventually bring a firm to a halt.

So, where does a firm start in order to accomplish a virtual work environment? Building a virtual office all starts with a vision! Do you realize that most practitioners have never taken the time to actually think about what they want their firm to become? Firm owners and partners are barreling down a path of software selection, IT infrastructure implementation, recruitment of new clients, web development, portal implementation, and more, without taking the time to articulate where they want to “be.” The fact is that you can’t build a successful virtual office until you have a clear vision for your business.

This article offers a high-level glimpse at how to build your own virtual office. Be sure to read the white paper to follow this article: Building Your Virtual Office – A Comprehensive Look at How to Get Started.

Steven Covey, author of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, describes creating a vision as “starting with the end in mind.” He’s spot on with this description. Practitioners must be able to envision the business they want to operate first and then the building can begin. The question here is, how do you get started with your vision? Consider the following:

  1. Ask yourself the right high level questions – What are my core competencies? What are clients asking for? What services do I enjoy offering?
  2. Ask yourself what kind of life you want – Do I want a better life-work balance? Do I want my firm to operate smoothly even if I’m not there?
  3. Ask yourself how you want to serve your clients – Do I want to serve clients online, 24/7? Do I want clients to be able to access their information anytime, anywhere and from any device?

These are just a few examples of ideas to get the ball rolling on developing your firm’s vision statement. From here, it takes dedication to craft your unique statement, as I’ve done for my own firm. You can see my complete vision statement in the follow-up white paper.

Once you’ve answered these higher-level questions, you can then get into more detail. For example:

  1. Identifying the type of clients you want to serve.
  2. Identifying how you want to serve clients (a closer look at the right technologies).
  3. Identifying the right staff.
  4. Mapping out the internal infrastructure required to support your business – for example, to support a completely online, collaborative client accounting service or a paperless tax workflow.

In Conclusion … for Now

Remember, to build the virtual office, you must start with the end in mind. Your vision is the foundation of your firm’s transformation to virtual. Be sure to read the white paper to get all the details!

About the Author

Darren Root

Darren Root

A practicing CPA for over 30 years, M. Darren Root, CPA, CITP, CGMA is the CEO of Rootworks, a membership-based organization offering entrepreneurial strategy, coaching and support to the accounting profession. He is a highly regarded thought leader and speaker, as well as the publisher of his own magazine, CPA Life. Darren co-authored The E-Myth Accountant and Youtility for Accountants, and is the author of own recent title: The Intentional Accountant, a primer in applying entrepreneurial principles to privately-held accounting practices.

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