Technology to Turn Your Clients' Remote Workers into Paperless Employees

An increasing number of businesses manage workers outside the workplace. Thirty-seven percent of employees telecommute one or two days each month, according to a Gallup poll. And, 70 percent work from alternate locations outside the workplace on a daily basis, according to an Intelligent Office survey.

Remote work calls for effective remote systems to track important bookkeeping information. Accountants can help turn their clients’ remote workers into paperless employees with these solutions.

Cloud-Based Accounting Software

The basis for any effective remote accounting procedure is good cloud-based accounting software. QuickBooks® Online is ideal for you and your clients to manage bookkeeping items from the cloud. QuickBooks lets your client, and up to four others, use their mobile devices to work over the cloud. Employers can track expenses, send invoices, take payments, manage and pay bills, and cut paychecks. Additionally, QuickBooks can serve as a platform for integration with other useful remote employee management tools.

Remote Worker Management Tools

Cloud-based remote worker management software should be recommended to clients with remote employees. Programs and apps monitor worker productivity, track hours, and track mileage and expenses. For instance, Timesheets.com lets you track remote worker hours and project time, expenses and mileage, as well as export the data directly into Excel or QuickBooks.

For employers who need a more detailed breakdown of employee activity, management tools, such as Worksnaps, enable supervisors to take periodic screenshots, log keystrokes and mouse actions, as well as catalog how much time an employee spends using each application. Looking for other options? Eleven entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council share their favorite apps for tracking the time remote employees spend on projects. Some of the favorites noted include Time Doctor, Roadmap and TickSpot. BillQuick combines time tracking with expense and project management, and integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks.

On-the-Road Expense Reporting Apps

Remote expense reporting tools can simplify your clients’ bookkeeping. For example, if your clients use a business card from American Express OPEN, they can enroll in Connect to QuickBooks, which automatically sends both their business card transactions and their employees’ business card transactions to QuickBooks so that expenses can be managed in one place. If the client is also enrolled in the ReceiptMatch Mobile App from American Express OPEN, the receipt images uploaded to ReceiptMatch can be tagged with the employer’s QuickBooks categories and will be automatically sent to the employer’s QuickBooks, along with the daily transaction data, saving the business steps and time while on the road.

Remote Mileage 

Apps that specialize in mileage tracking make travel easy. TripLog is an IRS-compliant GPS mileage-tracking app for Android and iOS users. It shows mileage, expenses and fuel trends, and enables employees to send data automatically to your accounting software.

Digital Signature Apps

If you have clients from certain industries, such as real estate or legal services, collecting signatures may be an important part of their employees’ daily operations. In this case, you may suggest streamlining their paperwork by using a digital signature app such as DocuSign. DocuSign lets remote workers securely record electronic signatures and transmit documents for file sharing, through applications such as SkyDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive.

With so many applications to encourage productivity and accurate bookkeeping, your clients’ remote employees and business travelers don’t have to be a hindrance on your accounting records. Turn road warriors and remote workers into paperless employees. You’ll appreciate the transparency and the automation, and they’ll love the ease of use.