Businesses had to make a shift this year - moving to work-from-home or not working at all. Many people assumed that it would distract employees, make communication difficult, hinder the ability to collaborate, and the list goes on. However, with technological advancements and societal norms changing - offices may end up being a thing of the past - even for those in finance.
As lockdowns open up and the numbers come in, it’s easy to see the many positives of the new work-from-home culture that conglomerates such as Twitter and Facebook are embracing with open arms. A remote culture is better for companies, and there are suitable technologies for accounting departments to become remote as well.
Working from home is the new normal - but here is why businesses should adopt this trend indefinitely.
Productivity - 86% of employees claim that working from home results in a more productive day by getting rid of office distractions. Interestingly enough, their managers agree with over 67% claiming a more productive workforce when given the opportunity. With software like AttendanceBot, a performance management solution for remote teams, it is easy to stay in touch. This productivity is prudent in finance departments where being able to generate faster, more accurate reports can be the difference between a good or bad business decision. One software proven to expedite processes is Datarails, a financial analytics solution that compiles data from Excel spreadsheets, CRM’s, and ERPs into one consolidated cloud-based interface. This winning combination of technology and a distraction-free work environment allows for faster, more accurate report generation - reports that can even be used to show the benefits of working from home.
Employee Retention and Job Satisfaction - Happier employees means reduced turnover and the costs associated with it. A recent study found a 50% decrease in turnover when offered the opportunity to work from home. Employee engagement solutions such as CultureAmp make it possible to increase moral even in a remote setting. However, the one thing that has kept finance departments trailing behind this trend was outdated, device-dependent accounting software. Now with the availability of cloud-based desktop accounting software such as Sage, finance departments can truly work from anywhere.
Larger Talent Pool - The ability to work with cloud-based HR Finance software like MasterControl opens the possibility for remote work and gives an organization the option to hire from almost any geographical location. Hiring managers can now choose from a much larger talent pool using software like Woo for scaled candidate screening - a talent pool more flexible in salary expectations. As many as 34% of employees admitted they would even take a pay cut if allowed to work from home. With almost finance software types now embracing the cloud, it is now possible to hire the best talent for your finance team regardless of their location.
Lower overhead - Having a remote workforce saves businesses money on rent, which can be between 2% to 20% of monthly expenses. Studies found that if companies allowed their employees to work from home, even part-time, the company would save approx $11,000 per employee. Utilizing software like Monday.com, a work OS that powers teams to run processes, makes working remotely simple. Now with such a considerable reduction in expenses, the business has more flexibility in budgets and freeing up funds for tools your finance department could use, tools like a financial analytics solution.
Reduced emissions - By not requiring employees to commute, the result is a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions and a decrease in office waste. In the U.S. alone, remote workers saved the release of over 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gases. Reducing a company’s carbon footprint can lead to huge cost-savings, including tax benefits, tax credits, government subsidies, and a decrease in expenses such as electricity costs. For finance departments, invoices are the culprit; they are not only bad for the environment but expensive to handle. Business Daily revealed that the average SMB’s paid $16-$20, per paper invoice, for processing costs. By adopting automation software like Quickbooks, invoice processing costs decrease by 66%, and invoices are instantly uploaded and added to the relevant accounts.
The benefits of remote work culture are not only for employees but employers as well. With COVID-19 changing the norm, it is time to embrace the future and hop on the bandwagon. As Alexander Bant from Gartner said, “CFOs, already under pressure to tightly manage costs, clearly sense an opportunity to realize the cost benefits of a remote workforce.’
In the past, the idea of remote work for those in finance departments was hard to grasp. However, with new technologies, it is possible to have a consolidated work process that is attainable and sustainable. In times such as these, finance departments are the lifeline in an organization. Many companies do not plan to return to the office until 2021 - so finding alternative solutions is vital, and even more so, the cost savings for a company indisputable. It is the time to embrace change, recalculate expenses, and from the comfort of your home - show the benefits of a remote culture to your management.