Virtual accounting teams are growing in popularity due to the increased flexibility and convenience afforded by cloud technologies. The concern then becomes managing the virtual accounting team to ensure tasks are completed and security is always guaranteed.

A recent study from the Society for Human Resource Management shows that 89% of managers predict that telecommuting will rise in the next five years, while 26% claim flexible work arrangements have already increased their team’s productivity. According to flexjobs remote workers have increased 26% year over year as businesses find ways to decrease costs while providing better staff member experiences.

With companies like Backops already paving the way for outsourced back office services in a completely virtual environment, flexible scheduling or being located in different time zones is no longer an issue. Here are 5 tips to help managers foster collaboration and keep you in sync with a virtual accounting team:

Mobile Devices

Having the right hardware is a vital component to manage a virtual accounting team. Having access to smartphones, laptops, and tablets will ensure success with your remote staff. Mobility is a key factor in today’s remote work culture; team members look to provide critical support to the organization anytime from anywhere. Equipping them with the right tools and training on the company BYOD policies will set them up for success while creating value.

Collaboration and Workflow Tracking Software

Products like Scalus create a completely virtualized collaboration environment as well as a central location for project management, creating transparency between teams. Visibility into a projects progress is essential so that team members can stop asking for status updates or missing when the baton has been passed to them for completion of tasks. With remote working teams, Scalus allows everyone involved to see when tasks are completed and notifies them when they have a task due. With the Managers dashboard view, they can identify any challenges before they become bottlenecks. It provides remote workers a feeling of connected-ness that is not easy to accomplish from miles away.

Engaging Apps

Just about every application your company utilizes is available in cloud format or SaaS deployment. From collaboration tools to your CRM software; strategically investing in cloud-based applications, you enable your team members to access the data they need the same way an in-house worker would at a brick and mortar office.

Train to Collaborate

The most innovative and talented staff members may not intuitively understand being part of a remote team. Invest in training your remote staff to collaborate, on staying productive on their own, the organizations values and mission, as well as how to make the most of the SaaS tools provided.

Outsource to the Professionals

New tools are always being developed to make it easier for remote teams to stay connected, collaborative, and productive. It would be a job in itself to constantly watch for tools that help solve problems that your remote staff may be experiencing. Outsourcing the accounting function to an established back office service provider eliminates many of the headaches but also can be a huge cost savings when compared to employing staff.

Remote work has a plethora of benefits for businesses, from enhancing productivity to decreasing costs. Businesses that invest in collaboration tools will receive the full benefits of this type of work arrangement, maximizing business results and productivity.

For more information on the right collaboration software for your virtual accounting team, click here.