Can Accountants Work From Home?

Can Accountants Work From Home? | Accounting Smarts
Charles Hall

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Charles Hall

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June 10, 2022

A lot of people start to dread going to the office. The commute, the lousy co-workers, the meetings, and other boring stuff you have to deal with. All of that gets in the way of actual work!

A lot of people start to dread going to the office. The commute, the lousy co-workers, the meetings, and other boring stuff you have to deal with. All of that gets in the way of actual work! If you're an accountant, you may have a chance to start working at home - and that's what this article is about.

Keep in mind working from home is an entirely different way to work - one that takes time to get used to.

An accountant job is perfect if you want to work from home! As long as you keep things under control with your clients, you can manage your own schedule - and work from wherever you want to, including your home!

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Can accountants work from home?

Countless jobs can be done from home. Fortunately for accountants everywhere, their job is on that list too! As long as you can communicate with your clients, access files, and connect with the client's accounting system, there is no reason why you shouldn't try to work from home.

Before you pull the trigger, you need to ask yourself if you truly want to do that as it does require more discipline.  Working from home sounds great - but it can be harder than it sounds.

If you need your boss to constantly remind you what you have to do or if you tend to get distracted easily, working from home may not be the right fit for you.

You'll find working from home easier than working in the office if you are passionate about what you do. You need to wake up every day wanting to get stuff done. That's the only way.

When you work from home, you're your own worker, supervisor, and boss. Everything is up to you! Can you handle all that pressure? If you can, this is for you - and it will be easy to do!

What are the advantages of working from home?

Here are 5 advantages of working from home that may sway your decision to make the change.

Eliminate the commute

There is nothing better than saving time and money by eliminating a long commute to the office.  The average person may spend 1-2 hours a day commuting, just think what you could do in that extra time such as: read a book, exercise, connect with your family.

The gas savings will be noticeable at over $1000 a year by eliminating a long commute, but you will also notice your vehicle lasts longer and has less repair and maintenance issues with little to no commute.

Eliminate the office distractions and politics

Dealing with people is always challenging given the diversity of personalities in an office setting.  By working from home, you won’t eliminate all the politics, but should eliminate the distractions and significantly reduce the politics you get drawn into.  Less socialization just naturally reduces people’s frustrations and conflicts.

You may also find yourself in less nonessential meetings which just waste your time.  In an office it is easy to call a meeting, but working remotely makes people think twice before scheduling a meeting.

Increase your freedom

The main advantage of working from home is freedom. You get to decide when you start working, when you take a break, when you eat lunch, what you'll work on, and many more things.

You can even decide to take a day off - because nobody will notice if you do! That's the great thing about working from home as an accountant. You know the numbers and you know the work that's ahead. If you believe you can take a day off, you can.

Improve your work environment

Because an office is designed and built by others you don’t always get to choose what is an office work environment.  But, at home, you have complete say.  You can arrange furniture, pictures, and computers the way that works best for you.  This might be an overlooked benefit of working from home.

Improve your health

Another overlooked benefit is your health.  Eating healthy sometimes means just having access to prepare healthier food.  Working at home gives you complete flexibility to fix your own meals rather than that daily lunch at the greasy fast-food restaurant.  Even if your meal isn’t completely healthy you most likely will reduce the daily intake of calories that come with eating out.  And don’t forget the extra time you saved by eliminating the commute so you can exercise more frequently.

Enjoy your personalized dress standard

They say dress for success, which isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes you're just more productive when you are totally comfortable.  If working in sweats works for you, then so be it.  Working from home gives you complete flexibility to wear what you want. So, unless you have a zoom call set your own dress standard and enjoy it.

What are the disadvantages of working from home?

Unfortunately, the very same things that make working from home great can make them a disaster.

Collaboration

Water cooler collaboration may seem like a waste of time, but it often is the stimulus for new ideas, quickly working out issues, and impromptu scheduling.  This disadvantage can be overcome, but it certainly is something to consider.

Standards and time management

A relaxed work environment may also cause you to slip on standards and expectations which would have a direct impact on client perception.  You have to be on top of everything at all times. Remember, you're your own worker, supervisor, and boss! You're responsible for everything that happens.

Resources

The biggest disadvantage of working from home as an accountant may be the stress.  You may feel isolated and miss the easy access to resources found in an office environment.  While co-workers may cause drama, they also can help mitigate frustration and offer support and help on various projects.  It’s much easier to walk next door and have a conversation than shoot off an email and get an immediate response.

What do I need to do before I start working from home as an accountant?

Separate home from work

This is both a physical and a mental separation.  Create an office space, create a separate phone, and create working hours.  By keeping home and work separate you will be more productive and find a better balance in your life.

Figure out the process

The biggest determining factor of working from home is knowing you can still do the work.  In our internet driven world, most things are mobile.  You will still need to communicate with clients, access their documents, access their computer systems and access your own companies’ software.  If both you as the accountant and the client can fully access everything through internet access then working from home is often an easy decision.

Charles Hall

Charles Hall

Charles has spent 25 plus years in the world of accounting and business. His experience includes working as a CPA/Auditor international accounting firms. He has worked as a controller and as a COO for small to medium sized companies.

Learn more about Charles Hall