In some situations, and especially recently, many organizations will send their employees home to work remotely in the face of health concerns. But the need to work remotely isn’t new. In fact, 43% of employed Americans work from home, and the role of the accountant places in the top ten most common remote jobs in the U. S.1
However, working remotely can present a set of complicated hurdles for the office of finance, namely with their financial close process.
Working Remotely: The Challenge
When accountants are interspersed among many different locations, the likelihood that their close will be completed timely and accurately significantly decreases. Primarily, this is due to the tools used to complete the process. While spreadsheets are the most used means to complete the close process, they provide very little visibility and communication into the close cycle. Spreadsheet usage causes unnecessary complexity and problems within the workflow of finance and accounting teams— such as bottlenecks, uneven task distribution, and repetitive tasks— when they are already side-by-side in a single location.
And whether uncontrollable, external circumstances force employees to work from home— or if accountants choose to work remotely— it only increases the difficulty and intricacy of the financial close process. When limited to spreadsheets, accountants will find themselves constantly stuck in status update conferences or confused about an entry that was made and unable to easily ask for clarification. This leads to more time spent emailing to compare versions, meetings via phone, and re-entering data. Throughout this lengthy process, data can be entered incorrectly—which, since 90% of spreadsheets contain errors, it often is2— and opens the door for fraud and restatement expenses later.
The lack of ability to communicate while working remotely tacks even more time onto the close process— time that finance teams can’t afford when collaborating in the same building, much less isolated locations.
A Better Automated Solution
Accounting teams need a tool that is flexible enough to accommodate their changing set of circumstances— a tool that allows CFOs and Controllers to track what their accountants are working on, what the completion status of those tasks are, and have access to documentation and commentary during the entire close cycle.
Trintech’s cloud-based solutions not only allows accountants to work together in a standardized, organized procedure, but grants CFOs and Controllers a set of controls and visibility into the close process through the convenience of simple dashboards. The dashboards can be accessed by a computer and a mobile device, so that, whether working in an office or working remotely, the office of finance can distribute tasks evenly and efficiently and keep the entire close progress on track.
To learn more about how financial close management software can grant you better visibility and control, speak with our experts today.
Written by: Ashton Mathai
 Hess, A. (2018). These are the 14 most common remote jobs— here’s how much they pay. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
 Leung, S. (2014, September 15). Sorry, Your Spreadsheet Has Errors (Almost 90% Do). Retrieved March 12, 2020.