Hybrid working is the future of work.
While some may still prefer a traditional office-based model and others may be used to remote-working models, hybrid working is the most complex of the three to manage as it involves elements of both. For accountancy practices, the rise in popularity of hybrid working raises important implications for both employees and clients.
At CSG, we recognize the challenges of hybrid working and we are committed to helping our clients navigate this transition. Here are some of the key risks areas and how we can support our clients:
- Client data and confidentiality: The biggest regulatory risks concern client data and confidentiality. As an accountant, it is important to keep digital information secure by managing both the technology and the staff using it. At CSG, we can provide our clients with guidance on how to implement proper policies that are both practical and effective. We can also offer support with the implementation and management of secure storage facilities at home, ensuring that documents are not accessible by family members or visitors during the day.
- Remote access to hardware and software: For practices that have moved to all-digital models, the shift to enabling hybrid working will involve ensuring that all staff who work remotely can access the right hardware and software, and understand how to use it. At CSG, we can provide our clients with advice on what equipment and software is needed to enable remote working, as well as support with the implementation and training of new systems.
- Managing physical records: Many practices will still have clients who maintain physical records that are delivered to the accountant for processing. Managing the secure storage of client records when staff are working remotely will pose specific challenges that must be managed according to the practice’s circumstances. At CSG, we can provide guidance on how to securely manage physical records in a remote working environment, as well as support with the implementation and management of secure storage facilities.
- Staff training and morale: In the long term, the biggest risk may be to staff training and morale. The preparer/reviewer model allows for live training while ensuring that quality of client service is maintained. That model works well on many tasks that also need a degree of physical proximity, with constant queries and feedback keeping staff on track. At CSG, we can provide our clients with advice on how to replicate real-time interaction in a remote working environment, as well as support with the development of training models for the new ways of working.
- Supporting clients through the transition: At CSG, we recognize that the transition to hybrid working can be challenging for our clients. We are committed to providing our clients with the support they need to navigate this transition, including guidance on best practices, implementation support, and ongoing advice and support to ensure that their systems and processes continue to function smoothly.
In conclusion, hybrid working is here to stay, and it is important that accountancy practices are prepared to manage the risks and challenges that come with this new way of working. At CSG, we are committed to providing our clients with the support they need to navigate this transition, and we look forward to working with our clients to create a successful hybrid working environment that supports their business goals.