Do you have remote Internet access to all the applications on your computer systems? If not, what would that mean to your practice? How would it impact your firm's operations, efficiency, and staffing? Should it be on your wish list? Is it feasible?

And, if you decide to go that route, when do you start feeling in your gut that you made the right decision?

Questions about hardware, software, connectivity, groupware, bandwidth, expertise of a technology administrator, and many other matters will cross your mind as you begin to investigate creating that so-called virtual office.

Before you get a migraine, put those questions to the side and find some accounting firms that have already made the transition.

They can probably be found through your state society, the AICPA, and vendors that assist firms in going virtual. They know better then anyone else how much "VO" really costs and what the problems are, such as when an applications upgrade is incompatible with the remote Internet access system. They can also tell you, especially if they have the experience of at least two tax seasons, how VO actually impacted, and, hopefully, significantly improved their operations.

They can fill you in the staffs' reaction and their ability to adopt to the new methods and systems. You might quickly discover a number of tips on how to encourage quicker, widespread adoption.

Spend time getting comfortable with the idea of VO, familiar with the different methods to get to there, and exploring the experiences of similar firms. You will probably find that whatever your ultimate decision is, the time will be well spent. And the real payoff should be that, in your gut, you know that your decision was right.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access