Critical finance and accounting functions, as well as year-end audits and quarterly reviews, had to be done virtually — a challenge for employees who could not be physically on-site with clients and teams. However, with the right technology, tools and skills, some companies were able to navigate this transition to virtual work smoothly and successfully.
Many firms now realize that there’s no going back to the way they worked before. Some functions will likely stay virtual, even as companies start to plan out a physical return to the workplace. In fact, 54% of US CFOs in a June PwC survey expect to make remote work a permanent option for roles that allow it. That’s a big change from a few months ago: In our March CFO survey, 63% worried about the productivity hit due to remote work. But now 73% of financial executives surveyed said the work flexibility that was borne out of the crisis will make their company better down the road.
Setting up for short-term virtual work is one thing; having a virtual work operation that allows you to consistently deliver quality experiences for clients and employees is another. Here are four lessons PwC learned during our own successful transition to remote auditing and other work during the COVID-19 crisis. These lessons can help you establish your long-term virtual plan.
1. Technology isn’t a one-and-done effort
2. Empowered and upskilled people are the key
3. Communication is about much more than video chats
4. It’s important to revisit controls and account for a virtual close