Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home Office Essentials and Pitfalls

For an accountant, telecommuting regularly or practicing independently from home is more the rule than the exception nowadays. A recent column by Rick Telberg on CPA Trendlines provides a wealth of practical advice about how to work successfully at home.

To begin with, he lists five key success factors:

1. The right attitude and self-discipline

2. The right technology set-up

3. A quiet, dedicated workplace

4. Experience and maturity

5. Good communications with co-workers and clients
Telberg quotes work-at-home accountants who testify to and elaborate on each factor. He then goes on to list five major challenges associated with working from home:

1. Isolation from peers

2. Meeting clients and colleagues in a professional setting

3. Lack of administrative support

4. Lack of collaboration

5. Reliable benchmarks for performance
Loss of contact with colleagues can produce stress and a risk of being left out of the loop. On the other hand, one of Telberg's sources observes that the telecommuter also avoids much of the stress of office politics.

And there's this problem cited by Robbie Paul, a public practitioner in El Paso, Texas, who works at home five to 10 hours per week: "Clients don’t take you seriously" if they know you're office is in your home.

The Top Five Essentials to Working at Home [CPA Trendlines]

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