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Recently a local newspaper published an article about my experience founding LedgerGurus, a fully remote ecommerce accounting firm based in American Fork, UT. At the time I started this company, I was highly motivated by my experiences as a single mom. I needed a job that was more flexible, more home-based, and, frankly, more life-friendly than what was typically available in the accounting world.
Accounting is a world that typically requires a huge time commitment for many years in order to see success. It’s not uncommon, especially when working for the Big 4, to put in 60-80 hours a week. It’s pretty hard to create a solid work-life balance with a schedule like that!
I needed to provide for my children, but I wasn’t willing to lose the opportunity to watch them grow up while I worked long hours away from home.
I wanted something different.
The benefits of flexible work (i.e. remote accounting jobs) for one very specific demographic – parents with small children at home – was very clear to me because I was in that demographic myself. But after founding a company with an entirely home-based and flexible workforce, I am much more aware now of the benefits for other demographics, as well.
This is because many of our team members have expressed gratitude for the lifestyle they now have because of working for us.
Some Benefits of Fully Remote Accounting Jobs for Employees
Every year we ask our employees to fill out an employee satisfaction survey. Across the board, flexibility is listed as the number one most-appreciated benefit of working for LedgerGurus. Flexibility is about more than just working hours. It’s about location and lifestyle and opportunities. It impacts so many demographics, too, which I want to touch on for a moment.
1. The Caregiver
Parents with small children were, of course, obvious to me initially, but I’ve become aware of other kinds of caregivers since.
We have team members with aging parents who have been able to spend significant time with them, even in other states, during times of sickness or declining health. One of our team members had an aging parent who was declining, and her remote job allowed her to travel to another state several times a year and stay for extended periods of time to help. She did this without having to take time off work or quit her job.
We have team members who have family members who have become ill or disabled and need additional care. They’ve been able to work and keep up their skills, while taking care of the needs of their family members.
How do people even manage these kinds of situations when they don’t have remote and flexible jobs?!?!
2. The Unsettled
Many of the young team members who work for us want to change communities based on social needs or interests. They have been able to easily move to other locations, with housing changes being the only major concern they must navigate.
They have been able to explore new communities and social environments without having to experience the uncertainty or anxiety of job changes. This has led to more opportunities for them, both personally and professionally.
For example, our daughter is going off to college this fall and will take her executive admin job with her when she goes because it’s a location-neutral job, set up for success anywhere. She gets to keep a great, flexible job that works well around her school schedule, and we don’t have to train someone new. Win-win!
3. The Rural-Minded
Many of our best team members live out in the middle of nowhere. They like it out there. One of them lives in the middle of a ranch in Wyoming. Several others live in very small towns and communities, without a lot of economic opportunities nearby.
Remote work has allowed them to have meaningful careers while living in rural environments. They have not had to choose between lifestyles they enjoy and work they enjoy. This helps us, as well, because we can target our recruiting to areas of the country with lower costs of living and keep our labor costs down.
4. The Traveler
One of the best parts about remote work for ANY employee is the ability to travel without having to take time off for the whole time you are gone.
One of our team members visits family for a month or more in another state every summer. Remote work means she just takes her job with her wherever she goes. All she needs is her computer, a good internet connection, and a place to work.
We had a team member a couple years ago whose family went to live at a summer camp facility several states away for her husband’s job. They took their five kids. She got up early every day to get some work done and was available by early afternoon to join in the fun.
I have personally benefitted from the ability to take my kids somewhere warm and fun and stay for longer than we otherwise would have. They can go to the pool while I spend a few hours working in our room upstairs. I don’t have to hurry home to get my work done and they get to enjoy some fun in the sun.
5. The Juggler
Flexible work is “the bomb” for anyone juggling responsibilities of any kind, really. Even if you don’t have small kids at home during the day, you may have field trips you want to attend, dentist appointments that need to be taken care of, errands that need to be run, or naps that need to be taken (by YOU, not the baby).
I have always loved the ability to work for a few hours, run a few errands, come back and work some more. Late at night is my favorite and most productive work time because it is uninterrupted. If I have a really intense project I need to knock out, I’ll waste most of my day on naps and errands, and then hit the ground running with work around 8 at night and work until 2 or 3 in the morning. That may not be for you, but I love that I have the flexibility to do that as needed. I have not missed a school performance in years or had to use vacation days when a child gets sick.
Benefits for Employers of Fully Remote Accounting Jobs for Employees
While the benefits of remote work are great for employees, the benefits to employers are great as well. Let me list a couple of my favorites.
1. Bigger Hiring Pool
We have a HUGE hiring pool. I am not limited to my immediate geographical area for team members. I can hire from all over the country. A bigger pool usually means more candidates, and more candidates usually results in a better hiring decision.
2. Team Flexibility
Sometimes we need to restructure our service delivery team to better serve the needs of our team members AND our clients. I can move people from one team to another, from one focus to another, from one area of the business to another, without them worrying about having to relocate.
I have never had to pay for relocation costs, and I never have people decline a role they are needed in because their family doesn’t want to move.
3. The Untouchable Rock Stars
There are some super crazy capable people who just don’t want a full-time, in-office job because of other commitments they have. I get to tap into that work force, and that has been a huge benefit for LedgerGurus. Many of our total rock stars fit this description.
4. Overhead That is Easier to Scale
Our overhead is extremely flexible and easily scalable. LedgerGurus has grown super-fast. We went from 1 to over 60 team members in 8 years. Do you know how many times we would have had to change offices during those years!? No one would have gotten anything done besides moving furniture!
The other alternative would have been overpaying for space larger than we needed while we grew into it. We’d have had to sublease constantly, curtailing growth because our current office didn’t have the space or lose money leaving leases early (most commercial space contracts for multiple years at a time). By the time we finally grew into a space, we would have needed a bigger one immediately.
Right now, scaling up only requires the IT department to stay ahead of the new computer needs of the team and constantly renegotiate bulk discounts on subscription costs.
5. A Happier Team
We have a really high employee satisfaction rating. As I said before, most of them name flexibility as the number one thing they value about their job. This matters to people. It mattered to me, so I get it.
I don’t think I could work 8-5 every day out of an office anymore. I have been ruined for life! Most of my team members would say the same. Remote accounting jobs are the way to go!!
Benefits of an Outsourced Accounting Team for Clients
While I realize our clients may not care whether my team works from home or works from an office when they are looking to solve their accounting needs, there are definite benefits to outsourcing rather than hiring in-house for them.
1. No Hiring
You don’t have to find capable help. That’s our problem.
If your accountant quits their job, that’s our problem, not yours. You don’t have to place an ad, try to find someone with the right experience, or figure out what the job description should even entail.
You get to just sit back and let us solve that problem to make sure you experience seamless service in your engagement with us.
2. No Training
eCommerce accounting is very different from accounting for other businesses. It requires a knowledge of tools and processes unique to ecommerce that, frankly, most accountants and bookkeepers are not trained to do.
We’ve had many clients come to us specifically because their bookkeeper or accountant wasn’t able to handle their accounting correctly simply because they didn’t understand what was needed.
But do you want to have to do it yourself or train someone to do it?
By working with an outsourced ecommerce accounting firm like LedgerGurus, you don’t have to.
You don’t have to train a new hire or review their work to make sure they are competent.
Are you comfortable in QuickBooks? Do you know what a clean balance sheet should look like? I would imagine that isn’t your sweet spot.
Most business owners don’t love the accounting part of their business, so hiring someone when you can’t really tell if they are doing a good job or making a mess of things feels a lot like walking through a room of knives in the dark and trying not to get stabbed.
When we hire someone, we can train them AND review their work. Wouldn’t you love to just take that hat off?
3. Pay Only for the Time Needed
Most accountants want full-time jobs. But what if your business’s accounting only takes 20 hours a week, instead of 40? You have to hire someone, and either come up with something for them to do the rest of the time or they have to stretch out their work to look busy enough to keep their job.
When you outsource it to us, we can plug people in for the time required and then they roll off your accounting and onto another client’s. Your investment is optimized for what is needed.
4. A Team Approach
The fractional approach is great for more than just accounting that doesn’t take a full 40 hours a week. It’s also great for accounting scenarios where there is a little that is complex but a lot that is just data entry.
Maybe your accounting does require a lot of hours but most of it is data entry and only needs a bookkeeper. But maybe there are some things that really do need someone with experience and deeper knowledge.
Do you hire a bookkeeper but go without the deeper knowledge you need? Or do you hire a controller, so you have access to the knowledge but then overpay them for all the data entry work they do as part of the job, as well?
If you outsource with LedgerGurus, we give you the time you need from the skill level you need. A bookkeeper will do most of the work, but a controller will review their work, close your books and meet with you to answer questions and help guide your business.
5. Scale up or scale down with ease
Maybe today things in your business are simple, and you only need some bookkeeping and a little accounting guidance. But pretty soon you may find yourself needing much more as your business grows.
You’ll need sales tax support, inventory tool implementation, bill pay and payroll, just to name a few. No problem. Throw whatever you want at us. You save yourself the hassle of trying to change out your personnel to meet the new set of needs or trying to help them level up and scale when you are operating a little blind on the accounting stuff.
Little? Big? Simple? Complex? Do you just need books for tax prep? Do you need a full audit done every year to make sure your books are ON POINT?
We got you!!!
Remote accounting jobs or outsourcing ecommerce accounting work is awesome for everyone involved!
If you’re interested in learning more about employment opportunities for remote accounting jobs with LedgerGurus, check out our Careers page.
If you’re interested in learning more about our ecommerce accounting service offerings, check out our Services page. But, if after all this, you’re still determined to do it yourself or you’d simply like to get an idea of some of the things we can do for you, download our Essential eCommerce Bookkeeping Checklist. It’s not quite everything we do, but it’s pretty darn close!