The Coronavirus Pandemic that struck the world economy somewhere at the end of 2019, still continues to haunt the lives of the beings dominating the land. Through the cycle of extensive lockdowns one after the other, the Indian economy came to a standstill. Amid the crisis, the Central government allowed varied commuters of the business realm to function and satiate the demands of the people. However, this was subjected to several restrictions not falling in the favor of the entrepreneurs.
As of now, the future lies among the pool of doubts and clearly the key peers of the economy cannot see any light at the end of the tunnel. When the condition is likely to pass? When will the Coronavirus vaccine be out? How much our new sense of normal will lie in the favor of Indian citizens? These are some basic dilemmas that prevail in the depths of human minds these days.
The business world comprising the small, micro, and macro enterprises and the joint-stock companies, is the primary fuel source for the economy to proceed in a positive array of activities. Many professionals and corporate experts, in order to strive and operate amid the crisis, solely lie upon the traditional yet new trending method of ‘work from home’ in its organizational functioning.
Our prime reason for the designing of this article to let the working professionals grasp a new sense of normal and understand how their business operations can prosper in tough times. In order to reach a wide spectrum of audiences, we have answered a few common queries as to how a business can drive effectively with optimum means just by staying at home. This article keeps in mind the management and technical practices of varied industries. However, our point of consideration lies in the view of the preparers/auditors of the financial statements.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 within the nation, several mandatory guidelines by the Central government were issued. Keeping in view the spreadable nature of the disease, the norms regarding social distancing, upholding hygiene practices, and staying away from the crowd, etc were put in full enforcement. As the problem worsened over time, several companies including local and the MNCs withheld their business operations.
As per the WHO, India is among the least affected countries of the world by COVID-19 in terms of the fatality rate and daily toll numbers of the patients. To continue with the same picture and to make sure that Indian grounds remain intact unlike the Western nations, the need for a full-fledged lockdown was a must. However, the economy thrives on the success of allied sectors that engage in services and satiating the wishes of its citizens. In light of this, the GOI (Government of India) authorized the business personnel to provide essential services on a restricted basis.
Meanwhile, the industries that operated on the outside, formed their headquarters on the platform of the Internet or the virtual network. Many peers of the economic world such as accountancy, banking, information technology, hospitality, etc resumed their services online to cater to the widespread expectations of the general public. This not only helped the citizens but it also impacted the treasury of the government bodies when financial help became a must in the existential crisis.
To deal with the situation of COVID-19, many enterprises and industries adopted methods where the touch of human resources was to its minimum. ‘Working from home’ is not only viable in restricting the physical human contact but also confirms the effective and efficient cordial communication between the key drivers of business associations.
Unlike the physical work environment, the need for a widened workspace, technical instruments, and necessary office pieces of equipment, etc are completely eliminated in the ‘work from home’ tactic. The business corporates that rely on this strategy to continue with their operations comply with the use of electronic gadgets that are primary for the conduction of work from home in any organization irrespective of their business prospects.
The prime types of equipment needed to reinforce the work from home in any organization are listed below.
Since the evolution of technology in the 21st century, most of the lucrative ventures find their relevance over the virtual network. For this, a laptop or a permanent computer system is a necessity. The member of the task group can use his/her own system or get a new assigned from the company’s asset list.
Instead of having a computer system, it is suggested to have a laptop that is easy to carry and manage under favorable circumstances. Not only a person can carry the system at home but also engage in mind-free transportation without the heavy load burden.
In today’s time, the need for the usage of online data has become extremely superficial. Without a proper network connection, it wouldn’t be possible to conduct business operations online. Therefore, having proper internet connectivity at home or a familiar environment is a prerequisite for work from home.
Many business prospects contain and use the data of clients and business facilitators. It is one of the most important requirements for a corporate to save and secure the confidential data of its users. As most of the work will be done on electronic media under work from home, the need for a strong and secure frontier arises. A well-encrypted firewall will save the system from untimely attacks of ransomware, phishing, botnets, and DDoS.
Additionally, the paid version of the firewall complements the users with the perks of a built-in VPN, built-in antivirus, and the secured transmission of the organization’s data.
There are three modes in which the data of the users can be hoarded for safeguarding.
1. On-premise storage;
2. On-cloud storage;
3. Hybrid (the combination of both)
In order to maintain a sense of integrity and discipline on business grounds, effective communication is required at all levels of the organizational hierarchy. The auditors of financial statements, from time to time, need to get in touch with their departmental heads to incorporate certain changes and clear rigorous doubts that hinder the working process.
To overcome this organizational barrier in work from home, an enterprise can make use of several modes of verbal and non-verbal communication. Some of them are stated below:-
– Phone calls: This can be one of the direct and the result-reaping method to get in touch with immediate superiors. However, it can be used in cases of hourly discussions over matters that cannot be looked upon in written media communication.
– Emails: One of the most formal and effective forms of business communication. To facilitate external communication, emails are the primary to fall in the first place but it is not feasible in making short-term communication between individuals.
– Video Calls: As video conferencing is currently trending, the preparers of financial information can indulge over the video media to conduct required meetings and discuss the financial matters that are of utmost relevance. Apps like Zoom and Google Meet have found tremendous fame under these struggling times. The plus point is that it can derive a solution faster in comparison to other forms of media. Like others, this form is also not viable to essentialize the process of communication.
– Messaging apps: In order to cope up faster and solve the queries instantly, the members of the task group should make timely use of messaging apps. This form of communication not only reaps the results promptly but also fulfills the loopholes created by other mediums. Whatsapp, Telegram, SMS, etc can be used for this purpose.
To make certain that the tasks assigned to working professionals are completed and submitted on time, the need for an entrenched set of practice management tools arises. This management practice makes sure that every given task does not result in any kind of delay, economic damage, and degradation of brand equity.
For proper task management and cost-effective analysis, this management technique is predominant to calculate the work burden of each task member and their time invested in every task. This helps the organization in effectively implementing the rules & regulations and procedures for the smooth functioning of the business vicinity.
There might be certain doubts regarding its relevance in small-scale enterprises. However, the auditors and the users of financial information should understand that it will only transform a small enterprise into a big one and a big one into an even larger one.
Key highlighted features of Practice Management are:-
– Team management;
– Audit management;
– Client management;
– Invoicing; and
– Compliance management.
There are many free as well as paid versions of software tools that can provide its assistance to the working individuals in successfully doing their management and technical work from home.
This software tool is helpful in determining the number of hours spent by the employee at his/her system during the working hours. This can calculate the time invested in virtual tools like word, excel, PowerPoint, etc.
One of the best tools to record and create videos on pc and laptops. It lists its importance in making videos giving instructions.
This tool enables the user to cut off the background noise which is very critical for the holding of online meetings.
The online tool stores the credentials and passwords of various websites. It curbs the need for a separate set of management tools to store and hoard data.
Coming to the end, the work from home model during the current times might not be feasible for certain industries. However, industries and sole enterprises are obligated to understand and apply such a model in their future business aspirations for an interrupted spree of business transactions.
As of now, no one has a clear-cut idea of when this condition will surpass and people will get back to a normal lifestyle. Maybe, it’s time that we as humans again deviate from the underlying hurdling blocks and use this as a blessing-in-disguise opportunity for a sustainable economic future.
Disclaimer: The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any person or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there is no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the situation.