With the Covid-19 era sending so many teams remote, it is important to create an effective management strategy. A remote team can be both small or big depending upon the company’s requirements. These research-based tips are a great way to improve the productivity and engagement of your team members while easing the burden on managers during the transition:
Scheduling Daily Check-In:Take this as an opportunity to connect with your employees. Daily check-ins should focus on project updates and day-to-day needs. These meetings are important for maintaining the constructive relationship between you and your team. The meeting should discuss simple questions such as:
- What are you working on today?
- Do you need help with anything?
- What is your top priority for the day?
DocumentationCommunication is of the utmost importance whether the members are working in a normal workplace or in a remote environment. Beyond appropriately frequent check-ins, more extensive documentation of tasks allows for better clarity regarding responsibilities, duties, tasks, and their deadlines. Your team will also be able to pick up where they left off if they are juggling multiple projects.
Making Better Use of TechnologyMake ample usage of the great communication tools that are now available, both free and paid for. For video conferencing, these include Google Meet, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. These tools act as efficient communication channels. Though they may require some training at first, once understood, they act as a great engagement strategy. Be careful with overusing these tools, however. “Zoom Fatigue” has been studied widely with many firms adopting a moratorium on meetings one day a week. NMW stands for “No Meeting Wednesdays.” You’ll also find great tools for shared project tracking including Basecamp, Trello, Jira, and others. These tools allow you to share screenshots, post questions and questions, and generally accomplish work without having a formal meeting. This approach to work is called “asynchronous.”
Establishing Engagement RulesBy establishing a clear set of communication rules, the engagement between the team members and manager becomes more satisfying and efficient. Having an agenda for all meetings and agreeing to be present and not interrupt others is a great place to start.
Checking In on the ProcessThe transition to remote has been challenging for firms that were very accustomed to shared environments. While you may have had the best of intentions when you unveiled your remote work plan, you likely didn’t account for everything. Treating the process as a journey that your team is helping guide is the best approach.
Focus on the OutcomeMicromanagement is to be avoided for well-documented reasons related to employee retention, quality of output, and more. While it’s important to have appropriate, organized check-ins, managers need to give their teams the trust and space to do their best work, without random phone calls, unnecessary emails, and other distractions. Was the team successful? Look at the outcome. How the team produced it is less important.
Don’t Forget RelationshipsCarve out some time during your video meetings for some non-work-related banter and conversations. This helps in encouraging interactions between the members themselves on a social level. Another great way to create social engagement between employees is by hosting virtual gatherings. From Houseparty to hosted events on AirBnB and elsewhere, you’ll be surprised at what is available. Many options are even great for getting your more introverted staff to have a blast.
Be EmpatheticIt is important for you to understand the struggles, anxieties, and stress faced by remote employees. Many have personal and familial health concerns to manage. Parents are juggling children and work without the same childcare support they had prior to the pandemic. Making accommodations for employees who are producing at the same level but perhaps quite as available helps in improving their emotional intelligence. Now that you have the right tips and tricks on how to effectively manage remote employees, you can help your team stay engaged, motivated, and feel supported.
As of this writing, the rollout of the SBA PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) is 2 weeks old. From everything we can gather, at this time, hundreds of thousands of "small businesses" have applied for a forgivable SBA PPP loan. The SBA continues to issue "guidance" in the form of Frequently Asked Questions and answers. The headlines continue to ring with negative news about the rollout, including one that says the SBAs computer systems crashed and another that said the SBA is struggling to meet the demand for these loans. That shouldn't surprise anyone, given the speed and size of this program rolled out by the Federal Government. The SBA is responsible for $349 Billion in loans to small businesses, but the banks, credit unions, and other lenders are the entities who have to actually do all the intake for the loans. The SBA PPP is a big, huge, government program, and it's going to have lots of issues. There are more than 30 million small businesses in the United States today. How many of them are suffering in the wake of COVID-19 and the corresponding government shut downs? A LOT! We're trying to make the process a little easier on everyone.
The All Encompassing SBA PPP Guide (free download)We've created a simple, but thorough guide to the process from the borrower's (small business) perspective, answering the following questions:
- What is the SBA PPP?
- Who is eligible for an SBA PPP Loan?
- What can you use these funds for?
- How much can you borrow?
- How do you calculate how much you can borrow?
- What info do you need to apply for an SBA PPP Loan?
- What amount of the loan is forgivable?
SBA PPP Explainer VideosYou can download and read the guide, or get the shorter (slightly more entertaining) version in this video on youtube. It literally answers exactly the same questions as we've listed above. Also, we're sharing more videos almost on a daily basis as we learn things that will help both borrowers and lenders.
Calculate Your Average Monthly Payroll CostsWe've published a calculator (MS Excel & Google Sheets) for small businesses to use to calculate their average monthly payroll costs and to give to their lender to provide thorough documentation of their average monthly payroll costs. You input your numbers, and the calculator generates your maximum loan amount. Remember, the SBA PPP help small businesses through about 2 months or so of payroll to keep employees employed, so your business can stay in business after the pandemic has ended.
Apply for sba ppp loan onlineWe've created (what we believe is) the easiest online SBA PPP application in the world! OK, let's not get carried away, but it's really good. So, if you're a small business, you can apply using our online application. If you're a lender of any kind, and you're struggling with the volume of applications, you can adopt ours. We made the process plug and play for lenders, really easy to get started, and we're standing by ready to help you get onboarded so you can accept more applications and fund more loans. Apply online for an SBA PPP Loan here.
Virtual accountants and bookkeepers to help youFinally, last year, we rolled out our virtual accounting and bookkeeping services, and we've got a network of over 400 vetted accountants and bookkeepers ready to go to help you get through this application process. We base our matches for you on these criteria:
- Accounting Needs
- Business Objectives
- Bookkeeping Requirements
On April 8, 2020, Nathan Page, Director of Customer Implementation led an informative webinar discussing why banking is key when it comes to accounting. Additionally, the following topics were covered during this 40-minute webinar.
- How bank activity translates to your financial reports
- Tips and tricks for tracking money movement
- The importance of bank reconciliation and re-syncing
The Webinar Video RecordingClick the video below to watch or listen to the full webinar recording. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVGOvFGlpxU&t=7s[/embed]
How Bank Activity Translates to Your Financial reports
- Categorizing Transactions. (2:04)
- The description option will translate all of the line items on your financial reports.
- Check dates and clear dates are very important.
- Check dates primarily relate to your financial reports. This is going to show in your income statement and balance sheet.
- Clear dates are reflected in bank reconciliations.
- The goal is to match what you see in your FINSYNC account to match what is in your bank account.
- You’ll have a drop-down menu of general ledger accounts to choose from.
- The goal of inputting all of the information is to avoid having to do double-entry accounting.
- Splitting Transactions. (7:29)
- Allows you to categorize transactions
- There are templates available for recurring transactions
- The key to splitting transactions is to have one transaction split across several different categories, as opposed to having several separate transactions.
- Attributes, Customers, and Vendors. (10:55)
- Attributes help you filter down your financial reports.
- Great method if you are trying to get more granular with your reporting.
- Matching Bank Transfers & Charge Card Payments (14:05)
- Keep in mind this is one fluid movement of money from one place to another.
- This extra step keeps your financial statements in good standing.
- Currently not an automated service, but we are working towards it.
- Linking to Liabilities/Assets. (17:28)
- The shortcut menu allows you to quickly link assets & liabilities.
Tips and tricks for tracking money movement
- Payments made/received via FINSYNC. (18:34)
- FINSYNC offers ways to automate the accounting process when someone pays you by ACH or by credit card.
- For more information on payments, we offered a webinar that goes more into detail. You can read more about it on our blog.
- Payments made/received outside of FINSYNC. (20:14)
- You’ll have to manually enter the data.
- We have different ways to manage data entries.
- One way is by using the record payment option. By using this option you don’t run the risk of duplicating data.
The importance of bank reconciliation and re-syncing
- The difference between synced and non-synced accounts. (27:40)
- Synced accounts use your online login information to pull transactions directly from your bank through our third-party vendor and into FINSYNC.
- Non-synced accounts still get the job done; however, you have to manually import transactions.
- Bank reconciliation. (32:29)
- It’s a simple process.
- The goal is to make sure your FINSYNC account accurately reflects what’s going on in your bank account.
- It’s recommended that you do a reconciliation monthly or even quarterly. Therefore, this will help when tax season comes around.
- Syncing a non-synced account retroactively. (35:28)
- Firstly, under the settings tab, you will see the sync account option. Then, once you click on it you will be guided through the set-up process steps.
- You can import transactions up to the last 90 days. Or choose to start from the day you will sync your account.
- Using your data to apply for loans. (36:44)
- You can apply for loans through FINSYNC by using your banking information.
- For instance, we have a network of about 30-40 banking institutions, online lenders, alternative lenders, and credit unions.
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