Accountants worldwide travel millions of miles per year in their work, whether they’re performing audits or holding client meetings. Accounting professionals who regularly hit the road can benefit from learning how to travel better and more efficiently by checking out the tips we outline below.
Plus, did you know you can bone up for the CMA examination by taking an online prep course when you’re traveling? Nothing’s more convenient than that!
Never Use Public Wi-Fi for Accounting Work
Public Wi-Fi is dangerous. Hackers love to use them as an entry point. The gigantic flaw unearthed in the WPA2 security protocol recently led IT experts to recommend NO workers should ever use public Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s far too easy for cybercriminals to grab your passwords and peek at your clients’ sensitive financial information.
Some of the worst offenders are hotel business centers. Criminals know that business centers are open season to steal precious personal and financial information. They’ll virtually or physically hang out near them to steal confidential data. Then, they sell the data to their highest bidder.
If you insist on using a hotel’s business center, at least use the Wi-Fi on your personal device and not on a hotel computer. Hackers like to install viruses and trojans on public PCs that can infiltrate your network. Even worse, they can install keylogging programs that record every keystroke you make.
Some experts advise buying a mobile hotspot or acquire one from your IT department. This allows you to duck dubious outside networks and electronic devices. You stay productive and online with the knowledge that your and your clients’ data is secure.
Just because you have some accounting work to do when you’re on the road doesn’t mean it should rule your entire trip. Provide boundaries and communication to your company and clients about when you can work and when you’ll be doing other things.
It’s annoying for your team to think you’re available when you’re touring Rome. And it’s aggravating for you when you’re touring Rome, and you’re being bombarded with texts and emails. Avoid this by establishing availability windows on your trip. Or, set up turnaround times when you’ll respond and adhere to them.
For example, you might block an hour at 9 am and an hour at 7 pm when you’re vacationing to read email and be available for business.
Watch Out For Separation Anxiety
Many accountants say a big hurdle of working outside the office is leaving behind the hardware and applications you’re accustomed to every day.
Many accounting professionals love working on PCs with at least three monitors. You’re not usually going to have that luxury on the road. Some laptops have extended monitors, but if not, you’re stuck with flipping between five applications on one 15” or 17” screen.
Regarding other tech, talk to your IT department before you travel. Ensure you know how to get on your company’s network and all vital apps from every personal device. Plan on hardware failing, so have a backup plan set up so you can always work when traveling.
When You Get Home, Be There
Some accounting professionals travel for months of the year. That work is essential, but so is making the most of your home time. If you have children, it’s smart to keep up routines with them no matter how much you travel in your accounting work.
Keep in touch with family and friends on the road with FaceTime, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. Your relationships with thank you.
When you follow these tips, you’ll find working on the road will be more comfortable and less stressful.