Tools for Managing Virtual Team Members

When you are working out of your home and have reached the point where you want to hire someone, you have many options, but one of them may not be having employees come to your home to work.  And although I have had employees working out of my home when I was single, it was not an option in 2010 when I was ready to hire an assistant.  So I hired a virtual one.

Today you might be surprised to know that my employees work from home two days a week each, and I only see them in person once a month.   How do we do it?  We keep our heads in the clouds.  Here are three tools that keep us seconds away while we’re miles apart.


Skype provides us with immediacy when we need it.  We use it for instant messaging and it’s on in the background all day long.  I have a group created for our team and I keep it up at all times.  If they need something quickly, they can Skype me, and vice versa.  I know I can get a response in seconds from each of them.

The cool part is Skype – for what we use it for – is completely free.


If I need to show my team something, we select “Webinar Now” from our GoToWebinar options, and we can all get on a conference session together.  We tried Skype for this but couldn’t always get the audio or video to work consistently, so we use GoToWebinar since we have it already for Accountant’s Accelerator and our other programs.

If you’re on a budget, you might try Google Hangouts, Zoom (, or Skype.

If you’re concerned about security because you need to review client information during these sessions, then unfortunately, the security is not great on all of these.   Zoom, GoToWebinar, and Webex have about the same security.  You’ll want your client to sing a disclaimer if you are going to have a meeting showing their confidential financial information in these sessions.


Our project management system is Wrike.  This is where we have the tasks for all of us, and we can see what we need to do each day.  Wrike is in the cloud, so we can each log in and update our tasks and time on a daily basis.


A fourth tool we are just starting to use is for document sharing.  Just like you have a client portal that enables you to share documents with your clients, you can use your client portal for team document sharing.  We used to use SmartVault, but I like Secure Drawer now.  SecureDrawer is a product of eFileCabinet, and I trust the security since it is specifically designed for accounting professionals.

Face Time

There’s nothing like face time, so I travel to California once a month for a couple of days where we take care of things that should never be done virtually:  performance reviews, more intensive training, re-vamping or streamlining packages and client delivery, strategic planning, and team lunches.

If you’re just starting out with virtual team members, these tools will help you stay in touch and up-to-date on what they are working on.  Let us know via our blog what tools you like to use with your team.