More than 1.5 million confirmed cases and counting – the COVID-19 crisis has brought the US economy to a standstill. Though standard accounting practices can help CPA firms to withstand the impact of natural calamities and cyber security, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the life of the CPA a bit difficult. The reason? Well, corona-virus outbreak is unprecedented and it is hard to fight against this invisible enemy.
It is fair to mention that all CPA firms are not fully prepared to combat such a crisis. Many CPA firms have adopted the work-from-home or remote working concept to follow social distancing rules. Here we consider this concept and make a list of the right steps to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on CPA firms while ensuring business continuity for clients. It starts with preparing your existing clients.
1. Client Update is Must
First things first. You must inform your clients about the situation and your measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 pandemic among your employees. You can share updates through various social media channels and phone calls. What’s more, it is necessary to send real-time updates regarding various changes like the extension of filing deadlines and other government reliefs.
You can build a dedicated portal for clients for document collection and process. While battling such a contagious disease, you need to minimize the person-to-person interaction and maximize the use of technology. Personalized approach while communicating with the clients can enable you to remove confusion.
2. Enable and Encourage Employees to Work-from-Home
These days, most of your corporate clients have adopted the work-from-home concept. You should follow suit by enabling and encouraging your employees to do work from home or remote places. Here, cloud technology lends a helping hand. Accounting for CPAs can be seamlessly run on a cloud-based solution. Xero and QuickBooks Online are some of the noteworthy applications that securely provide complete functionality. You can make your employees ready to use such solutions and applications.
Since no one has a clue about how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last, it is better to switch to the cloud right away and continue your accounting practices.
3. Establish Remote Collaboration
The biggest challenge for every business while implementing the work-from-home concept is to keep your employees to stay connected. You can use Skype, Teams, Slack, or other online communication tools for establishing a seamless collaboration. Software giants like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Cisco offer free trials of their premium services these days. Once implemented, a safe, swift, and secure transition to the work-from-home concept is essential. There, remote collaboration and communication tools can help you out.
4. Make a Task Force
As a reliable CPA Partner, you need to build a channel between your firm and clients. Simply put, you can come up with a task force that consists of dedicated team members who can regularly stay in touch with clients and employees. You can define the accountability of the task force for ensuring all the guidelines given by the CDC, WHO, and NIH are followed properly.
The task force remains updated with the latest developments in the COVID-19 outbreak and informs your clients about the possible impact of them on business.
5. Outsourced Accounting
Meeting deadlines is quite a task for CPA firms in such trying times. On one hand, the CPA firms have limited resources in the pandemic situation, and on the other hand, many companies want to leverage the benefits of taxation and other relaxations. Outsourcing can be a viable and cost-effective option for CPAs in this scenario. Just like corporate houses, outsourcing of accounting can offer many benefits to CPAs.
All you need to have is a reliable and robust outsourcing partner who can assist you to meet compliance requirements while meeting the deadlines. Outsourcing can also save you various costs and valuable time that you can spend on other important accounting activities.
COVID-19 situation keeps on changing and has become a great reason for confusion and chaos in the corporate world. Very few offices have managed to work in such a grim situation, and the CPA office is one of them. However, it is necessary to follow these steps to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and help your clients sail through troubled waters.
KiRi Accounting is your perfect outsourcing partner. Our customized solution CPA Support Program (CSP) designed specifically to support CPA firms during this pandemic can ensure peace of mind for you while handling accounting and taxation needs effectively.