Crises are inevitable and so is the case of the Covid-19 pandemic which suddenly took everyone by surprise and all the nations of the world were unprepared and stood blank in front of the deadly virus that just stared back at our face forcing the world to go into lockdown. This serious Covid-19 crisis had both social and economic impacts globally. Lockdowns and stay-at-home periods which began initially for just one week kept extending and that made it very difficult for companies to interact with their employees and business operations suffered a great deal.
Though the lockdown affected every running business, it brought forth new ideas and improvements in the way businesses operated calling it the “New Normal”. Companies started using work from home to help employees perform their duties, virtual meetings and online training were held and companies started showing improvements in their business operations slowly but steadily. The same applied to accounting firms that quickly began to adapt to the new changes to provide service to their clients.
Some adjustments and changes that are being done by accounting firms are listed below;
- Since everybody was working remotely from their homes, collecting data, information and documents was the initial challenge for accounting firms. This challenge is overcome by requesting clients to provide documents through emails. Mobile and computer applications like WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, etc. are being used to stay in touch with clients. For those clients who do not have access to automated systems and applications to provide information and also access electronic documents, pick and drop facilities are initiated with a total focus on social distancing.
- Many accounting firms have been using the latest accounting software, tools, and techniques which made it easy for them to quickly adapt to the work-from-home situation. Since cloud-based accounting is popularly used by accounting firms, client data and business-related information are readily available and easily accessible making their job of serving clients easy. As all information is available online accounting firms can now access all client data online to provide reports and financial statements without any glitches. The others who have not yet implemented cloud-based accounting have realized that this is the only way forward and are taking immediate steps to invest in advanced accounting systems and software and train their employees to service clients better.
- This period of uncertainty has also forced small businesses to look out for financial advisors who could help them by providing the best of advice in order to keep their functions operating and earn enough revenue to keep their business running. This is indeed an opportunity for accounting firms to use their VCFO services and help clients during times of distress. The VCFO services provided by accounting firms help companies to share their information and get financial advice from professionals who act in the capacity of a CEO but virtually. The VCFO services are cost-effective and provide the same value to business as a full time CEO. This is a boon for many companies especially when they have experienced low sales and revenue due to the pandemic and want to get back in action and resume their operations.
- Companies undergoing financial distress are approaching accounting firms to assist them in accounting and advising for business closure or mergers. Accounting firms can easily cater to this due to the pool of accountants and financial professionals who are experienced in business combinations and mergers. As accounting firms specialize in providing a wide range of services under one roof, client’s demands and expectations can be met quickly and easily.
- Accounting firms that undertake auditing services have come up with new and innovative ways to conduct audits virtually as on-site visits are neither possible nor would the concerned employees be available to provide the data and documents as required. Hence, necessary documents are provided online through email, physical verification of stocks and assets is done through applications like Skype calls, WhatsApp calls, etc. Remote auditing is fairly easy, effective, and takes less time and it is here to stay at least till the Covid-19 crisis is still looming around.
- As the government is providing subsidies and grants to various affected sectors, accounting firms are constantly updating themselves with all the latest updates so that they can inform their clients to use the same for their benefits and business revival. Accounting service providers also ensure that proper accounting effects of these funds are provided for and appropriate accounting treatment for all the transactions are made clear so that financial statements show a true and fair view of the use of funds for business purposes.
- Accounting firms also faced economic crises where clients were at their all-time low, this called for mutual understanding of lowering fees in some cases and ensuring clients that even during their downs accounting firms do not leave their clients in a lurch. This crisis also enabled accounting firms to provide services in new and improved ways at the lowest possible cost.
The Covid crisis will soon come to an end and if not end, it will surely subside to a great extent due to rampant vaccination drive across the globe and as this happens, all businesses will also rise back to earning revenue and profits. In doing so, finance and accounting service providers like Diligen are ready to take up these new challenges. Diligen has always looked at technology as a way to stay ahead of the curve and with a team of highly talented and experienced professionals and experts, Diligen has been able to prove this especially during these troubled times. Diligen has always been equipped with the latest accounting tools and techniques making it easy to adapt to this pandemic situation. Even during the lockdown, Diligen has been constantly providing services to its clients. Diligen has provided uninterrupted accounting and bookkeeping services, VCFO services, taxation services, legal services, consultancy, and many other services to its clients during the Covid-19 crisis and is constantly striving hard to find innovative ways to serve its clients. Diligen strongly believes that together with its team and constant support from its clients it will be easy to leave the marks of this crisis behind and gain momentum to move ahead and succeed.