COVID-19 and Accounting: How CPA Firms Respond to the Pandemic
Updated: Oct 27, 2022
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically changed the global economy, forcing various industries to adjust and redesign their current operations. The accounting industry, for one, has been heavily impacted by the economic recession.
For one, the spread of the virus worsened during tax season, which generally runs from January 1 to April 15 every year. Thankfully, the deadline for filing and paying 2020 taxes was extended until July 15 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Another reason is that considering the financial crisis caused by the virus, certified public accountants have grown in demand recently. Financial planning, data analytics, and auditing are critical skills, especially for businesses implementing cost-cutting measures.
However, travel restrictions and social distancing requirements make it difficult for CPAs and firms to deliver their services. Face-to-face meetings with clients are an essential part of the consultation and audit process. So, accounting specialists must modify their procedures to provide the service quality their clients deserve while adhering to physical distancing rules.
Below are some changes accountancy firms can integrate into their processes to adapt to the new normal.
1. Remote work arrangements
Remote work arrangements have become a necessity amid the pandemic. Some firms were able to transition to a fully remote setup due to their existing processes and infrastructures. There are plenty of technology options to stay productive, even with a dispersed workforce.
Some of the most popular work-from-home tools include video conferencing and collaborative documents. Video conferencing, in particular, lets you conduct necessary face-to-face meetings while complying with physical distancing measures.
For CPA firms, accounting-specific technologies are also available. Tax software and asset management solutions make financial reporting tasks easier and faster. Plus, they add value to your services by giving your clients a one-stop dashboard to view their finances.
Many firms use portals to stay connected with clients and employees. These platforms are secure, making sure that sensitive information is kept confidential. The software also serves as centralized storage for staff to download, submit, and edit files, which can aid collaboration and productivity.
2. Cloud-based infrastructure
A majority of accountancy firms that think they’ve successfully responded to the pandemic are already using cloud-based technology. These firms could offer virtual collaboration tools to their clients and maintain open, seamless communication within their team. Meanwhile, those that are less successful are still struggling to incorporate technology into their remote work arrangement.
Cloud-based tools, such as client portals and online document management, help you implement a business continuity plan more flawlessly. Apart from maintaining the performance of your staff, these tools increase the quality of your services. Advanced accounting software can generate actionable financial insights, make books more accurate, and keep an open communication line with your clients.
3. Emphasis on advisory and consultancy services
Clients are looking for business-critical advice and support to tide them over during the pandemic. This makes accounting and financial advisory services invaluable. Businesses are undergoing financial stress, so they need guidance in managing their cash flow, upping their revenues, or looking for a bank that will process their SBA loan application.
This is when accountancy firms and CPAs realize their roles as trusted financial advisors to their clients.
White-Label Accounting Services
Global Financial Teams provides affordable white-label accounting services to CPAs, business consultants, and firms. We handle a range of accounting-related tasks, from simple bookkeeping to CFO-level duties. With a high-performing team and advanced technology, GFT helps you provide the service quality your clients deserve.
Contact us today to schedule a free virtual consultation, and we’ll discuss how you can elevate your accounting services.