In the late hours of March 11, President Trump instructed the Treasury Department to defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as coronavirus. A new deadline is not yet in place, and potential victims have yet to emerge as the story continues to unfold. As many individuals and businesses grapple with the possibility and effects of illness, travel bans, quarantine, and economic distress, accounting professionals have a unique opportunity to step up as proactive advisors. Here are 3 ways you can help your firms and help your clients through uncertain times.
Put Technology in the Game
We know that you have been selling the merits of technology to your clients for a while. In the past, resisting adoption was a choice. Now, as close interaction becomes increasingly prohibited, it is a great time to show clients how technology preserves the continuity of business. Give your clients the option to use electronic document services, video conferencing, online portals, and even good old-fashioned phone calls. Not only will this present the practical application of technology, but it will also attest to the security, effectiveness, and efficiency that virtual options have to offer.
Practice What You Preach
Your business may have more virtual interactions than physical interactions in the coming weeks or months. This is an excellent opportunity to shore up your defenses. As you prepare for this shift, assess data security in your firm, and proactively advise clients on their data security and procedures for flexible work arrangements.
Advise Through Uncertainty
In our blog, we have talked at length about the destructive power of assumption. It is time to retire the safe habit of “wait and see.” If you do not step in as your clients’ advisor, you have left them to make assumptions. When it comes to economic crisis, who better to help mitigate the potential impact on businesses than CPAs? If you are in compliance, it is a great time to step into more advising and offer some guidance about how you can help clients through this season.
As you evaluate how to help your clients, don’t miss the opportunity to send them a communication about these items. Emailing now, even in the throes of busy season, is an opportunity to be proactive.
Uncertain times are a sobering reminder of the importance of preparedness. As a CPA, you should advise your clients all year long. In acute seasons of distress, you have the opportunity to address these challenges proactively. At that time of this posting, there is still much uncertainty around the implications of this pandemic. The ambiguity is not an excuse to delay; it is a signal to act on your client’s behalf.
Our consultants are here to answer questions about how to engage with your clients during this time. Simply drop us a line at email@example.com.