How are accounting practices changing amid the COVID-19 pandemic? In many different ways! Talk to a tax or accounting practitioner and you will hear answers that vary from no change for those who were mostly cloud based to begin with, to others utilizing secure file uploads and on-line meetings.
As everyone knows by now, we are living in a very strange time. There are many impacts to society that have yet to surface while others are happening right now. One thing I can tell you about my practice is not that much has changed. You see at Succentrix Business Advisors, we are a cloud based accounting firm https://www.accountantcolumbiatnsuccentrix.com/ providing a variety of services beyond the tax return. We have clients that only have us process their payroll. We have some clients who want us to do their monthly accounting, financial statement analysis, sales and use tax return, and process their payroll. The wonderful news is we do all this cloud based but here is where the change comes in. I was supposed to have a new client meeting this week. Instead of meeting somewhere in town, we held a Zoom meeting instead. I was able to meet with them, discuss their needs and provide some quick measures to help with advising them.
For my tax clients, most of them are just dropping off their information instead of having a sit down meeting. We briefly meet to see if there are any special circumstances that we need to be aware of. For those who are under self-quarantine, I have them securely upload their documents to us. We review everything, ask for any additional information we need (such as driver’s licenses, dependent dates of birth, or any missing 1099s, etc.) and then we begin working on the return. When we are finished, we securely upload the return for their review. Upon their acceptance, they sign a document giving us permission to e-file the return on their behalf. From there, I send an invoice to my client via email and I e-file their return. The entire process takes place without us ever having met. For those who just are not comfortable uploading their info to someone they’ve never met, I offer the Zoom meeting option. It’s definitely different than meeting someone in person but it is still an opportunity to make sure we are a good fit for each other.
Please know that while times are slightly difficult right now, we will try to accommodate and change our accounting practices to meet the guidelines for COVID-19. I am limiting my client meetings as much as possible, rescheduling to a later date when I can and utilizing other tools to insure everyone’s safety – particularly for my older clients and those at high-risk. Fortunately my office is small enough that we are still able to go in everyday but I know this too may change. But you know what? As the times change, so do we. I look forward to discussing any tax, accounting or advising services you may need. Please call 931-548-6868 or 931-286-2654. We are happy to help!
Need additional resources for your small business? Here are some options for you: Quickbooks is offering advice on how to weather the virus https://quickbooks.intuit.com/smallbusinesshelp/ ; The Small Business Administration has helpful resources as well: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 The World Health Organization has advice for the public https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public