By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager
The pandemic forcing the shift to an almost completely virtual experience created a learning curve for everyone, and Rick Fedorovich, CPA, executive chairman at Bober Markey Fedorovich, said he’s learned some valuable lessons over the course of 10 months.
“I’ve learned there is no substitute for human interaction,” he said. “Especially in a professional services business.”
Fedorovich, a member of the OSCPA Executive Board, said although it’s crucial to know how to effectively work and interact virtually, he’s hearing more and more from staff and clients that they’re looking forward to more in-person interactions.
“Amongst all of this virtual pivoting to technology, it's worked well for us, but the business is still built on relationships,” he said.
Although Zoom and WebEx and other various meeting platforms are necessary at this time, Fedorovich said there’s only so much connection and value individuals get out of those before they find themselves exhausted or distracted. So, while meetings, happy hours and other virtual events are important, it’s valuable to consider when to take a break and give people a rest from staring at screens.
When it comes to staff, he said it’s crucial that wherever they’re working from, whether that’s at home or in an office following the necessary protocols, they are able to do so effectively. He said BMF has encouraged staff to work from wherever they feel most safe and can be productive, and this experience has motivated BMF to introduce a more robust virtual working from home policy.
Bober Markey Fedorovich along with The Ohio Society of CPAs is among a group of more than 150 businesses that are part of the Coalition to Stop the Spread, making efforts to stop the coronavirus. Wearing masks, social distancing and doing as much as you can virtually are all key parts of those efforts.
Fedorovich said BMF has done its part to follow the recommended guidelines from government officials and healthcare professionals while continuing to figure out how best to serve clients in this unusual atmosphere.
“We're willing to learn, and we want to be a part of the solution,” he said. “And we want to do the right thing.”