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PODCAST: What you need to know during COVID

Written on Feb 4, 2021

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager 

While the arrival of vaccines is encouraging, the world is still in the midst of a pandemic impacting almost every aspect of people’s personal and professional lives. Since the spring OSCPA has covered the pandemic extensively and  in this week’s episode of The State of Business, we’re highlighting previous episodes on how to handle the changes both personally and professionally. 

How scammers are using COVID-19 to their advantage 

Tiffany Pollard is a risk services practice leader at William Vaughan Company and said that even during a pandemic, scammers will continue to find ways to take advantage of companies and employees. And they are using the unique circumstances of the pandemic to prey on these fears. 
Man wearing face shield and mask.

“Scammers are very good at recognizing new fears and the fast-paced nature that this world is currently living through,” she said. “Another piece that we're seeing is specific to the economic injury and disaster loans. We're hearing from companies in our area and in the market in general that fraudulent loans are being taken out in company’s names.” 

Tiffany suggested putting a plan in place of how to react to a potential phishing attacking. She said this way if it happens to you, you’re not reacting in fear but in competence because you’ve planned and prepared for this. 

Those in mergers and acquisitions are also seeing a shift, said Cheryl Aschenbrener, CPA, national leader and partner in transaction advisory services at Sikich LLP. 

“There are a lot of entrepreneurs and owners out there looking to sell their businesses,” she said. “And I think what we're seeing is they may have to adjust their expectations about price and extend their timelines, I really expect that you're going to see a larger portion of the purchase price being paid in earnouts, or rollover equity, because the valuations are going to be based more on those future results.” 

CPAs and accountants are viewed as financial experts, but that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from guidance when it comes to personal spending during a pandemic. A’shira Nelson, CPA, tax manager at Apple Growth Partners, discussed how the stress and uncertainty of this time can impact personal finances. 

She advises being aware of spending out of fear (toilet paper, anyone?) and said to adjust your budget based on how your lifestyle has changed during the pandemic. You might be saving on gas money but now spending more to cook food at home. Plan for these changes so you’re still meeting your short and long-term financial goals. 

Kristen Rampe, CPA, owner of Rampe Consulting said “…it’s never too late to check in on your team.” The mental health impact of the past year has been significant, and it’s crucial for leaders to ask how their team is doing to understand their needs. 

“It's really important for people to keep in mind that trying new things and being adaptable, keeping what works and changing what doesn't are really fundamental in a time like this because we don't have the playbook,” Rampe said. “There’s the added tricky layer that something that works really well for the first week, or for two weeks or a day might not work the next day and acknowledging that that's our situation and that's okay.” 

Hear more from these experts on the episode now or click the links above to listen to their individual shows. 

To expand your understanding of the recent stimulus bill provisions or other COVID-related accounting challenges, CLICK HERE to check out our course offerings.