Seven lessons firms can learn from COVID-19

Posted on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 by Nicole Fracasso

While we continue to adjust to the global pandemic that is COVID-19, there are still a few lessons emerging that can help CPA firms, writes Ira Rosenbloom, CPA, chief operating executive at Optimum Strategies in a recent article from Accounting Web. In this article, Rosenbloom provides seven practical lessons accounting firms can learn from COVID-19.

First, he says that clients of all sizes need to appreciate advisory services. According to Rosenbloom, COVID-19 is giving firms the chance to get re-acquainted as partners in business.

“Advisory services should be an ongoing part of a firm’s service platform—and should come with value-based fees and possibly a re-engineering of your client base,” he writes.

Next he says remote working offers great benefits. For example, if managed properly, workflow prioritization becomes more accepted and communication becomes more transparent.

“A permanent operations committee composed of accountants, technologists and support people needs to be set in place to keep your firm enjoying the benefits of remote functionality,” Rosenbloom writes.

Third, he says technology is more than an investment. Now more than ever, firms need to remain technology driven. He recommends staying driven by keeping a technology plan in place and reviewing the budget twice a year.

Fourth, Rosenbloom says to enhance business sustainability by collaborating with other firms. For example, firms can explore work arrangements with other firms to co-partner, such as mergers.

“While this may seem like a more stressful exploration now, the increasing accountability and changes to structure in the short term will be outweighed by the resources, finances and peace of mind that come with joining with the right people down the road,” writes Rosenbloom.

Next, he says practicing protection plans is critical. While we hope to never see another pandemic like this one, other tragedies are inevitable, he writes. It’s crucial to take time now to plan for uncontrollable events.

Sixth, he says “maintaining metrics and standards is a must.” For example, performance indicators need to be set, stimulus plans shouldn’t affect business decisions and jobs still need to be managed to a budget, according to Rosenbloom.

Lastly, he says to remain disciplined with your client base. During this time, it might be an instinct to try and hold on to every client you can, but it may not be practical.

“Firms should always have their own definition of what makes a good client,” writes Rosenbloom. “And always be on the hunt for them.”

Want to learn more? Click here to learn more lessons from Rosenbloom.

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