Why Having an Accountant Matters More Than Ever During COVID-19

accounts for a company

Since the onslaught of COVID-19, McKinsey & Company has consistently released weekly briefs detailing how businesses have been affected by the pandemic. Their researchers have found several key items that are keeping executives awake at night, regardless of company size, location, or sometimes even legacy.

What are the biggest dilemmas and hurdles brand leaders face in the wake of creating the so-called “new normal?” A big one is how to keep teams engaged and innovative when all or some workers are remote. After all, growing a thriving corporate culture is tough when colleagues have minimal physical planned or impromptu interactions.

Another problem is that consumer behavior and sentiment has quickly shifted. Many buyers are eagerly reevaluating the manufacturers and products they once loved. They’re questioning every purchase, and that makes them a potential flight risk. Yes, this consumer movement and migration is an opportunity, too, but that doesn’t mean it’s not disconcerting.

A final struggle for CEOs, especially those leading startups and smaller entities, is reducing financial risk and remaining financially stable. Companies everywhere were stretched incredibly thin when quarantine brought consumer buying to a veritable standstill in a matter of days.

Of course, solving these issues requires a multi-pronged approach and isn’t going to happen overnight. However, one strategy can help any leader: Engaging the help of a business accountant.

How an accountant can help your post-COVID-19 stability and growth efforts

If you’ve handled fiscal duties alone, or only used accountants part of the time until now, consider including more accountant interactions in your processes. Being in closer contact with an accountancy firm can be a boon for a number of reasons.

1. Accountants Will Play Critical Roles Prepping for Next Year’s Taxes.

According to the 2020 State of Small Business report by online payroll company OnPay, plenty of smaller companies felt an instant cash flow crunch in the first months dealing with COVID-19. Accordingly, more than half of them received funding through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and about the same number were able to take advantage of other parts of the CARES Act.

To make sure you’re getting all the tax breaks you deserve and filing your forms accurately, schedule sit-downs with an accountant sooner rather than later. An accountant’s goal is to deliver all the tax benefits you deserve while ensuring you stay within the bounds of the complicated—and sometimes changing—tax code.

2. Accountants Can Advise About Hiring and Furloughing Employees.

Do you tend to defer your hiring decisions to your CFO or vice president in charge of HR? Your accountant can provide significant insights into employee decisions, too. Case in point: Nearly a quarter of OnPay’s survey participants reported having to furlough workers because of the coronavirus. And a little fewer than one-fifth kept team members but had to cut their wages. An accountant can help you see long-term ramifications of onboarding new staffers versus keeping your workforce status quo—or going through layoffs.

Every time you hire or fire someone, you have an effect on your bottom line. However, it might not just be a simple net gain or loss. Accountants are trained to understand the nuances of employee taxes and unemployment, as well as how hiring or firing workers will play out fiscally, particularly at tax time.

3. Accountants Can Take Items Off Your Super-Full Schedule.

Does your to-do list keep expanding, even though you try to check off everything as efficiently as possible? Like most leaders, you’re being stretched thin. Even if you enjoy rising to the challenge of navigating your team successfully through the reopening stages of the pandemic, you’re only one person. And you’re not infallible.

To reduce the likelihood of making mistakes in your company’s bookkeeping, delegate those tasks and responsibilities to an accountancy firm. Accountants can manage your business’s books, spotting discrepancies that you might overlook. Besides, handing over some of your nagging projects frees you to engage in other revenue-generating activities like selling, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders, wooing investors, and negotiating deals.

4. Accountants are Some of the First Experts to Know About Proposed Tax Updates.

You can’t stay ahead of all the proposed changes in tax laws.It’s too complicated. Good thing that your accountant can and will. In fact, accountants spend lots of time looking forward. They take classes, workshops, and other trainings so they can help clients understand how to structure their finances and operations to feel less of a tax burden.

Never underestimate how complicated it can be to follow all the twists and turns of tax-related rules and regulations. Leave the investigation and analysis up to the accountants and stop worrying that you’re missing something.

Every company has been impacted in myriad ways since the beginning of the global COVID-19 surge. The good news is that the future looks optimistic, at least through the lenses of OnPay’s small business research participants. Just make sure you give your brand the best chances of hitting revenue goals and leading your industry by putting your trust in a business accountant.

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