The Great Recession that occurred between 2007-2009, left the global economy devastated. The UK was one of the severely hit countries due to the relative reliance on the finance sector and witnessed a GDP drop of 6 % between Q2 2008 until Q3 2009. The government all introduced stimulus packages and new regulations to recover from the losses done during this time.
And as it seemed that after a decade of hard work we did manage to recover a bit, the COVID-19 outbreak has once again left our economy shattered. While our reliance on the finance sector has been both our positive and negative side, Accountants will play an advisory role in guiding their clients to efficiently handle the crisis. Here’s how:
Accountants- Business saviors during the ongoing pandemic:
The first step is always communication. Don’t abandon your clients during these tough times and stay connected at all times. While everyone is working from home, offer online help to review the company finances and plan out possible ways of business survival while maintaining social distancing.
Be updated with government aid options
The government of the UK recently announced the budget in response to the COVID-19. Study it closely and inform the clients of all that can be of help to them. One very important scheme that was announced is the CBIL(Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme) that offers financial support to SMEs. Under the scheme, SMEs can apply for no interest loans and get financial help of up to £5 million.
Check out if the government-aid for businesses here:
Support and apply for government loan programs
Once you have acquired proper knowledge about the government-backed schemes, it’s time to help clients to get through grants and/or loan applications. Organize video meetings with clients and inform them about these schemes and how they can benefit them.
Here’s our template for cash flow forecast to aid Accountants in applying for CBIL scheme on behalf of their clients.
Study their financial positions and help plan for the medium term
Sit down with your clients and understand their current financial position and start mid term planning. Discuss whether laying off is really important and how the business processes need to change even after the lockdown restrictions are lifted completely. While laying-off can save money, advise them that it will be a potential loss of skilled and trained employees. Instead advise them to talk it out with their employees and see if they consider a temporary pay cut over redundancy.
Leverage technology to assist clients remotely
The coronavirus outbreak did bring havoc on everyone but as a silver lining, it did open gates for businesses to test out new ways by leveraging technology to survive during these tough times. Discuss with your clients the potentials of infusing technology into their ecosystem if they aren’t already. Tell them about cloud accounting and how using any of the best cloud accounting software can help them currently as well as in the long run.
While cloud accounting is just one aspect of leveraging technology, use video apps like Zoom and Google meet to stay connected.
Support them emotionally:
Lastly, apart from offering financial expertise to clients, try offering some emotional support and encourage them. Keep them motivated at all times.
All businesses are suffering in one way or the other. Many businesses have even perished but you as an Accountant can be the savior of your client during these tough times.
Yes, as an Accountant you may need to do some extra hard work but again great things don’t come easily.