COVID-19 has changed the way accounting firms and other businesses view the future. Just a few months ago, opportunities looked very bright for businesses in practically all industries. But then, the current pandemic threw a wrench in most professionals’ plans and forced executives and directors to reevaluate their courses of action. The financial industry has been particularly hard-hit by economic repercussions due to the pandemic.
Fortunately, there is hope for every business that adopts smart tactics moving forward. There are ways you can help your firm not only survive, but grow in a post-pandemic world. Here are our top suggestions.
Learn More About Relief Programs
State and federal governments are working hard to help businesses navigate through this difficult time. It is in every community’s best interest to help local businesses make it through the current pandemic. To facilitate this goal, government agencies have offered relief programs to qualifying businesses, and they may continue to release more such programs. These programs can mean the difference between success and demise for your company, which is why it is important to learn all you can about them.
You can’t take advantage of a program you don’t fully understand or even know about. So pay attention to the news on a local and federal level to make sure you hear about any available relief programs as soon as they’re released. You should also keep in mind that most relief programs are limited, which means you need to act quickly if you want to take advantage of them.
Maintain Morale in a Virtual Environment
Many employees have struggled to with low morale since switching to remote work. You can minimize their struggles by taking time to reach out on a collective and personal level to your employees. Make sure they know you’re aware of the challenges of working from home. Let them know you appreciate them now more than ever.
Most importantly, communicate. The future seems uncertain for many employees right now, especially when their employers don’t let them know what to expect for the future. Send out regular newsletters to let your team know when they can safely return to work. If your plans change due to unforeseen circumstances, tell your team as soon as possible. When communication is strong, uncertainty and fear tend to fade to the background.
Move to Virtual Technology for Accounting Firms
Even though the current pandemic is temporary, the move to virtual work is here to stay. Many companies are finding that employees can get just as much done from home, without the overhead costs associated with renting an office space. Employees also reap the benefits of remote working with fewer expenses and less wear-and-tear on their vehicles.
Companies that incorporate virtual technology and services into their businesses are more likely to be ready to succeed after the current pandemic. They’re also more likely to be prepared for future pandemics or other unexpected events.
Many businesses were caught wholly unprepared to deal with the current pandemic and its catastrophic effects on the economy. If your company was one of them, don’t dwell on the past. Instead, learn how to adapt and become an anticipatory company. Be ready to transform and adapt to all types of situations. Prepare your business to thrive through hard times by training your employees on what to do if emergency situations arise in the future.
Above all, prepare yourself and your team to be proactive instead of reactive whenever something unexpected happens. You may want to do drills and come up with potential worst-case scenarios, then coach your team through them. When you practice such scenarios in calm times, your team will be more likely to jump to action when genuine calamities arise.
Focus on Transformation
Instead of viewing the current pandemic as something that is happening to you, view it as an opportunity to transform. Many accounting firms have seized this economic downturn as a chance to embrace change and do things even better than before. This may mean trimming unnecessary expenses that were wasteful to begin with. Or it might mean downloading new types of software or technology to make long-distance work even more efficient. No matter what, commit to emerging from this pandemic as a better firm.
Focus on the Firm’s Vision
Leaders never flounder in a crisis. Instead, they develop a vision that others can latch onto. If you expect to pull your company through the current economic nosedive, you need to show that you have a vision for the company’s future. Convey your vision to your stakeholders and explain how you plan to get there. When you show your team that you have vision, clarity, and focus, you naturally become their trusted leader, ultimately helping your firm thrive during these trying times.