Contributed by: Sarah Scheffer, Marketing Director
When I reflect on the last ten months of these most difficult of times, I am reminded of something said by Mr. Fred Rogers:
“When I was a boy, and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
Yes! I know exactly the people Mr. Rogers was referring to when he made this statement. I have witnessed these helpers, my colleagues, working hard to help others feel less frightened in these challenging and uncertain times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, proven just how valuable CPAs are to their communities. Throughout these unprecedented events, their knowledge and expertise are being sought after now more than ever.
Leone, McDonnell & Roberts Help Our Clients Pivot as Needed
The strength, resiliency, and reliability of a CPA have never been more tested. Like so many other businesses, CPA firms quickly moved their own business operations to a virtual work environment while simultaneously learning and understanding the CARES Act as well as additional funding resources in order to help our neighbors in the community.
When the April 15th deadline was postponed until July, accountants were able to turn their attention from filing our clients’ taxes to helping small business clients get the financial support and advice they needed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. We did divert our attention back to tax preparation briefly. However, once the July 15th tax deadline passed, we shifted our focus back to assisting and advising our clients again.
Why is it More Important than Ever to Rely on a CPA?
Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic here in the U.S., every one of us is asking the same questions: What happens next? How do I keep the heat and lights on? How do we navigate through the unknown, especially in constantly changing circumstances?
Government relief funding and guidance have been evolving since the start of the pandemic. A trusted advisor is needed now more than ever to help understand the details of these programs, recognize the impact of the health crisis as it relates to your business, and offer insight into what will work best for you. CPA firms have been working tirelessly since March to support and guide small businesses during this challenging time.
According to Forbes, approximately 70% of all small business owners applied for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). CPAs were critical to these businesses, with owners relying heavily on their trusted accounting advisors for expertise and advice.
It’s important for you to trust your accountant so you can:
- Wrap your arms around what’s happening today and the foreseeable future
- Focus on the day-to-day operations of your business (aka map out cash flows, reduce expenses, etc.)
- Talk with lenders to see what programs may be available
- Access other resources as needed
- Be innovative and strategic to keep the business afloat, pivoting as needed
- Stay aligned with your goals as best you can
- Be prepared
What Can CPAs Do to Help?
As helpers, today’s CPAs are being called to do more than just “crunch the numbers.” A trusted CPA can help clients:
- Stay up-to-date with tax provisions, government guidance, funding, and other resources
- Offer consultation to your business as to how to prioritize and possibly benefit from these
- Help solve today’s immediate challenges, relieving some of the stress associated with the financial turmoil
- Provide information and access to extensive resources
- Help pick up the pieces of the economic hardships caused by the pandemic
- Offer strategic advisory and planning services that focus on the future and help move you forward
It’s a lot. Don’t face uncertainty alone. As we move into 2021, we know we are stronger together — turn to the helpers.