How to Manage your Accounting and Finance Function During the COVID-19 Crisis
By Joseph Doren, CPA, Stephen Prostano, CPA and Gemma Leddy, CPA
The rapid spread of the coronavirus throughout the world is clearly having a devastating impact on families, businesses and the economy in the U.S. and abroad. Businesses, large and small, are grappling with a high degree of uncertainty, and many fear the impact it will have on their revenues, profits, cash flow, employees, and shareholders in the short-term and their sustainability over the long-term.
A robust accounting and financial management function is critical to timely and effective decision-making as well as your business continuity plans during the crisis. As a result, companies are taking a closer look at their business operations and contingency plans in order to determine what is critical to their success and longevity. The following are areas of consideration and challenge.
The most likely direct business problem that will occur during the crisis is that an employee cannot come into work due to sickness, obligations to care for family members affected or children home from school.
Does your business have back-up coverage?
Have people been cross-trained?
Do they have access to software, documents and applications?
Remote Working Arrangements and IT Infrastructure Requirements
Many companies will also face problems from quarantine and other restrictions on travel and social distancing/public assemblies.
Is your business prepared to support a remote workforce from a human resource and technology perspective?
Do you have a secure IT infrastructure that can host your data and software that provides permissioned access, back-up and disaster recovery?
Strategic Financial Planning and Management
The financial challenges your business will face during the crisis requires a clear view of your finances; timely financial data, cash flow and scenario planning are all required to help you make the best decisions possible. Additionally, scrutinizing and reducing costs may be required.
Do you have access to relevant, accurate and timely financial information?
Do you have a contingency plan in place if your financial resources are impacted by the coronavirus?
Are your accounting, tax, and legal teams proactive, responsive and collaborative with you and your advisors? Will they be available to address any issue that presents itself, as you work through this crisis?
Do you have legal and tax resources to provide you with up-to-date information on relief programs to assist your business and employees during and after the crisis?
Alternatives and Opportunities
Businesses across the globe have been scrambling to react to the crisis and ensure continuity of their business, employment for their staff and support for their customers. The finance and accounting function is critical and requires a robust technology infrastructure, access to financial software and accounting records for their employees and supplemental support to ensure that all processes, as well as policies, procedures and controls are functioning.
Many firms have solved these issues by implementing hosted accounting and finance solutions that can be operated by their existing staff, by outsourced professionals or a combination of both, through co-sourcing.
These solutions provide peace of mind knowing there is someone who will always be available to run the accounting and finance function remotely, without impacting your business operations, and, at the same time, provide you with the information, planning and advice required to make the right decisions for your business.
The PKFOD Solution
PKF O’Connor Davies provides customized outsourced and co-sourced CFO services, including accounting, finance, advisory, tax and administrative services to large and small businesses, nonprofits, hedge funds and private equity funds as well as high-net-worth families and family offices, including:
Information Technology and Data Management
Cost-effective private cloud hosting of integrated accounting software, payment processing and data management and secure document sharing
24-7 access, client-care team, back-up and disaster recovery, cyber security, HIPAA and SSAE-18 Certified
Co-sourced and outsourced accounting and CFO services
Treasury and cash management services
Vendor invoice processing and automated bill payment services
Accounts receivable invoicing and payment processing
Employee management, payroll and benefits administration
Document, contract and vendor management
Audit support and internal control evaluation and monitoring
Financial modeling, trend analysis, budgeting and projections
Tax preparation support and interface with tax professionals
Special projects and transactional support
Accounting and Reporting
General ledger bookkeeping, accounting and reconciliations
Investment accounting and administration including aggregation and performance reporting
Valuation, Forensic, Bankruptcy and Restructuring services
Cyber Security, Dark Web Monitoring and Digital Forensic services
Transaction and Financial Advisory services
Risk Advisory services
In addition to ensuring that you have the right accounting and finance resources available during this crisis for effective decision-making and business continuity, there is an opportunity to review core processes and consider how to better manage them now and in the future.
Outsourcing and co-sourcing and hosted IT solutions can help to transform your business operations, reduce costs, provide access to significant expertise and help to sustain your business over the long term.
We hope you find these ideas useful in helping navigate the current crisis. Please visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for more information and insights from our specialists
For more information on accounting solutions, please contact: