Online Accounting Went Virtual on Short Notice | Online Accounting Jobs – NEC News & Events

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every industry around the globe, forcing companies to set up remote workforces and establish new communication channels through web-connected tools. Accounting jobs are swept up in this change, quickly becoming online accounting jobs.

One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic is how quickly it happened. For example, in the space of one weekend in mid-March, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio closed the citys schools, and other cities in the area established curfews. Nationally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidelines strongly discouraging gatherings of more than 50 people.

In a matter of days, virtual accounting jobs became the norm. Clients dealt with social distancing, supply chain bottlenecks, the closing of physical business locations, and employees working from home. Accounting professionals had to quickly plan to complete work virtually.

As noted in Accounting Today, Fortunately, in 2020, many business clients are used to handling meetings and document transmission remotely. Still, it has taken creativity for accountants to work with clients during this extraordinary time. Its also taken a team effort. Some of the key factors for success during the transition to online accounting jobs included the following.

One of the strengths of the accounting profession is a nationwide network that supports each other, especially in dealing with difficult issues. Few issues have proven quite as difficult as COVID-19.

In a podcast with the Journal of Accountancy, Danielle Supkis Cheek of PKF Texas in Houston offers advice on some accounting issues affected by the crisis. PFK Texas serves both domestic and international clients who do business in Texas.

Cheek noted that the Journal of Accountancy and the AICPAs Coronavirus Resource Center offer invaluable guidance to accountants. I think the first thing to think of is that youre not going through this alone. The issues you are experiencing, others are experiencing, she said.

Larger firms with dedicated IT staff found the transition a bit easier. In addition to having the technology to safely transmit sensitive financial documents, they also could quickly set up networks that allow employees to work from home.

Smaller firms face a steeper uphill climb. However, those who work with a cloud-hosting company and had developed a risk management plan had an edge. Nicole Fluty, product manager of OfficeTools for AbacusNext, told Accounting Today that a preparedness plan works best when having backup plans in critical areas such as documentation, employee training, and establishment of sound communication networks.

Thomson Reuters is among the companies that offer free tools for accountants. Among these tools are podcasts where seasoned accountants give advice on how to approach serving clients during the coronavirus outbreak. The information focuses on best practices for supporting clients and mitigating the impact of the crisis on ongoing operations.

The U.S. government set up the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), offering loans to small businesses to help them retain their employees. While PPP has experienced many issues, including giving money to large public companies in some cases rather than small businesses, accountants have worked hard to quickly navigate the system for their clients. In addition, the payroll company ADP produces a PPP Guide that provides useful information to accountants.

One of the U.S. governments first helpful decisions in response to COVID-19 was moving back the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, reducing some of the deadline-related stress for accountants and their clients. However, accountants have had to stay on top of any possible tax policy changes brought on by COVID-19. For example, President Donald Trump has mentioned the possibility of suspending the payroll tax for some businesses. The nonprofit Tax Foundation helps accountants by keeping track of any changes.

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Online Accounting Went Virtual on Short Notice | Online Accounting Jobs - NEC News & Events

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