HOW TO COPE WITH THE CHANGED BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
The rapid spread of the coronavirus through the world is clearly having an impact on the economy and general business environment in Aruba, Curacao, St. Maarten, and the BES-islands. For most businesses, the crisis has led, or will likely lead to at least a temporary decline in revenues – so companies that do not react to this situation will undoubtedly put themselves at risk.
Wherever there is change, there is an opportunity. Clearly there are revenue opportunities for certain existing or new goods and services based on the impact of COVID-19 (i.e., hand sanitizer). However, there are also opportunities from an operations perspective. One of the advantages of a decrease in business activity is companies have time to fix those areas that never get attention, and that very well may be your back office accounting. Here are four accounting pivots that may help a company emerge for this crisis stronger and better than before.
Get your accounting into the cloud
In the year 2020, there are very few reasons why any small to mid-sized company or organization should be running their accounting software on a desktop or server-based software. Recently we launched our own QuickBooks Cloud Version to provide full accounting software functionality in a secure environment without any of the hassles of maintaining software or provisioning remote access. There is no VPN connection or remote desktop to be configured. There is no software that needs to be installed on anyone’s PC. There is no large data file that needs to be emailed or securely transferred to an external party, such as an accountant. Any user from anywhere in the world can be given access with only an email address. These systems also have optional two-factor authentication for added security if required.
With the coronavirus situation, many companies have decided to let their employees work from home to avoid person-to-person contact. For accounting staff using desktop software, this is very hard to do. And think about your IT staff — do they need to be physically in the office to support that accountant. With cloud-based software, allowing accounting staff to work from home or switching work to subcontractors working remotely will have minimal impact on accounting operations.
Outsource your Accounting and Payroll
Outsourcing some or all of your accounting and payroll operations becomes a great way to eliminate costs, decrease risk, and free up time for you to focus on your business.
As accounting software has moved to the cloud, a whole ecosystem of cloud-based outsourced accounting options has evolved. Accounting firms are leveraging the same benefits described above to create cloud accounting services. These providers are technical experts with the knowhow to keep the systems running smoothly in an integrated fashion. One such service is cloud bookkeeping where a provider can easily maintain your records remotely at a fraction of the cost of hiring someone onsite. Another more complete option is a full cloud accounting solution, where you’ll not only have basic bookkeeping, but also a full-service team including our accountants. These resources not only make sure your business is properly accounted for, but also provide advice and guidance that is relevant to your industry and your stage of business growth.
Clearly, in light of the coronavirus, outsourced payroll services have a significant amount of benefits as well. By outsourcing payroll services, you will have besides reducing costs you will have the freedom to focus on actually running your business, confident that the payroll is done right, with a team of experts behind you to guide you through all the government tax changes and coronavirus related wage subsidies offered.
Use the break to make your business appealing for investment
Unfortunately, one of the downsides to the coronavirus is a slowing of business in general as well as a slowing of investment in the business. Raising debt will also be difficult, particularly for those organizations that need an infusion of working capital to weather the crisis. These facts are all part of a normal down business cycle triggered by the outbreak or any other crisis.
However, demand for investment might be delayed or stalled, but there is still a tremendous amount of wealth in the economy looking for growth opportunities, both equity and debt. As the economy turns around, there will be great opportunities for a well-run business. Therefore, now might be a great time to use this break to clean up your business. First, make sure your current operations are as efficient as possible. This action is a necessary step anyway to maintain profit with decreasing revenue. Second, clean up your historical financial data now. If investment opportunities arise, don’t let it slip through your fingers because you need time to clean up your books. Third, connect yourself with experts who understand your industry, your business, and the investment ecosystem. Let them focus on accounting, so you can focus on the lifeblood of your business which is marketing, sales, and innovation.
Contact CATC-HCC’s accounting department today to design a plan that best fits your business’ goals.
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