Navigating in the New Normal: Resources and Guidance for your Firm

AICPA-Led Coalition

Support for Small Business Funding

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CARES Act and the PPP: Latest news and considerations for the accounting profession

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What's Next Now: Operating in Uncertain Times

Tough Times Call for Communities to Find Solutions Together

We are living in an historic time. Never before has the role of a CPA been more vital to the small business economy. CPA firms have a vital role to play in helping clients keep their businesses running and their payroll met during the current crisis. To aid firms, we have created this resource page that will be continuously updated during the weeks ahead. We’ve included helpful links, messages from your peers, special offers from our cloud technology partners, and more. We are here to help. Reach out to us today via chat, email or phone.

 

 

 

Firms are functioning in new fully remote environment.

Cloud-based firm solutions have transformed how CPA firms conduct business over the past decade, improving productivity and expanding capabilities. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, these solutions are demonstrating their value in another way – by providing greater resiliency for the business operations of accountants and their clients.

With restrictions in place due to the virus outbreak, most of the nation’s 44,000 CPA firms have been adjusting to working in this new fully remote world. Cloud-based solutions are empowering CPAs to perform their trusted advisor role virtually and in some instances with little impact.

“This is an historic time for CPA firms to help their business clients and play the trusted advisor role,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “We are hearing from many firms that their clients are so thankful they implemented cloud-based operating. Those firms that have already embraced cloud solutions are well positioned to be trusted advisors during this time of need. Firms that have not are scrambling a bit.”

Businesses are facing great challenges going forward. The need for advisors with expertise and creativity will be acute. Many states are already recognizing the critical role CPAs will play in this role by designating the accounting profession an essential service.

“It’s not uncommon for firms to be siloed a bit by practice area, and we often see varying levels of cloud adoption along those lines,” said Mark Koziel, executive vice president of firm services for the AICPA. “For example, many client accounting services practices have been way out in front on technology adoption. But in the same firm, a family office practice might not be as far long. Now there is newfound urgency for these practice leaders to collaborate to get as many clients as possible in the cloud., The good news is many firms can achieve this alignment due to the technology investments they made in recent years.”

Client accounting services (CAS), a service category redefined by the emergence of the cloud, has been the fastest-growing practice line for the CPA profession. It now accounts for roughly 10 percent of firm revenue in most firm segments, according to research by CPA.com. Today, the key technology drivers for CAS are cloud-enabled versions of general ledgers, bill payment services and payroll – and none of these are impacted by businesses operating virtually.

CPA.com has had consistent guidance for firms in recent years and it resonates now more than ever in the current crisis. It’s a three-part message: 1) If you haven’t done so already, move to the cloud. 2) Empower your workforce to perform wherever they find themselves – on the road, in the office or at home. 3) Develop advisory service lines that line up with your firm’s areas of expertise and specialization.

For now, firms should be making use of all available digital tools, from email to video calls, text chat and screensharing sessions, to work with their clients to support them through this crucial time.

“I was part of an interactive scenario planning exercise at the AICPA and CPA.com’s Digital CPA Conference this past December,” said Pascal Finette, Chair of Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation with Singularity University and partner with CPA.com in its ‘Navigating the Future’ program focused on helping firms drive innovation. “Ironically, participants unanimously chose to use “Remote Work Force” as the subject they wanted to explore. I think the implications of the last few weeks are going to profoundly change people’s view of the future of work, and firms are going to need to adapt quickly.”

CPA.com will be providing expanded resources to support firms in the weeks ahead.

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Messages From Your Peers

How have firms been working through these uncertain times? We've collected a few messages from around the community about what they are doing to continue supporting their clients in our current environment.

"We recently received a message from one of our clients—a local, single location jewelry store—that continues to have some online sales, but most of all, can continue to pay their vendors and employees without leaving their house: 'I'm SO thankful you pulled us into the 21st Century with Bill.com and QBO. I can remote into our POS system, and with the other applications being cloud-based, I can do everything from home while we're shutdown. THANK YOU!'"
Terri Patterson-Mayfield
Managing Consultant
Accounting Outsourcing Services (AOS) Team
BKD CPA's & Advisors
 
"Our goal at Trusted CFO Solutions is to be the most trusted advisor, and that is evident now more than ever by the huge number of calls we are fielding and responding to. We are grateful that we were prepared to pivot to remote work and can avoid any interruptions in our services for all of our existing clients, and any new clients that need our recently developed SBA Loan Application + CARES Act Consulting Services."
Dixie McCurley
President & Co-Founder
Trusted CFO Solutions
CPA Firm note to our team -
"Just wanted to send a thank you to the team that started me down the pathway to a virtual client accounting services practice. We haven't missed a beat."
Patrick Curtis, CPA, CGMA
Shareholder
Rubino & Company, Chartered
 
"We have a longtime client who was not interested in going to an online model for their accounting. Once COVID-19 lockdown occurred and the ability for site visits vanished, their willingness to digitize accelerated, and they are now operating in the cloud."
Tim Sims
Senior Manager - Accounting Services
Whitley Penn
 

Firm Cloud Solutions Partner Support

Our firm cloud solution partners are helping firms deliver value to their clients during these difficult times. Read below to learn more.

AP and AR Automation With the shift to remote work becoming an immediate need for many, Bill.com has taken steps to help businesses adapt including extending service and support hours, options to help new customers get onboard quickly and joining the Small Business Relief Initiative. Learn more
HR & Payroll Support and Guidance CPAs delivering timely support and guidance to their small business clients is more important than ever before. Paychex is offering a wealth of up-to-date guidance and support on CPA-relevant small business concerns. Learn more View additional support options for your clients from Paychex.
Audit & AssuranceTo help audit and assurance (A&A) firms quickly adapt to the current business landscape and transition their firm and A&A practice to a remote working environment, we have curated and developed resources around some key areas where we feel we can most help transform firms and this practice area. CPA.com is also offering new customers an initial free access period to RIVIO Clearinghouse.Learn more
Expense Management: Broader outreach with donations Expensify is providing much-needed help during this difficult time. Under the 'Expensify.org' umbrella, the organization is temporarily redirecting all donations to help support US families in need purchase essential groceries during the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more

Questions? We're here to help

Please contact our team at inquire@hq.cpa.com or by calling 1.855.855.5CPA.