The world has changed dramatically in recent months. At the beginning of 2020, many CPA s were pretty excited about the prospects of an ”easier” and busy 2020. Financial markets were at an all time high and everything appeared to be smooth sailing.
Then along came Covid-19. The travelling and hospitality industry, has all but disappeared and Commerce has declined dramatically.
However , revenue at some accounting firms is increasing despite the pandemic. Lets dive into why some accounting firms are thriving , whilst the rest of us can barely stay above water.
Most companies were not prepared to transition their non- essential workers to remote environments. Therefore they didn’t have safeguards in place to protect them against the fraud that can occur when employees access sensitive data from their home offices.
Most people have resorted to working from their kitchens or bedrooms and haven’t considered the cyber safety of their home internet connections.
Now employees have been granted access to confidential information from the privacy of their own homes. Cyber criminals are very aware of this fact and intentionally target home connections to steal sensitive data.
Many companies are now in survival mode because they have had to lay off so many employees . So, fewer employees are now expected to perform their same tasks as before and take on the responsibilities that were once assigned to others for example the cash receipt process.
With several positions combined into one due to the pandemic a lot of mistakes can be expected and made.
Especially without the checks and balances provided provided by multiple employees examining the same information. Fraud can occur with this companies are now experiencing higher incidences of misappropriation of assets and fraud.
Employees also now are experiencing and handling a lot of pressure and stress, especially now that they are working from home at the same time as their partners or while their kids are trying to do e-learning from home. Such stress can lead to errors.
So how does this have an impact on financial or accounting firm revenue?
Accounting firms provide their services to help institutions and companies detect and prevent accounting fraud. Besides accountants have a professional obligation to protect the public’s interest above their own self-interest. Accounting firms can now maximize revenues through their consulting services by increasing the services they provide to clients.
Plus the variety of loans,stipends and other benefits offered to help corporations survive this pandemic will create opportunities for accountants. Corporations will need extensive tax accounting expertise to navigate how to report these uncommon occurrences.
We also managed to speak to Raymond Masanabo the Director of NRB Accounting said that Digitalization should not be seen as an acceptable solution to a problem , but rather grounds to change the business model creatively for the better. Launching a start up during a global pandemic is challenging but not impossible. You just have to think about what the consumers need right now he said. Consumers habits have significantly shifted amid the pandemic, so consider how offerings fit into your customers’ current lifestyle.
He also advised on creation of a long-term recession -proof business plan with good financial planning I plan that will ensure a start up that can weather any storm.
So What’s Next..?
The world is reeling from the pandemic with certain economies cautiously opening but there is scrutiny of existing business operations and its inefficiencies. While its scary and difficult to know what’ll happen next. It is best to draw lessons of the past few months and see them as opportunities for improvement.