April 2020 is also a defining moment for accountants and business advisors.
With this current emergency, small and medium-sized business owners are looking to our industry for advice and support to help them survive and get back on their feet.
Most business owners have never faced a financial crisis of this scale.
What they’re going to ask you for may cover areas that many of us haven't considered to be services that we normally offer to our clients. Undoubtedly, their primary focus will be on "Business Improvement Advice!"
Most clients are going to need advice from you, as their "Trusted Advisor," a role that goes far beyond standard tax compliance work.
Some will want guidance on business survival, retaining homeownership, and keeping their team together!
This current crisis is proving to be very painful for many people, at both a personal and business level, but it will not last forever.
Australia has endured all sorts of crises in its past. Each time, this nation has emerged and gone on to become stronger and more resilient.
However, the impact of the current restrictions, is going to make recovery a little more challenging this time.
Our industry will need to develop a new focus.
As accountants and business advisors, we'll have to shoulder a good deal of the responsibility of getting many of our clients back up and running.
Right now, while your clients are self-isolating, you should ask each of them to prepare a summary of their financial position. Those results will put you in a far better position to give them the right advice when it’s needed. You could also let them know that your team is always available to prepare those numbers for them, if they wish.
Let's not forget that many businesses had already been facing difficulties before Coronavirus, with prolonged drought, devastating bushfires, floods, and cyclones.
Federal, State, and Territory governments have introduced a suite of loans and grants to help with recovery. These packages offer financial assistance to farmers, other primary producers, and small businesses impacted by those natural disasters.
If any of your clients are eligible, make sure they lodge their claims. Those payments could prove vital in helping them survive the current crisis. If they find filling out the paperwork too daunting, let them know your team is available to help complete their applications.
Business owners always need to have a clear understanding of their current financial position, especially in these uncertain times.
At ESS BIZTOOLS, we've prepared the "Survival In Difficult Times Product Package" to assist you, and your clients navigate through the type of crisis we’re now facing.
Our package will allow small businesses to do the bulk of the work themselves, if they wish, and your larger clients can engage your firm to carry out a full business review.
A Budget and a Cash Flow Forecast will be critical when dealing with banks or other lenders. Very few businesses will escape the need for loans to underpin their cash flow and keep their people employed.
The Australian Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia have announced a $90 billion finance package, so banks can lend to small and medium-sized businesses, starting this month.
I invite you to visit www.essbiztools.com.au/survival in difficult times/Learn more
Throughout the Crisis, we'll continue to update our detailed summary of COVID-19's impact on business, and the support packages announced by the Prime Minister.
On our website, you'll find a full summary of the "Survival in Difficult Times Product Package."