Like other professions, CPAs had to adapt to the changing work environment resulting from the pandemic. It is an odd moment to reflect since the future without the coronavirus is still on the horizon, and we are very much still in the pandemic. However, there are very clear ways in which CPAs have quickly pivoted their practice to accommodate the needs of their clients. We cover some of those ways below and hint at what these changes could mean for the future of CPAs and their work.
Enhanced Business Support
As businesses began to drown at the onset of the pandemic, CPAs were there to save businesses from going under. They provided crucial business advice that made the difference between businesses closing and staying open. CPAs stepped in to help storefronts transition to a curbside shopping experience and integrating delivery services. Businesses who were unsure of the risks or rewards of finding ways to continue being open went to their CPA for advice.
Additionally, CPAs also helped business owners interact with local government officials to find ways cities could help their businesses. CPAs made sure their clients were not alone with any challenges they were facing. Businesses can count on their CPAs in more ways now than they did before the pandemic.
More Virtual Work
By now, CPAs are likely used to using virtual platforms to do their job functions. While there is still value to in-person meetings for some instances, virtual meetings can be more efficient and flexible. CPAs can serve a wider variety of clients that might have once been not possible given distance or scheduling issues.
Virtual CPA work is likely to stay after the pandemic quells. Many have found the addition of remote work refreshing since it provides a break from the daily office life. CPAs are still available for their clients whether they meet in an office or over Zoom.
Fulfilling the Advisor Role
CPAs had to develop the capacity to be more than the person who helps with taxes during the pandemic. To do this, CPAs researched the unique needs of their clients and sought informational resources to help them answer questions their clients may have. In addition, CPAs stepped up their communication and proactively reached out to their clients to get ahead of any potential challenges. These changes have brought advising back as a responsibility for good CPAs.