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Accounting for a pandemic

This pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our lives. With more people working from home, changes to our business operations, personnel and their roles, we see a plethora of moving pieces that make this time challenging. Business is changing, has changed, and we are sharing some tools for moving forward, accounting for a pandemic.

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Remotely Technical

Accounting is a technical field that makes some tasks perfect for working remotely. However, there are some challenges here. Without face to face communication, there are technical aspects of our job that are more difficult to communicate. Whereas before we could discuss a spreadsheet or a report in person, we now need to use more remote tools. There are plenty of tools we can use to communicate technical information remotely.

  • Hopefully, you are using a video chat tool that also has a screen share option.
  • With email communication, include as much of the data and information you can using a snipping tool, or a screenshot with arrows or highlights to add clarity.
  • Take additional time to spell out the names of the system reports, how to run them, where on the server a file or contract is located, or what specific tasks you want to perform or are looking for others to perform.

Has your organization received funds from the CARES Act?  Maybe there have been short-term or long-term changes to operations.  These situations create unusual accounting and finance needs that will take some time to understand and flesh out.

The goal is concise detailed information. Saying too little or too much is easy. Good communication is more of an art than a science.

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Soft Skills

In the TV show “The Office”, Michael Scott, Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin has the best intentions to uplift the spirits of his team with humor and wit. His attempts usually fail miserably in a spectacle that renders him absent-minded and crass. Remember, now more than ever, that humor in an email or chat will be received less favorably than if communicated in person. Be more aware than you would if you were saying things in person. After all, some of us might be in a relaxed place in our home and keeping our professional dissonance can become challenging. Remember, email and chat communications are documented in writing. Try doing the following:

  • Check-in with your team, customers and vendors. The human element goes a long way and sometimes we can overlook that.
  • Make sure you have a rapport with the audience you are joking with. Assume anything you deliver in writing will be made public.
  • Remember others may not be handling this change as gracefully as you are.

Innovate

Lastly, take notes. Look at your organization’s processes and procedures. Maybe there are extra steps or tasks that do not add value. Working remotely can shine a light on these things. Innovation thrives during times of change.

Our professionals have many years of experience working with the government industry. For more information and resources on COVID-19, see our coronavirus page. Feel free to contact your Henry+Horne professional adviser with any questions.

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