How Top Accounting Firms Are Responding to the Covid-19 Pandemic

How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

Strategies for accountability in such situations need to work at multiple sites and levels simultaneously. This implies a shift from the local, which has been the focus of accounting and accountability work in the past decade, to include other levels and arenas. First, this paper extends accounting literature by being one of the first studies to propose a research agenda and provide a conceptual representation of the literature in this area.

  • BDO Center for Accounting and SEC Matters Your one stop for accounting guidance, financial reporting insights, and regulatory hot topics.
  • While we will be working from home, our already-flexible work environment enables us to make this transition seamlessly, and we have the technology in place to continue to provide the same excellent level of service our clients are accustomed to.
  • Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case of a businessman who was held liable for $2.72 million in penalties for failing to file FBARs reporting his foreign accounts.
  • One way to do this is by creating a solid presence on social media platforms, which are a powerful marketing tool.
  • EBA notes significant efforts in IFRS 9 implementation by EU institutions, but cautions on some of the observed accounting practices, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The mass shift to remote work has left workplaces increasingly distributed, and the current economic downturn has not slowed investments in automation and artificial intelligence, among other technologies. Accountants are no longer just bookkeepers; they can now tackle tasks like business planning, controls, succession and more.

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Though there was a massive freeze in businesses and employment, there are still companies who made it past the lowest dip of the pandemic. An important account to take note moving forward is their game plan in organizing their numbers. Many of our consumers are unable to utilize and consistently navigate a video platform, either due to their mental health symptoms, or because they don’t have access to the internet. Our providers are trying to increase their efforts for outreach to consumers, but engagement without the group process is difficult. Dashboards and Reporting Achieve real-time visibility into business performance. To become this strategic business partner of the future, accountants will need to make a concerted effort to expand their knowledge beyond the traditional accounting curriculum. As he puts it rightly, accountants must elevate their roles to that of strategic partners.

In addition, honest students have been shown the importance of reporting unethical behavior and might feel encouraged to do so in the future. Today’s graduates had to critically evaluate their ethical compass.With the sudden pivot to online learning, faculty had to rethink their assessment methods to focus more on higher-order thinking than rote memorization. Nonetheless, there was still a need for traditional examination as part of assessment. Since exams were administered online, students were tempted to cut ethical corners. As many of us have seen reported, some otherwise honest students succumbed to this temptation, and those who have been caught have caused grief and disappointment for their professors, peers, and family. Faculty have found themselves with many teachable moments to talk with students about dishonesty, including facing adverse consequences. Whether it was conducting a presentation via Zoom, being limited to virtual and online collaboration, studying in a new or different environment, or even simply dealing with new, unimagined situations, students had to develop new skills on the fly.

About the prospect of a good 2021, we couldn’t agree more—and through hard work, strong leadership, and an eye on the future, we can achieve it. Because we work with so many firms and speak regularly at association meetings, we could witness the process of adapting to the pandemic unfolding up close.

How Has the Pandemic Changed the Accounting Profession?

From March to December, we saw the results of how leaders of accounting firms were thinking and feeling. To keep up with the changing accounting landscape, firms are looking for CPAs who have diverse skills. Accounting is no longer just about preparing financial statements, and tax returns as more transactional work will become automated. Digital marketing has a few moving parts to it—strategy, content creation, design, technology—so it pays to use a marketing agency, especially one that specializes in accounting firms. As artificial intelligence continues to evolve, so will the role of accountants within organizations. AI is already being used in several industries to automate tasks done manually. Accounting firms should begin preparing for the day when AI can perform more complex functions currently handled by human beings.

  • Accounting firm leaders need to cultivate emotional intelligence, empathy, cross-cultural intelligence, and business savvy to help clients, colleagues, and employees navigate the ongoing disruption and transformation.
  • On-site visits will resume in the future, but many of these changes will be permanent.
  • The health and safety of our people and communities is our top priority, as we all do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • But the pandemic forced everyone to move to a new way of conducting audits.
  • Value-based pricing provides both business owners and clients certainty on prices and prevents surprises.

We have slowed down recruiting efforts as we determine any change in requirements based on the coronavirus’ impact on our clients. Many recruiting efforts, however, are continuing via web-based technologies. Employers and candidates alike are showing resilience and flexibility in these unprecedented times and we look forward to meeting future team members virtually. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing how these six nonprofit finance leaders managed over the last year and how they plan to lead their organizations forward after the pandemic. Most of our Nonprofit Advisory Council members expressed how important technology and automation have been in helping them pivot quickly during this challenging time, so their organizations can continue delivering on their missions. The digital transformation investment these organizations made in nonprofit accounting technology have already paid off and will continue to position them well for the future.

Deloitte comment letter on the IASB’s proposal to extend the practical relief regarding COVID-19-related rent concessions

Since the COVID-19 virus first appeared, the world as a whole has been swept up in a whirlwind of social, political, economic, and spiritual change. In over two years, the pandemic has upended our lives and altered the way we live and think. With all the clients in one place, request templates and automatic reminders, your team can spend more time adding actual value for your clients instead of chasing them for information. While many accounting functions can be automated, there is a lack of understanding of the technologies and resources to implement them. Ever-evolving technology allows a trend toward automation of repetitive accounting tasks. The IASB will hold a supplementary meeting via videoconference on 4 February 2021 to discuss whether to propose an extension to the practical relief period provided in the May 2020 amendments to IFRS 16 ‘Leases’ in relation to COVID-19-related rent concessions.

  • The findings point to the “facilitating” and “enabling” roles of accounting information for problematizing the care infrastructure and offering healthcare professionals a platform to engage with the crisis.
  • Using a skill acquired through the program, a student was able to code a custom-made solution for the client so that same process now takes about 30 minutes — at the push of a button.
  • Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), its global network of member firms and their related entities.
  • Our community and nation rallied around funding to support the subsequent mental health crisis that has been secondary to the pandemic.
  • I sometimes think, Neil, about what would have happened if COVID happened 20, 30 years ago when the technology wasn’t there and whether or not certain things just would have ceased.

PwC, the No. 1 ranked firm in the new Vault Accounting 50, has been an active corporate responder in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our firm is complying with recent mandates for on-site workforce limitations due to COVID-19. We have transitioned to a fully remote workforce for the time being, with the exception of certain critical IT and operations personnel. There were bold plans to reimagine the accounting profession, but is now strengthened by the crisis. Accounting industry has taken a restructuring and as the post-lockdown approaches, its implementation is gradually happening.

This is alyx™ – our streamlined concierge-enabled platform that connects real problems with the right resources and real solutions. To stay ahead, you need a dynamic infrastructure that drives value from the core of your digital transformation strategy. When addressing the new expectations of your workforce, speed is a key factor.

Rather, calculations and classifications have enabled a specific form of risk management to emerge as a defensive shield to preserve and maintain the state’s reputation. In hospitals, the aim was to organize as many COVID-19-ready beds as possible and avoid triaging care for infected patients. During the first months of the pandemic, the hospitals used non-financial indicators – i.e. the number of beds – to problematize their care infrastructure.

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Although this service was directly related to the pandemic, firms will continue to expand their offerings even after the pandemic is in the past. In a 2021 survey, 33% of firms reported they anticipated adding new services like financial advisory, cash flow and risk advisory in the next year. The Paycheck Protection Program was a much-needed life preserver for struggling businesses in 2020, but the intricacies of the program were a lot to work through.

How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

For employees, there is a need to communicate clearly and often, particularly in a virtual world. Whether you are giving updates on remote working or making tough decisions about staffing, you need to be thoughtful in terms of the words and actions you take. The second group are those companies that have seen a surge in demand due to the pandemic and are scrambling to keep up. While the full impact of the novel Coronavirus has yet to be seen, it is clear that companies of all sizes are contending with an economic and health challenge unlike any the United States has seen in generations. The BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation The BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation is devoted to helping healthcare organizations thrive, clinically, financially, and digitally. Our NFT Playbook is a roadmap to addressing IP rights, business infrastructure and risk for media & entertainment companies and others.

The shift to remote work has created a new risk landscape and companies need to consider where they are most vulnerable. With experience helping with business continuity, crisis planning and cybersecurity, auditors will be essential partners in corporate risk management. There were also some positive changes made during the pandemic, which accelerated digitalization and paperless operation. Thanks to the flexible work-from-home schedule and less commuting time, some employees How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry could pursue personal hobbies or take an early lunch; they felt more excitement about the future of accounting because of greater flexibility and improved technology. Overall, the pandemic has forced CPA firms to establish emergency plans and seek more secure cyberspace to protect company and client information, so employees can safely work from home. As more data is shared electronically between accounting firms and their clients, hackers are also stepping up their games.

Fintech helps mom and pop shops address supply chain issues

Since many people’s eyes have opened to the importance of understanding governmental programming throughout the pandemic, clients will keep calling on their accountants for financial expertise, no matter how old or new the issue might be. In our efforts to promote and practice social distancing, all large office gatherings, learning and development activities, and community service and volunteer activities at Schellman have been moved to virtual platforms or deferred until a later time. To keep all team members informed and up to date, Schellman is communicating at the enterprise level by posting documents and updates. Schellman has expanded its biweekly All Hands Call to a weekly meeting, and all members of the firm join to hear critical business and COVID updates. The adaptation of the digital platform did not only work for businesses’ operations, but also defined the future of client onboarding. Firms now have to create meaningful content through their expertise and present them to entice clients in availing their services. COVID also dictated changes to many of the processes that we account for.

How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

The findings point to the dynamic nature of accountability and unveil that where competitive processes are missing, timely and complete documentation and disclosure are important means of assuring public accountability. This literature covers the various approaches governments and public services took to understand and respond to the emergencies related to the pandemic. This body of research includes 13 articles that provide insights into the roles of calculation, representation, and classification systems in the framing and operationalizing of policy actions aimed at supporting organizations and society. The COVID-19 pandemic’s far-reaching effects have touched every industry around the world, and CPAs are not immune. Not only were CPA firms working to help the businesses they serve survive economic challenges, but they were fighting their own battles as well.

Automated Processes & Artificial Intelligence

To achieve its aim the paper conducted a systematic analysis of the research published in accounting journals between 1st January 2020 and 15th October 2021. The paper established connections and identified key challenges and opportunities for accounting scholars to provide innovative, theoretically sound, evidence-based solutions to COVID19-related challenges. This paper contributes to the literature by being one of the first studies to collectively explore accounting-related studies that address the COVID-19 crises.

As the world becomes more complex, businesses will require more specialized services from their accountant, which means that accountants must continually update their skill set to stay ahead of the curve. Cloud-based software also creates workflows, saving businesses valuable time duplicating work and recreating repeatable tasks. Overall, this accounting trend saves time, costs and increases accessibility and security. It has saved businesses from substantial upfront costs for traditional in-house accounting services and software, as well as increased security. Cloud-based solutions also make it easy to share files and collaborate with others. It allows all accountants on the team to have instant access to their accounting data saving valuable time. By analyzing massive datasets, accountants can analyze risk levels to predict future consequences on an organization’s finances and make plans instantly.

How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry

Students were required to face these adversities while maintaining a focus on their academic work. But we also witnessed many students handling these conditions with great aplomb, completing their education effectively while facing unprecedented challenges. In some of the very best students, we saw a real desire to be agents of change. The resilience of today’s accounting graduates should be very attractive to hiring organizations. These students have matured and learned through adversity, which gives them a head start on making significant contributions in their first professional positions. Future research into the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on businesses should focus on establishing a clearer picture of how Covid-19 pandemic impact businesses’ financial reporting after Covid-19 pandemic period.

necessary skills for the post-pandemic accounting firm

World Learning delivers international education exchange and development programs around the globe. With students and volunteers all over the planet, the organization had to adapt quickly and make changes to ensure safety. Fortunately, the finance team had deployed cloud-based, paperless solutions before the pandemic that empowered a rapid transition to remote finance operations. Today, the organization continues to deliver interactive educational exchanges between people in virtual formats. In uncertain times, many clients seek not only tax and accounting help but business advice. While businesses grappled with the economic upheaval brought about by the pandemic, CPAs stepped in to help by identifying clients’ needs based on their existing knowledge of their businesses. Offering CAS services can reinforce CPAs’ roles as trusted business advisers who can provide practical and effective solutions for business challenges and valuable advice on the best ways to seize opportunities.

Accounting Today is a leading provider of online business news for the accounting community, offering breaking news, in-depth features, and a host of resources and services. Clients couldn’t be left hanging during a pandemic that had major financial implications. They needed fast, insightful information about new programs and how they could help their business, and it was up to CPAs to stay on top of it all and boil it down for them. The result is CPAs who are better communicators for future clients as well. The rapid adoption of tax and accounting technology — Hood cites research suggesting that the use of artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, the cloud, and other technologies advanced five years during the pandemic.

Both Deloitte LLP and KPMG said technology investments that streamline and centralize some aspects of the audit will help the work. “Not only do we expect this strategy to drive quality long-term, but it’s also paying dividends here and now,” Becky Sproul, a KPMG audit partner, said in a statement. In the rush to meet Securities and Exchange Commission filing deadlines, with more work piled on the shoulders of fewer people, important checks may be skipped, errors go unnoticed, and assumptions unchallenged. Communicate with clients and set automated tasks and follow up reminders.