How COVID-19 Has Changed Our Lives
COVID changed the way we were coordinating a lot of the work we handle. Multiple changes were taking place with companies and businesses, not allowed to have in-person meetings, which meant that employees had to complete their work from home for the most part. Even clients and the companies they were working with had to coordinate virtually, which was quite challenging for the most part.
Most of the relationships built between clients and companies were in person. It was quite challenging to get a lot of work done remotely. Additionally, there were other challenges like companies noticing a decline in productivity and even people finding it challenging to work from their homes because there were so many distractions and errands that they had to handle.
Taxation can be a fun subject that can also get slightly challenging and tedious to deal with, especially during the lockdown and pandemic with the Government regularly updating the rules. Companies were letting go of entire divisions and sections of their staff throughout the pandemic because the markets were not as good as they used to be, and there were some challenges with trying to maintain them. With massive changes taking place, handling taxes through the pandemic was challenging and needed professionals who would go through the process and understand the changes.
If we have to foresee the changes taking place, we do not see a significant virus-related change or difference between today to the next six months. COVID-19 has been a tremendous problem for the general public, and students whether they are dealing with us or others. As time goes on and we continue to get vaccinated, the next six months will show a trend back to a semblance of normalcy. However, we foresee that it would take a lot more time for everything to be the way it used to be in the past, and with so many changes implemented, we do not see it going back to the past we remember.
COVID-19 has not had a massive effect on my business other than we all looking like bank robbers, wearing masks and not coming in contact with each other. There are times that I attend or organize meetings virtually.
I had to make a lot of changes in the way that I was coordinating with my clients. One of the most significant ones would be my communication process from then and now because we were not allowed to meet most people in person any more. Additionally, there were massive restrictions to travel as well, to contain the virus. We are now using and adjusting to Zoom meetings and facing each other wearing masks and talking through plexiglass walls. We also changed the way we were working, and for the most part, are now working remotely. In the initial days of the pandemic, I was working remotely for April and May. However, I did go back to the office in June with the loosening up the restrictions and have been working from there, over remotely.
I find remote working a challenge because I do not have full access to client files because I have those documents locked at the office. Furthermore, I cannot easily communicate with clients. I have since moved all files in the cloud and learned to participate in Zoom meetings. It has made me a more efficient worker. As a company, connecting to the work that I handle, I have a lot of it filed and offline, which was quite challenging to coordinate through the pandemic because the documents were at the office, and I was working from home.
Working from the office has not caused any problems when I am dealing with our clients. I only meet one client at a time and only by appointment. Furthermore, I make sure I have enough time between meetings, so I do not have a group of people waiting in the lobby. Additionally, in the office, I have everyone wearing a mask because that is about the only thing that has changed.
My working hours have stayed about the same as they were in the past. I didn’t want to reduce the time that my clients were spending interacting with me. With no significant restrictions on the amount of time that they could spend working, it didn’t break any rules by staying to the same working hours. Additionally, I would also spend a lot of time catching up with work outside my working hours.
Working in an industry that deals with sensitive information, including taxation information and personal finances, I am always using a secure platform when working with clients. I wanted to make sure that our records were safe because they comprise confidential information. The software that I use is Dropbox and Adobe. They have worked well for me in the past, so I didn’t think that I would have to make a change now, post-pandemic.
We were not locked up the entire time, although the first couple of months of the pandemic had restrictions that we had to follow, not allowing us to leave. They soon loosened up the rules now, and we were slowly seeing things get back to normal. We started meeting our clients face to face as long as they were open to it because we felt that these meetings were relevant to building relationships with them, and they help us discuss the work we are doing better. However, for the clients who are not open to meeting face to face, we have video conferences if that is their preference. We work with many platforms and are happy to switch from one to another based on our client’s convenience. We work with Zoom, Whatsapp, regular call or text, which are the most commonly used platforms.
I just received my first shot of the COVID vaccine, and hope that others are receiving theirs. I want everyone to be safe and healthy, which would get us in a better position to get back to normal in no time.
If you are looking for a certified public accountant, look no further than Terry Barker, CPA, PC. We have been working in this industry for more than three decades now and have a pretty decent understanding of the way it works. We also built some great relationships with our clients, but are always looking for more. If you are looking for a list of the services that we provide, please click here. If you want to get in touch with us, please click here.