The world is in chaos at the moment due to Coronavirus. Countries are taking different measures to prevent the spread of this pandemic, some more effective than others.
With global stock markets see-sawing up and down, but with a definite down-ward trend into a bear market, businesses are in for a difficult journey going forward.
If a vaccine or cure for Coronavirus is found in the near future, then perhaps we’ll go back to normality, but it’s more likely that we’ll need to adjust to this new way of living and business for the foreseeable future.
Many businesses will go bankrupt
Unfortunately, many businesses are not going to be able to survive the consequences of the coronavirus. In our country, with flights being suspended, and all gatherings of more than 10 people being banned, even with the massive government funding allocations, loans and support being promised, many businesses, both small and large won’t make it.
Here are 2 examples of business verticals that are going to be under considerable strain – there are many others.
- Travel industry – from airlines to hotels, airbnb’s, and all accommodation, from tour guides to tourist destinations
- Entertainment – restaurants, coffee-shops, music concerts, plays, shows, cinema’s, ballet, orchestra’s, high street shops, clubs, bars
The consequences are that bookkeepers will lose a lot of business. If you are a bookkeeper working internally in a company, or a bookkeeper, accountant, CPA, or CFO doing outsourced financial accounting and bookkeeping work, many of the clients you have are unfortunately not going to require your services.
Many new businesses and startup’s will emerge
In times of crisis, opportunities arise. People are staying at home more, and so many new businesses will be created, over the internet – more tech companies, startup’s, eCommerce companies, content websites etc
These businesses will require bookkeepers & accountants.
So even though many businesses will unfortunately go bankrupt and shut down, which means that bookkeepers will be impacted negatively, there will also be massive opportunity to acquire new customers.
A new way that bookkeepers will need to work
There are a number of considerations that bookkeepers & accountants need to think through in terms of this new way of working.
Here are some examples:
- Marketing to clients – although a lot of bookkeeping work is already done virtually, many bookkeepers still meet potential clients and build the relationships 1 to 1. They also attend networking events to bring in business. Bookkeepers need to find ways of bringing in businesses without face to face interaction with new clients – start spending more time figuring out how you advertise your bookkeeping service on digital channels, spend more time on social media to build your reputation, get comfortable with tools such as Zoom and Slack and Whatsapp and other tech which will allow you both to have initial conversations with potential clients, but also to interact with them after they start using your services.
- The specific bookkeeping function – some bookkeepers and accountants have already embraced a new way of working using cloud accounting and pre-accounting tools and platforms and technology to get the bookkeeping done. If you have, then you can skip this section.
But if you’re an old school bookkeeper, using desktop accounting software, and still requiring your clients to bring you documentation each month, and then meeting with them to give them their financials, then you need to think of making some changes fast.
Here are the 2 changes you need to make immediately to be able to do bookkeeping work remotely, so you can stay safe from coronavirus but at the same time meet the bookkeeping requirements of your customers:
- Move to cloud accounting software – sure it might be more expensive as there is monthly subscription fee, but you’ll be able to work from anywhere, and more importantly, your clients will be able to log in as well to view their financial data. The 3 big cloud accounting software packages in America & the UK – QBO, Xero & Sage50 – have been developed by 3 of the largest accounting software companies in the world, Intuit, Xero and the SAGE group. Start learning the differences between them.
PRO TIP: If you’ve previously used Quickbooks desktop, it’s probably easiest to move to Quickbooks Online, and if you previously used one of the SAGE products, it’s probably easiest to move to the new SAGE cloud products.
- Digitize the rest of the process. The accounting ledger is essential, but have you thought about the rest of the process – from collecting the documentation to creating the bookkeeping entries to resolving issues with the documentation, to communication with the different people (from bookkeeping colleagues to everyone else involved in the company), to managing the documentation, and allowing others access as well.
If you haven’t already taken a look at our product DOKKA, now would be a good time.
Primarily DOKKA does 4 things:
- Document Collection
- Smart Document Management
- Bookkeeping entry and data processing automation (using Artificial Intelligence)
- Collaboration and messaging systems
Using a product like DOKKA in conjunction with a cloud accounting software solution, will allow you to work remote but continue to service your clients with the level of service they expect. And you know what? Using cloud accounting software together with DOKKA, you’ll probably find you become more effective.
Stay safe from CoronaVirus
Change is never easy, and people often panic. Coronavirus has turned the world on it’s head in a short space of time.
But you need to do the best you can.
You probably will find that you lose some clients, but at the same time, if you become competent at new methods of finding clients, there will be many new clients that hopefully will start using your bookkeeping services.
And your cloud accounting solution together with DOKKA will mean that you can become more effective, have happier customers, and even save time so you can spend more time on your existing customers, and acquiring new ones.