Welcome to "LIFE IN THE TAX LANE!" Yes. I aim to be funny and to entertain. But today, this is a pretty serious subject, so the humor will be minimal. The Coronavirus is changing things in the tax lane and the entire business world.
Us CPAs are governed by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). Basically, we take the oldest, wisest and smartest CPAs and have them form this institute. Their job is to lobby the government for tax reform, tax simplification, etc. and write rules on how to account for complex accounting transactions. In addition, they give out advice, which is always very good because these CPAs are SMART!
The AICPA recently released a bunch of information and advice on the Coronavirus. Very timely! I will list the facts they released below:
- Work must go on in your business. Prepare now to have that work done remotely if at all possible.
- Planning is key. Your business must have a written plan on how to mitigate the coronavirus's consequences.
- An upside: nearly half of Americans say market volatility leads to profit. (So get excited every time the market drops! Profits are coming!!)
- Do not panic.
- Another upside. When disaster strikes, Americans give. Please don't forget to help those most needed charities out there as they help people.
Here, have a cool picture of some apparent college students trying to figure out how to study remotely:
The AICPA has a list of 35 questions you, as a business owner, should ask yourself NOW:
Questions about your employees
1. How can you best protect your employees?
2. Will you train your employees on how to identify coronavirus symptoms?
3. If an employee does not have available sick time, how do you make sure they do not come to work if they are sick?
4. How will you respond if an employee is diagnosed with coronavirus?
5. Who can work from home?
6. How will your employees get access to the necessary information and documents they need to work from home?
7. Will you allow employees to travel?
8. If employees must travel, what steps will you take to ensure their medical safety?
9. How will you respond if an employee needs to care for an infected family member?
10. If an employee contracts coronavirus, will they only be allowed to use their accrued sick time?
Questions about your operations
11. What parts of your business are crucial to keep operating?
12. When should you exclude visitors from your offices?
13. How will you decide if you need to close an office?
14. Will you close your business for the recommended two-week quarantine or longer?
15. How will you disinfect your office?
16. How will you keep employees, customers, and vendors informed?
17. Should you postpone meetings, events, or travel?
18. How will you communicate with employees, customers, and vendors if you have to close your offices?
19. Is your IT system robust enough to handle the demand if more employees are working from home?
Questions about your finances
20. If your offices are closed, how will you collect payments?
21. How long can your business survive without any new sales?
22. How will you pay your bills and payroll if your office is closed?
23. Do you have available lines of credit?
24. Will you pay your employees, and for how long, if you close your office and employees are not working? Do you know what the legal requirements are for such payment?
Questions about your customers
25. Will you notify customers if an employee is diagnosed?
26. How will you stay connected to customers if employees are out sick or the office is closed?
27. How will you deliver on contracts if the office is closed or there is a disruption in your supply chain?
28. Do you have a “force majeure” clause in your contracts that might alleviate some liability in the case of a crisis such as this?
29. How will you respond if a customer is affected by the coronavirus and does not pay your invoice on time?
30. Are there ways you can assist your customers in addressing the coronavirus?
Questions about your supply chain
31. Who are your mission-critical vendors?
32. Which vendors should you call to discuss their coronavirus plans?
33. Do you currently source any supplies or products from China?
34. How would a delay in delivery of materials and products affect your production?
35. Do you have alternate suppliers?
Pretty smart people, right? Great advice and a lot to think about.
Here's hoping to us all surviving the Pandemic in flying colors, with great preparation and plans.
Here at Stewart-Longhurst, WE ARE READY! Don't forget to wash your hands folks!!