Why Bring Accounting To The Cloud Amidst The Pandemic?


For a complete view of the latest COVID-19 resources to assist in communications with customers, employees or partners, visit BDO\u2019s Crisis Response Resource Center. Regardless of which of these groups you fall into, there are certain fundamental \u2014 but critical \u2014 actions that businesses can take to help weather the storm and position themselves moving forward. At the moment, companies generally are falling into three general categories in terms of how they have been affected by the pandemic. As a result of the pandemic, 64% said their salary adjustments were as expected/budgeted, 23% awarded salary increases but smaller than budgeted/expected, 7% delivered larger salary increases than expected, and 5% froze salaries.


Only slightly more than half of the participants were concerned or very concerned about the ability of their profession or industry to operate effectively, as a result of social distancing and other guidelines. When asked if there had been any changes to their office set-up, respondents answered in a variety of ways.

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Thereby, remote digital control and calculative practices generated a negative perception of management control systems in COVID-19 times. The paper contributes to the literature on management control practices and employee motivation and calls for further research on its side effects. To understand the temporary and long-term changes to the accounting profession that resulted from the crisis, the authors reached out to CPAs working in public accounting and industry, and asked them about their experiences. We focused on understanding how the pandemic and its economic consequences have changed our profession, both in the short term and the long term. Our survey comprised a list of open-ended questions, covering topics including challenges identified by staff and customers, hiring and layoffs, pay cuts or furlough, technologies related to working-from-home, work-life balance, and office set-up.

As the stability of the economy becomes less certain, lenders may be more aggressive in requiring a CPA\u2019s confirmation of certain information, such as the impact of COVID-19 on a client\u2019s business, when credit is extended or terms are modified. It is generally not appropriate or recommended to respond to most requests made by lenders. Doing so creates additional risk to the firm and is generally not supported by the services delivered to the client.

When this study was conducted , one-third of respondents expected to be back to work by the end of July. One-quarter expected to be back in the office by the end of September, and another one-quarter by the end of October or later; one-fifth of respondents were just unsure. This underscores how expectations for control of the virus were overly optimistic, with so many expecting a faster return to in-person work-place arrangements. This in turn may have created greater uncertainty and planning difficulties, with a greater need for considering challenges such as workplace culture and employee engagement. Between May 2020 and July 2020, the NYSSCPA surveyed a random sample of NYSSCPA members and asked them about the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on their practice. Not surprisingly, for the vast majority of NYSSCPA members, COVID-19 has severely impacted their practice. Maria L. Murphy, CPA, is a regular contributor to Compliance Week’s accounting & auditing coverage.

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Having a clear line of communication with your vendors promotes business continuity as well as the ability to solve problems before they arise. An important strategic relationship to consider is with your bank or lending partner. Particularly right now, your relationship and communication with your bank can mean making it through this crisis successfully.

  • For professional accountants to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct, and where applicable, be independent, they must remain alert to new information and changes in facts and circumstances.
  • The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced countries and governments to rethink predictive analysis of the occurrence of these hazards and their social, economic, and financial implications around the world.
  • As a result of the pandemic, 64% said their salary adjustments were as expected/budgeted, 23% awarded salary increases but smaller than budgeted/expected, 7% delivered larger salary increases than expected, and 5% froze salaries.
  • All products and services may not be available in all states and may be subject to change without notice.
  • The experience has given the markets and regulators confidence that audit quality has accelerated.
  • Such changes have implications on employing organizations, the internal operations of firms, the clients they serve, as well as the nature of certain client interactions and relationships.

Asian Journal of Accounting Research seeks scholarly manuscripts for a conference and special issue on the Impact of COVID-19 on Accounting and Finance, scheduled for publication in November 2022. There were $518 billion in asset write-downs for impairments disclosed in 2020, with increases in the total charges, the number disclosed, and the number of companies disclosing them, according to the report. The amount was nearly double the 2019 total and significantly higher than the previous five years. Accelerated filers could not utilize the relief option, because it was not available until March 1, which was after their Feb. 29 filing deadline. The report noted large companies typically are less likely to file reports late. While the SEC may not object to a non-GAAP measure that adjusts for unusual items (e.g., restructuring charges), measures that adjust revenues or eliminate recurring cash operating expenses may be viewed as potentially misleading and therefore may be prohibited.

Businesses have been seeking more advisory services from their CPAs for years, and many firms have begun to expand their offerings. The pandemic, and the severe economic impact it had across industries, helped move the transition along. In response to a selection of statements of interest and concerns, the majority opined that AI will greatly impact the profession. Anecdotal comments included a belief among parents and students that AI will replace the need for accountants.

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Suddenly, businesses are reimagining their business operations to engage clients, suppliers and regulators. With the closing of workplaces and the need for physical distancing, auditors are leveraging existing and new technology to conduct audits remotely, from remote data extraction and analysis to inventory counts using drone technologies.

There\u2019s now significant concern as to whether current professional skills will still be relevant in the post-COVID-19 era\u201412% of survey respondents believe their skills won\u2019t be relevant, and another 10% are unsure. Again, results varied by country, with respondents in the U.S. most confident in the post-pandemic relevance of their skills. Those in India were the least confident, with only 69% believing their skills would be relevant, 15% believing they wouldn\u2019t be, and 16% unsure. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented business with unprecedented challenges, putting organizations under pressure in ways that weren\u2019t anticipated and posing new demands on the finance function. To find out, IMA\u00ae conducted a global study of the impact of the pandemic on finance functions, focusing on changes in staffing, compensation, and the required skills.

Customers will expect their accountants to be able to come up with solutions at the drop of a hat, whether or not there is an international crisis. As an indicator of the resilience of the profession and PAOs, more than 50% of the PAOs are expecting their longer-term financial stability to remain the same, with the balance split evenly between those expecting improvements or deterioration. The positive outlook in student registrations and member retention rates discussed earlier will be a factor. Some PAOs have witnessed a noticeable uptake in professional development programs with amazing attendances at virtual conferences. Accessibility and more offerings due to the online nature of such programs appear to be factors in this uptrend.

  • \”COVID-19 is an event that disrupts the pre-existing state of affairs changing natural, political, financial, or technical aspects of a system. It is a situation which is unfolding, and we cannot determine the end.\” .
  • With air travel coming to an effective standstill, individuals who were typically globally mobile and had personal tax affairs organised accordingly, now find themselves having to address the implications of being \u2018stuck\u2019 in one country for a prolonged period.
  • It reaches its peak with those ages 30 to 39, perhaps because many of them have been out of school for some time, are at a stage in their career where they\u2019re looking for career advancement, and are thus feeling the need to refresh their skills.
  • As an indicator of the resilience of the profession and PAOs, more than 50% of the PAOs are expecting their longer-term financial stability to remain the same, with the balance split evenly between those expecting improvements or deterioration.
  • Participants earn a graduate certificate in accounting with digital analytics and can go on to obtain a master of science in accounting with cognitive analytics.

Finally, we look at the areas in which finance professionals are looking to upskill and issues related to reskilling. As businesses transform the way they collect and process data, the accounting industry must remain a step ahead. That means continuing to invest in cognitive, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities to provide organizations with data-driven business https://www.bookstime.com/ insights as well as evolving reporting and regulatory requirements. KPMG in Canada has teamed with tech giants and start-ups on our digital auditing solutions, picking the best of what’s out there and creating a bespoke technology driven audit. Uncertainty, combined with the rapid economic shift to digital ways of operating, has encouraged innovation and thinking outside the box.

Importantly, while remaining nimble, professional accountants must continue to adhere to the Code, including applying its conceptual framework in these atypical situations. The Working Group\u2019s charge is to develop implementation support to assist professional accountants in effectively applying the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants when facing circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic fades, many entities will be eager to demonstrate their potential by posting quick wins and an accelerating recovery. Others will continue to navigate the intricacies of government support schemes, and, as those taper, some entities will find themselves on the brink of insolvency.

At Nike, Using Fp&a And Digital To Outpace The Pandemic

Just as the economic impacts of this crisis unfolded in an uneven and unpredictable manner around the world, so too will recovery efforts. Professional accountants must anticipate a continued period of heightened uncertainty and prioritize their ethics responsibilities all the more.


Demand also accelerated for tax advice regarding M&A opportunities for strategic deals and, in the latter part of the year, restructuring and transaction support as businesses looked for recovery opportunities. Having said that, the forced slower pace of working, networking and lead generating online, coupled with the need to accelerate and digitise, has allowed time for inward reflection, both in a personal and business sense. This time has allowed greater levels of productivity and efficiencies through cost cutting.

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Gorny concentrates on IT investment, mentioning that initiatives include the implementation of central services for member firms, the set-up of an IT hub for Eastern Europe as well as continued efforts in communications to increase visibility and market recognition. Digital investment should, therefore, be viewed as a medium- to long-term strategic benefit, as opposed to a necessary evil, which is how it has been perceived in the past. If anything, 2020 has shown just how essential technology is in conducting day-to-day business. Of course, automation, ML and AI will replace some processes and, ultimately, jobs. Often however, rather than replacing roles, technology is doing the tasks that free up people to add greater value in other areas.

In order to successfully implement new technologies, a common and collaborative approach is critical to ensure that, irrespective of the software and tools used, client service delivery is cohesive. For anyone attempting to implement technological solutions, the starting point has to be to look for commonalities in processes. For example, the process of filing an individual tax return is similar across many territories, and that is a process that naturally lends itself to Robotic Process Automation technology. Audit and assurance is crucial for the efficient functioning of all economies and capital markets. It may become even more relevant as sustainability and climate performance come into greater focus, and the related societal demands for transparent and reliable reporting in those areas increases. Exactly what the post-pandemic landscape will look like is open for debate, but there is no doubt that restoring the health of the world\u2019s economic and commercial engine is our next priority.

  • This Financial Reporting Alert discusses certain key accounting, disclosure, and internal control considerations related to conditions that may arise as a result of coronavirus disease 2019.
  • Companies in the U.S. were the least likely to have reduced the size of their staff (36.6% of U.S. respondents reported their organization let go some or most of their staff), followed by China (42.4%) and India (59.8%).
  • As for the technologies related to working from home, many accountants stated that working remotely was not new to them.
  • Clients have accelerated their digital capabilities and increased the speed of the transition from paper-based record-keeping to cloud-based enterprise resource planning platforms and collaboration tools.
  • The appendix contains background information on the staff Q&A as well as Deloitte\u2019s interpretive guidance on frequently asked questions related to it.
  • The planning sessions are also going to have to weigh how the client has been affected, not just in terms of its business operations and key accounts, but whether its staff is available to meet with auditors and/or whether its offices and facilities have been padlocked.

Similarly, fee income increased by 4% for networks in advisory to $76.6bn, and 8% for associations to $5.4bn. The American Institute of CPAs’ 2021 Trends Report found that the diversity of accounting graduates hired by U.S. firms increased nearly five percentage points in 2020.

Many organisations are in the process of planning hybrid events so they can maintain that level of increased engagement after the pandemic, and this change is likely to become permanent as technology improves. Despite the pandemic, demand for advice in direct and indirect taxation remains strong as a consequence of globalisation in trade and manufacturing, even for small-scale businesses. Perhaps accelerated by the global emergency, 2020 has seen an increase in the pace with which online services have emerged, whether B2B or B2C, and this is creating potential new avenues of business for tax specialists. Broadly, however, other advisory services declined in 2020 as companies tightened up on spending and focused on must-have services. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this is how the advisory market is playing out in the two biggest economies in the world, and the opportunities that this rivalry is creating. Markets have been influenced by the evolution of the pandemic and government interventions.

Around the world, corporate priorities and public expectations are changing rapidly. For example, the rise in stakeholder capitalism and subsequent call for Environmental, Social and Governance reporting are leading investors to not only seek more reliable and comparable information in the area of ESG reporting, but also obtain assurance on such information. 77% of UK-based accounting professionals expect to work from home more often after COVID-19. The overwhelming majority of accounting firms have risen to the coronavirus challenge. By transitioning your systems How The Pandemic Is Affecting The Accounting Industry to the cloud, you are ensuring the flow continues even when access to your physical office is limited or completely restricted. By moving your systems to the cloud, you can eliminate the need for on-site access and ensure you can use your data easily, whether for financial accounting purposes or in order to make better-informed business decisions. In addition to adapting to communicating in a virtual world, the second set of actions to take in the immediate term are around ensuring your key finance and business processes are operational in a virtual environment.

Accountants Are Facing Common Challenges

The authors find that these dimensions allow them to explain the different behaviours and relative \u201csuccess\u201d of countries in facing the pandemic. Interestingly, in Germany, singularity of values was conducive to better goal clarity, and a focus on the acquisition of factual information enabled evidence-based generation of action possibilities. Strong learning and communication, with the involvement of scientists, politicians and the public, supported the country’s relative success against the pandemic. Conversely, according to the authors, in the other two countries, governments were slower to act and respond, probably as a reflection of a more pronounced plurality of values, which made a decisive response more difficult.

Now, accountants might find themselves wondering how to create a secure work environment for themselves and their clients. This issue discusses accounting and reporting considerations for business entities that receive Paycheck Protection Program loans that may be forgivable under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the \”CARES Act\”). This Financial Reporting Alert takes a strategic look at what are likely to be the most common hot topics related to accounting for the coronavirus disease 2019 (\u201cCOVID-19\u201d) pandemic in the current reporting quarter. Yet perhaps more interesting is the wide range of knowledge domains in which respondents have worked to improve\u2014and plan to improve\u2014their skills. More than 80% of respondents have improved, or plan to improve, in each of the skills listed, with the only exception being tax planning. These various skills are all part of the CMA\u00ae program, which comprehensively covers the skills needed by management accountants today.

That\u2019s a topic that\u2019s been top of mind for many of us in the accounting profession, and we here at The Growth Partnership wanted to find out for ourselves. It is accurate to the best of the authors\u2019 knowledge as of the article date. This article should not be viewed as a substitute for recommendations of a retained professional.

So it\u2019s no surprise that in most cases, accounting firms made ad-hoc, temporary decisions early on, when the pandemic\u2019s magnitude and impact were still shrouded in fog. While we begin to realize life beyond COVID-19, we must all be increasingly thorough in assessing the impact these changes are having on views and perceptions about ethics requirements, especially as it relates to the relationship between the accountant and the entity. Just as the pandemic increased risks of unethical behaviour, efforts to rebuild will equally increase opportunities to evolve for the better. They also highlight the importance of values, culture and institutional contexts in shaping accounting and accountability and the need to continue exploring the interplay between them and accounting and accountability systems and the organizational, country and global levels.

While important to consider for all services, these provisions take on more relevance due to the fluidity of the current environment. Does the client understand its responsibility to make management decisions and implement recommendations made by the CPA?

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