COVID-19, a terrible virus which has brought unimaginable hardship to many, has changed the way we operate our businesses. We have never experienced anything like this: numerous businesses have had to shut down, whether temporarily or for good. For the organizations that have been able to continue operations, most of their workforce has moved to working remotely. The majority of these businesses were not prepared for this sudden surge of team members working outside of the office. As the weeks have passed, business leaders have had to make some difficult decisions as well as come up with innovative solutions.
The US Government has taken several steps to combat the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. One of the cornerstone programs is the Paycheck Protection Program, created to keep many employees on payroll versus filing for unemployment. So far, the program has not necessarily delivered on that goal, as over 35 million Americans are currently unemployed (though as businesses reopen this number will come down). Many businesses have had some difficult decisions to make relating to their employees – pay them for not working, furlough them until the economy opens back up, or terminate them. These decisions were even more challenging because we have no idea how long this pandemic will last, and we have to consider not only our business continuity but also the relationships that we have with our team members.
Many organizations made the difficult choice to terminate their accounting staff, which means that as businesses begin to reopen, they are faced with another big decision: should they rehire for those full-time, payroll positions, or should they outsource these tasks to fill the void? At Prager Metis, we have been able to work with a number of our clients, navigating these difficult situations on an individual basis. Our Client Accounting Services (CAS) group is available to handle your financial and accounting needs. In addition, the firm also has CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Advisory Services, an executive-level advisory option that includes services such as cash flow and crisis management, financing and fundraising, interim virtual CFO and Controller services, internal control assessments, budgeting and profitability optimization. We have partnered with multiple clients to fill whatever void they have – whether they need a bookkeeper, an interim Controller, or a trusted partner to work closely and advise their current CFO and in-house accounting team. The decision, ultimately, comes down to one question: which option makes more financial sense in this uncertain economy? If you do not require full-time and/or in-house team members, then outsourcing these functions allows you to fulfill your obligations while keeping costs on budget.
Organizations that have weathered this storm will most likely recover from the business interruption which has taken place, though it will take time. It will also require a strong financial department to assist in rebuilding and operating the company. During this rebuilding period, it is important to evaluate each and every cost incurred and strive to run your company with the goal of maximizing the bottom line. At Prager Metis, we are here to help you with this process and make your world, worth more.