COVID-19 Has Changed Things, So Have We
When it comes to bookkeeping and taxation, many changes were taking place over the last year. With the pandemic, people were not allowed to work in person, which led to companies not meeting their targets and finding it challenging to keep up. There were some relaxations when it came to filing their taxes, but with the sudden abrupt changes taking place, many were waiting it out and planned on handling it later.
For the most part, people were no longer handling their accounting themselves and were getting professionals for their bookkeeping and accounting needs. The constant COVID changes made it challenging to get through these processes, especially with most not knowing about the regular changes. With the changes and the new rules over the last year and a half, some clients are still uncomfortable with face-to-face meetings, so they limited contact to phone or email. We are open to coordinating with them using a system they are comfortable with, making it easy for us. We meet clients comfortable with the meeting because in-person conversations make it smoother, to explain changes with ease. Additionally, we would coordinate with clients over the phone if they preferred it.
We had to make a lot of changes if we wanted to have our business meetings in person. The office was not what it used to be in the past. We’ve had to reduce staff, impose mask mandates, enforce social distancing whenever possible, and also allowed working from home as an option for some employees. Although these changes were a headache to deal with, we got through for the safety of the staff and clients. The CRA also imposed many similar strategies to help fight COVID spread. All of these compounded in work taking longer than usual on our end and much longer on CRA’s end.
With all the changes and remote working, we made a few changes to the approach we were communicating with one another. There haven’t been too many changes in communication patterns other than fewer people coming in for face-to-face meetings. With COVID restrictions lifted in Alberta, we were seeing a return to our usual communication patterns.
When it comes to the team that we work with, we find it a lot more productive to meet and work in person, so for the most part, we encourage our people to get as much as they can from the office. Additionally, when it comes to our work, we have all the additional paperwork and files back at the office, making it convenient to get things done from there.
When meeting in person, you have to worry about everyone getting sick or spreading the virus. We had to implement and add many restrictions as well. We have smaller meetings now, and they are not larger than maybe four people. Otherwise, we have some of the team remotely communicate and connect. We have to have a team that comes in to clean the place, and they follow processes to make sure that everyone is safe and healthy. They sanitize the location often, especially in the lobby and other public locations to keep everyone safe.
With the new rules and because we have to do a lot of work online, we thought we had to change the systems we were working with. We implemented a new client portal that allows clients to submit everything they would need to use securely and confidentially for us to complete their tax returns, which was always a path we were headed down. However, when COVID hit, we decided now would be the best time to implement our client portal. The primary platform we use to get through the process is the Fort McMurray Tax & Accounting Client Portal.
For the most part, we prefer in-person meetings as long as everyone meets all safety protocols and the clients we are meeting and interacting with are open to the same. If they are hesitant and would prefer having the meeting virtually, we would handle a virtual meeting. We get through these meetings using a platform like a Zoom or Google meet. We are open to making some changes to the platform if there are others that our clients are more comfortable using. As an accounting firm, our job is to make sure the clients we work with are comfortable so we work on processes they might find challenging.
If you are looking for tax accountants and bookkeepers in Fort Mcmurray, Alberta, connect with us at Fort McMurray Tax & Accounting. We work with our clients to understand their requirements and then work on packages that would give them the best deal on the work that they are looking for. Not everyone wants the same deal, so we have to ensure we provide them with the best solution at the best cost. We work with their personal accounting needs and their business and taxation needs, so we are an all-around service. If you want a better understanding of the services we provide, please click here. If you are looking to connect with us or think we can assist with your taxation or accounting needs, please click here.