Folks, it’s time to talk about a group of unsung heroes during the pandemic. Of course, we are all incredibly grateful for the essential and front line workers who have risked their own health to keep the rest of us safe and our society on the rails—that goes without saying. But for many small businesses, accountants have been an essential resource, a lifeline that allowed them to stay viable during a turbulent time (even as many accountants are small businesses struggling with pandemic disruption themselves!).
When the pandemic hit and the lockdowns and disruptions began, careful financial management went from must-have to... well, everything. Accountants were oftentimes the ones standing by and helping business owners with things ranging from simple bookkeeping and cash management, to highly complex tax planning, financial forecasting, and navigating government relief initiatives like the SBA Payroll Protection (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loan programs. And not only helping with traditional accounting tasks, but also holding clients’ hands through the stress of the loan application process, and the fears that come with the prospect of having to pay them back.
Here’s how one of our accountant partners, Linsey Gjerstad of Grant Payroll, Inc., describes her experience serving clients during the pandemic:
This last year has been a learning experience for us all. In the midst of 2020/Covid-19, I have reevaluated what kind of business owner I want to be, and what really matters to my business; it’s the people—my clients and their families. Client consults now include kids in the background and barking dogs.
I am not a high tech payroll company, I don’t have a fancy portal or reports on demand. I provide exactly what my clients need and they know when they call my office, or email, they are getting information from someone they know and trust.
At AP Intego, we were proud to partner with thousands of payroll service-providing accountants to help them offer cash flow relief to clients through Pay As You Go workers’ comp (before, during, and—yes—long after the pandemic).
Pay As You Go saves businesses from having to make lump sum payments on workers’ comp premium by spreading out the payments over the full policy term, and it calculates a percentage of premium based on real payroll data—not an estimate. This helps make the required coverage more affordable overall during a downturn, so businesses could continue to operate in compliance with state regulations. And to return to Linsey’s words, “[AP Intego] provides the extra added trust so I can confidently provide advice and service to my clients…”
Now that many businesses are starting to turn the dial from “crisis mode” to “cautiously optimistic,” accountants will remain an important resource in terms of how to make the most of the opportunities of this present moment, and into the future. And they’ll continue to offer invaluable services, guidance, and personalized care to the people who matter the most—their clients.
If you’re already one of our awesome accounting partners, thank you for being awesome, and for partnering with us to help business owners through an incredibly difficult time. (Refer a client to us any time!) And if you’re not, but you’re interested in joining our group of awesome accounting partners, , we’d love to talk with you.