Making Business Decisions in Challenging Economic Times: Our New Normal

The lack of definite answers regarding the length of time businesses and schools should remain closed, tax relief efforts, or how much and when federal aid to individual Americans will arrive, makes it difficult to implement an action plan for your employees, your business and yourself.

Business leaders are seeking answers to many questions.  New and unexpected circumstances require immediate decisions and professional guidance to understand the impact on their bottom line.

Know Your Financial Health

Keeping your finger on the pulse of your finances is extremely important, especially in challenging economic times.  It is essential to maintain your books on a contemporaneous basis.  If you currently do not monitor influences on financial performance in real time, now is a very good time to implement actions/procedures to assure you make timely decisions. If you are monitoring performance, are you paying attention to all the right things?  Items to review include:

Cash Flow

  • How will cash flow be impacted?
  • Create projection of cash inflows and outflows over a reasonable period of time.
  • Evaluate projections and cash balances in order to make informed decisions of cash flow management.

Accounts Receivable and Billing

  • Has there been an impact to the production and delivery of products/services?
  • How will the billing cycle be impacted?
  • Will there be a change in credit policies?
  • Which customers will be impacted by current economic conditions?

Inventory and Purchasing

  • Should inventory levels be increased or decreased? Is there a potential supply shortage or backorder situation?
  • Is there a disruption of the existing supply chain?
  • Are there alternate suppliers?
  • Is there a need for additional or new supplies?
    • Masks, gloves, cleaning products?

Payroll

  • Is the workforce healthy?
  • What is the cost, and the time frame for continuing to provide compensation and benefits to employees?
  • When is the time to reduce labor hours?
  • When is the time to lay off employees?
  • Is there a requirement to comply with sick pay guidelines?
    • What are the sick pay guidelines?
  • Will there be a need for temporary labor?

Work Location

  • Is it safe? Can social distancing protocols be adequately implemented?
  • What additional protocols are required to sanitize work areas?
  • Is there a need to change existing the existing facility to accommodate or provide new services?
  • Are team members able to get to work? Public transportation or personal vehicles?
  • Does the team have the capability to work remote?

Insurance

  • Evaluate your current insurance coverage with your insurance agent.
    • Is existing insurance adequate?
    • Ask if damages related to the COVID-19 peril is covered.

Technology

  • How can technology be utilized to be effective and efficient?
  • Is existing technology adequate?
  • How much is needed to invest in technology?
  • What financing resources are available?

Internal Communications

  • Will there be a change in future methods of communication?
    • Team chat room, daily briefings, email, conference calls.

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

While reporting is designed to keep the public current on recent developments, make sure decisions are based on reliable information from reputable sources.

We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

The current situation is changing rapidly.  Now is a good time to review your current business and personal financial matters and assess if you need to take action.  Will there be a need for additional credit, emergency loans or a need to borrow/transfer cash from other accounts?

Strongly consider reaching out to your accounting firm, business advisor, financial advisor, or legal advisor.

Business as normal is no longer normal. As you navigate through this crisis, asking for advice from a professional may be the best business decision you make. Do your research and make decisions based on valid sources with approved, documented facts. When in doubt, seek additional guidance.

To help you find information during this crisis, we have comprised a list of resources in the following areas: Business and Finance, Construction and Contractors, Insurance, and Health. You can find the links on the Resources section of our website. We will update our site as new information becomes available.

Please know, if you have questions, need recommendations or clarification, we are available to support you by email info@wm-cpa.com, our Contact Us page, or by phone 215-675-8364.

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