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How has COVID-19 impacted your career as an accountant?

#accountant #accounting #business #finance

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Kathryn’s Answer

Hi David - Great question! All businesses have been impacted in one way or another, but thankfully accountants for the most part have been able to stay busy. At the Big 4 firms, we are set up to work remotely anyways because we are typically moving between the office, client sites, and travel, so thankfully it hasn't been too much of an adjustment from that respect. But definitely different to not have any in person meetings at client sites. It is interesting to see the impacts that COVID19 is having on our clients and how that impacts our audits. My firm has been great about releasing guidance about how to navigate these uncertain times. Ultimately I think the COVID19 situation will provide us with new learning opportunities - both in reimagining the way we work and the work that we do. Hope that helps!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to help. Samuel
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Amy’s Answer

Hi David,

That is a great question.During this uncertain time I have found great comfort in my ability to continue working. While my days look a little different than normal I am still able to work full time at home. Luckily our firm in the past few years had taken steps toward a more digital work environment. This has proven to be a great investment. We are able to do our jobs completely from home. We have access to tools that allow us to communicate seamlessly with our teams even if we are not in the same room as them. So while my working location has changed the work I am doing has not. When you enter the industry, almost without fail, someone will say to you "People are always going to need accountants" and I have, more now than ever, learned this to be true!
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Samuel
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George’s Answer

I'm a CPA working on audits. I work from home exclusively now. The work still needs to get done. You find new ways to connect with your clients, more video conference calls and phone calls, generally. It is a bit more challenging not having that face to face time, but it can still get done.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Samuel
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Katherine’s Answer

Hi, David. Great question! From a day-to-day perspective, the way we work looks slightly different. Rather than sitting in the office and having in-person meetings, we are all working remotely and participate in virtual meetings. I work in the Global Mobility industry and many of our clients are spread out throughout the word so many client meetings were virtual prior to COVID-19. Although, many of our clients have been impacted significantly during this time in relation to their global employees. We have spent a lot of time with our clients to understand where their employees are, if they are able to continue to do their work in their current location, or if they had to relocate. With employees being “stuck” in different countries, we have spent more time advising on the tax impacts due to the individual and also any corporate concerns.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is amazing! I really needed it. Samuel
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Chance’s Answer

We are at a pause point going to the client's site because of the stay-at-home order. But meanwhile, since the firm has been investing heavily on digital platforms since before the COVID-19, we are able to reach out to our clients using digital solutions and share files using cloud-based tools. The efficiency of the job has been stable thanks to these foundational investments. I think one of the biggest takeaways is we tend to understand each other better during this unprecedented time since we listen more.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Chance. Samuel
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Genesis’s Answer

Hi David,

Great question! With the COVID-19 pandemic there have so many impactful things that have happened and changes that have been drastic. Working from home remotely is one, team interactions is another, and work-life balance is a third. However, the way we deliver on our clients has not changed. I currently work at a Big 4 accounting firm. This is my second year with the firm and I can honestly say, working here especially during this pandemic has been the best decision I could've made. The work hasn't changed except for the way we deliver may be different not being in the office. But I can honestly say the support and guidance we've received within the firm is irreplaceable. I say this too with confidence when I hear of so many people being laid off, or even prior firms I worked letting go of so many of their employees, it is a scary time to be an accountant, let alone an accountant in a small firm. I do however, proudly advocate for all the Big 4 accounting firms out there that are caring for their employees and their stability during this difficult time. I too do hope you're doing well as well. Times may be hard, but our morals haven't changed.

Good luck with everything!

Genesis
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Samuel
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Bill’s Answer

COVID-19 has presented many challenges both personally and professionally for many. As an accountant at a big 4 professional services firm, we were positioned favorably to transition into a full remote working environment so that felt fairly seamless. Many of our clients had a more challenging time making that transition. What I have personally experienced as being one of the biggest impacts has been the strong need to build strong working relationships while not being able to meet in person. I have found the virtual environment to provide the opportunity to strengthen the relationships in a more personal way with my team members and clients - primarily due to the fact that you get insight into each other's personal lives a bit more since you are working remotely. This can be getting introduced to family members, learning about personal hobbies, etc. That has been a surprising impact of COVID-19 on my day to day experience with my teams and clients, and I've enjoyed every bit of it. As much as I miss the human interaction, I have enjoyed getting to know people on a more personal level through these past few months.
Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Samuel
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Robert’s Answer

Good question David! While the impacts of COVID-19 will surely be felt for months to come, thus far, my job has been relatively unimpacted. Like many others I have begun working from home which requires more collaboration with my team members. As an auditor my team and I have been working with our client to ensure that they're fully disclosing the impacts the virus has had on their business. This has required us to see the impact of the virus from multiple perspectives.
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Samuel
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Nicholas’s Answer

Hey Davie,

Good question! Accounting definitely hasn't been immune to the impact COVID-19 has had in the marketplace. As a tax accountant, I have had to learn and help apply to client situations the new tax laws included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus Act (CARES Act). The new rules that were a part of this Act can be complex and require staying up to date on all articles published about them so we can answer client questions.

The way that I work has also drastically changed, as instead of going to the client's place of business and meeting in person, we've had to do everything remotely.

Lastly, because we're a service based profession, the economic well-being of our clients directly impacts our business. We have had to identify projects that can be put on hold (such as consulting or long-term tax planning engagements) and focus only on those that serve immediate needs, so the client can divert their money to other areas of importance.

Again, great question, and I hope this helped!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Samuel
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Jessica’s Answer

While COVID-19 has had little impact on my overall career as a tax accountant, it has changed the way I work and I believe it has helped companies test out their remote working strategy. It has hopefully proven that we can all be as productive (if not more productive) working from home as when we were in the office. We have utilized new tools such as Teams to stay in touch. Additionally, as a tax accountant, I have had to stay on top of the daily tax, accounting, and industry news, since the policies and pronouncements are rapidly changing. We have to react quickly to changing tax and accounting guidance, which is a fundamental skillset as an accountant. While it is a difficult time personally, it has been a great learning experience from a tax and accounting point of view.
Thank you comment icon You rock! This advice is very helpful. Samuel
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Barrett’s Answer

Another great question, David! COVID-19 hasn't had much of an impact on what work I perform. It's definitely impacted how I get work done. Before COVID-19, a lot of my meetings were in person, but my company has been working remotely for over a month now, so I rely more on mobile meeting applications like WebEx. Even after things return to "normal" our company still plans to take precautions to keep employees safe, so I'd expect to have fewer in person meetings regardless.

Please keep in mind there are great accounting opportunities in pretty much every sector, so the answer could vary considerably based on the industry.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Samuel
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Cherrelle’s Answer

Hi there,

For me it has had very little impact to date. I am able to work from home, which I did often anyway. My clients are all over geographically and working from home as well so it's pretty much business as usual. I think the biggest impact, which isn't actually that big, is managing the increased number of internal video calls and setting boundaries with work hours. If this goes on much longer, there may be a larger impact with teams identifying ways to stay connected virtually.
Thank you comment icon Your advice was so helpful! Samuel
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Mark’s Answer

Hey David,

Covid-19 has certainly impacted the the accounting field, and the magnitude of impact does depend on the specific area you're in (tax, public, corporate, audit, etc.). In general, there are some similarities across all the areas: 1) remote work has certainly taken some time for me and many other accountants to get used to. With that said, the new challenges you face with remote learning does provide opportunities to learn new ways to work and perhaps even find more efficient ways to work. 2) working with your teams and clients if you're in public accounting has also been quite impacted, as a virtual environment brings about new challenges with communication that we are all learning to work through. Many more things have changed, but these two areas have been across all fields of accounting greatly impacted and will change how we work in the future! Hope you this is helpful and that you are well!
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Samuel
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Jonathan’s Answer

Hi David,

In preparing for career you are smart to think about how the current COVID-19 impacts the different job markets. While I did not originally enter the accounting field based on the resiliency to pandemic, my experience is that my career has been minimally impacted by the pandemic. I work specifically in financial statement audits which are essential for businesses and therefore must continue even if other areas of the business slow down. My experience is that the accounting profession provides great job security and high demand.

The main impact on my career has been the working practices. As an auditor I am accustomed to working at various client sites and being very portable. Under the current circumstances it has been more important than ever to find ways to collaborate virtually. My company has adapted quickly to take advantage of our digital technologies to make working remotely as seamless as possible.

Given the number of people struggling right now due to COVID-19 I feel very fortunate to have the job security I do.

Best of luck and keep asking great questions!

Jon
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Samuel
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Henry’s Answer

Hi David!

Echoing may of the other comments already posted, I think the opportunity to WFH has really changed some of the work dynamic that goes on at the firm and my takeaway is that this is probably the best to experiment and rethink the way things have been done in the past. This might take take the form of doing overhauls of work that previous might have been done only one way, or taking time to learn new digital tools that might have been overlooked during busy times.

Hope that help,
Henry


Thank you comment icon Thank you for sharing your perspective. Samuel
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