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


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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Dustin’s Answer

The biggest change is really just the human connection with coworkers and with clients. Specifically in auditing there is a lot of human interaction with both the engagement team and the client contacts. Being on-site helps expedite questions, coaching, and audit related meetings. While this has been a challenge there are lots of great virtual tools which help with these difficulties.

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Davida’s Answer

Thanks for your question. My day-to-day job has not been impacted at all because I have the ability to perform my job from anywhere in the world as long as I have a laptop and WIFI. The full impact of COVID-19 is yet to be seen and will take quite some time. Accounting is one of the safest career paths you can choose. You will most likely be able to always find job opportunities.

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chelsey’s Answer

Hi David! This is a great question. COVID-19 has changed some of the dynamics around how we work, but it has not affected completing work or delivering to clients. The firm I work for was already equipped to work remotely, so the shelter in place orders had little effect in that aspect. The communication within the firm has been amazing, and we fully utilize any technology available to stay connected to each other. We have daily - weekly Zoom meetings and share our screens frequently while working on projects together. Now more than ever clients are leaning on us to help them and to guide them through all the changes around them. In a way it has been a neat experience to see the firm come together, be creative, and help our clients in different was through this challenging time.

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Andrew’s Answer

From my experience, the greatest impact is felt in the ability to build and maintain strong working relationships. Virtual communication skills have become increasingly important. It is difficult to replace the team building experiences that occur at in-person events, but creative virtual alternatives have been implemented to help in this area. One more impact that has been equally important is adapting to the needs of the client. As the needs of many businesses have changed in 2020, it is critical to understand how our clients have been impacted, and what our teams can do to accommodate.

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Alena’s Answer

Hi David!

The "day to day" work that needs to get done is pretty much the same as it was before COVID-19, but the way we work looks a lot different. Rather than commuting to the office or client site like we used to, we've been working from home. It has definitely been an adjustment transitioning from in person meetings to video conferences and phone calls and adjusting to everyone's schedules. However, it has definitely been a good opportunity to focus on work/life balance and thinking about how we can 'work differently' to feel recharged and refreshed. I've found taking walk while on a call and taking a break for lunch with my boyfriend is a great way to energize throughout the day

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Tina’s Answer

Though the COVID-19 situation have made adverse effects in lot of business and work areas, accountancy or finance remains the same. Most of the companies have provided a complete work from home set up for continuity of work and thus we are able to do our work without any hic -cups.

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Jason’s Answer

I'm a cost accounting for a large insurance company. Covid has caused our organization to mobilize in a way that we can detect and record financial impacts relating to covid. So in essence, it has created a significant about of project work and deep probing within our business units. Otherwise, it has also highlighted the pro's and con's for work at home policy. I think it has illustrated to the world that many professions are well suited for working at home.

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Dwayne’s Answer

The only change for my profession is that I work from home rather than commute to an office building. All of my work product is located on a server in Washington DC. As a Review Appraiser, I review documentation on properties across the continental United States as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the other US Territories. I can live anywhere in the US or its territories and do my work. I have several colleagues that don't live in Dallas but do the same work. WebEx meetings, a good computer with good internet speed and a quiet room in the house (away from the kids) and I am good to go. Look for a company that offers flexibility and find the lifestyle that works best for you.

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Emily’s Answer

Hi David,

Great question. It has been really interesting to see how COVID-19 has impacted different industries that we provide services to. It can be very different across companies depending on their sector.

However, at PwC and Big 4 firms in general, we are all fairly used to working at home and using firm resources to do so. Therefore, although it is an adjustment to work remote daily it has not changed what we are able to do on a daily basis which is helpful. We are still able to interface easily with each other as well as our clients.

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Greg’s Answer

Working through this pandemic has been challenging but manageable. Staying engaged has been one of the biggest challenges. You learn multiple ways to keep in touch and stay visible. Use different methods since one may not work for all members of your team or external partners. Some options include : e-mail, jabber, yammer, teams, & phone.

Staying engaged contributes to ensuring collaboration across your team and ultimately your company.

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Jennie’s Answer

Hi David, the times are very interesting right now. I'm grateful that my firm was prepared, and our IT department is amazing. Most professional staff are working from home here in California. Our work hasn't stopped, we need to be here for our clients more now than ever. It's been tough not be able to socialize with coworkers or have an in-person lunch meeting, but we're making do with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. One of the drawbacks about working from home is the blurred lines of work/home. When am I online, when am I on a break? I think it's important to schedule off-work time, such as on the weekends and after hours.

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Heidi’s Answer

In my department, travel is very common so working from home has been a very different change of pace. However, my firm is very well equipped for working from home so we are able to complete all of our work using team calls and email. We do weekly "happy hours" in small groups to catch up and we have an instant messaging system so we can all easily communicate throughout the day. As in all industries, business has been slower due to COVID-19 but the services of an accounting firm are still essential to our clients.

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Arionna’s Answer

Great question! The biggest thing that has changed is the fact that we are all working remotely. In my profession as an auditor, we are typically at the client's office with at least 3-4 other people from our team. Now we are all working remotely and can only communicate with the client via email/phone. Although we are so grateful that our jobs have not been impacted and we can continue to work and provide client service, there have been many challenges working remotely. It is difficult to manage team members who may not communicate well or who are less experienced and need coaching/guidance. It has also been a challenge for team members and clients who have kids at home due to school closures, as their working hours are adjusted and it's had an impact on the team's efficiency. Overall, we are learning to adapt to this new "normal".

I can say that our jobs have become even more necessary, as Company's have to do greater analysis on going concern, triggering events/impairment analysis, as well as additional financial statement disclosures for impact from COVID-19, therefore creating additional work for our team. It is great that we have such great job security within the accounting profession, which is why I highly recommend working in this field!

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Joshua’s Answer

Hi David,

I saw a lot of responses to your question but wanted to give you an update on how COVID-19 is impacting my career in auditing. Currently, our entire firm is working from home still and are not yet able to go back in to the office. The nature of our work has not changed all that much but the way we communicated within our firm and our clients have changed. Our meetings have become video chats and we speak to our clients virtually probably more than we did in person. Auditing actually has become more important in today's climate as we assist our clients in navigating the accounting implications of COVID-19. We need to make sure that any rent deferrals, revenue deferrals or other items affected by the pandemic are appropriately accounted for. I believe we will continue to be working for at least the rest of the year.

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Yanying’s Answer

As an accountant, we had to assess the impact of COVID-19 in in terms of financial reporting and managerial accounting. For example, some of our customers are impacted by COVID-19, resulting to less free cash flow or bankruptcy. We might have to consider offering them concessions, refunds, returns. As a result of these, we have to reassess our methodology for calculating revenue reserve, Accounts receivable allowance, etc. We may also want to consider if there is anyway we can help our customers if they have financial struggles, and how would that impact our business as a whole. These are just examples. COVID-19 definitely creates more work and stress for accountants as there are a lot of uncertainties that we have to assess and we can't truly foresee the true impact on our economy.

In terms of work environment, majority of companies have switch from working at office to working from home. This may impact communication, work quality, efficiency at some point. Overall, it wouldn't affect accountants too much as all we truly need is just a laptop and internet connection to enable us to work. Hope that helps.

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Bryce’s Answer

COVID-19 has impacted my career as an accountant (or an auditor) by basically not being in direct contact with the client. Being an accountant, I am used to working at the client site, so if I needed anything from the client, I could go to their office, have a quick meeting with them and ask them whatever was needed. Now, working from home proposes a new challenge to the ability to be able to talk with the client. Most communication now happens with video meetings. But you we can still communicate through chats, emails, etc.

I also feel that there is a higher chance of miscommunication when working from home. Working with a team that is together all the time, it's easy to ask questions and understand something on the spot. In my opinion working from home proposes a challenge that some information may get lost or misunderstood in the process.

Also, working from home is a challenge in itself. It was a learning curve for me to have a working mindset from home. Usually when I'm usually at home, I'm relaxed and not worrying about work. It's easier to have a working mindset when we physically go to work and be around other people that are doing the same.

Overall working from home took some time getting used to. As an aspiring CPA distinguishing the time to work and time to study is also a challenge but can be fixed with the correct mindset.

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Miranda’s Answer

Hello! Great question. It has definitely impacted various companies in various ways. In my experience, working at a Big 4 accounting firm in the auditing practice, we were all set up to work remotely before the pandemic, since we are typically working at different client sites and need to be able to change locations and still have access to work. The transition to working from home was less about technological difficulties as much as it was about adjusting as a team and maintaining strong communication lines now that you weren't surrounded by coworkers in person. I think our firm and others have done an amazing job at adapting our style and focusing on strong communication between our internal teams as well as our clients to make sure we aren't missing anything. It is also important to note that our clients and many, many businesses out there are being affected by COVID-19 financially, whether that be having to focus more on liquidity measures and cash management to stay afloat, decreased revenues due to lower consumer spending, decreased capital expenditures, rent deferrals/ concessions, which has adverse effects such as remaining in debt compliance as well as taking a look at tangible and intangible asset impairment as this is definitely a triggering event for most organizations. I hope this helps!

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Johanna’s Answer

Hi David,

I think most people who work in finance/accounting are lucky to have the flexibility to work remotely. My days definitely look and feel different than they did 3 months ago, but I have been adjusting to the new normal. I used to go into work at a large campus (probably ~5,000 people) everyday and had a lot of interaction with coworkers and in person meetings. Now I work from home and call into many WebEx or Zoom calls to stay in touch with coworkers. The job really hasn't changed much but the way we interact has changed significantly. We are all looking forward to the day when we can return to our office, but it sounds like that might be months away. Until then, we are working to stay connected and engaged as a team. Overall, I wonder if this will change the way we do work moving forward. I do think there will be more general flexibility in working remotely since we have proven that we can be effective even while away from our desks. I think given the option, I would still prefer to be in the office rather than working from home, but I will feel more confident working from home for one off situations (home project, sickness, etc) moving forward.

Johanna

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Sabrina’s Answer

Great question! Thankfully, my position as a governmental accountant hasn't been affected much by COVID-19. I have been working remotely for the past month but essentially my job responsibilities have not changed.

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Mike’s Answer

Not at all. My company has already had remote staff. With the onset of Covid-19, my company went to 100% remote working. Luckily, since we were already allowed working remote for 2 days per week, the shift was not that difficult.

The shift has made for some interesting adjustments in our professional lives, especially immerged in our family/ home environment. It was has been a transition, but we are working through that.

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Sylvia’s Answer

Honestly, for me, it hasn't changed too much! I work as an auditor at a Big 4, and since the majority of our work is done on the computer, work hasn't really missed a beat even though I'm working from home now. Job security is definitely a very appealing aspect of working in accounting, and the pandemic has really locked that in for me! Since my job requires a lot of interaction with my team and with the client, I find myself on a lot of phone calls throughout the day. But otherwise, work is pretty much the same. Definitely is nice staying busy throughout the day when there aren't many other places we can go.

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Anthony’s Answer

The biggest change is working remotely from home and not travelling to a Client site or to the office. It has worked out well as most clients can provide our requests electronically. We have also had to engage in more conference calls with teams and clients. As an auditor, we are looking at Company's going concern assessments which have also been significantly impacted given a majority of companies are being adversely impacted (financially) as a result of the pandemic. Many companies have had negative impacts to cash flows and revenues.

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Daniel’s Answer

Hi!

Excellent question. I would say a lot of the job has changed from a team perspective but at its core it is still very much the same. In the audit world we are lucky to be able to work remotely and with our company investing in digital tools, it is still very easy to communicate with team members over video, calls, sharing screens, etc. The work we are doing however, has been impacted a little with many companies being adversely impacted by COVID with businesses slowing down and some even closing. Also, I have felt the impact of the lack of in person interaction and team events. However, I am happy to have a job during this time and especially in a flexible work environment 100% from home.

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Nobue’s Answer

Hello David,
I believe most of accountants haven't affected by Covid-19 as of now. Our company did request staff work-from-home immediately the government stated "Stay home order". Since then, all of staff have still been working from home but we don't any issue about our working.
Due to Cares Act like PPP or IEDL, we rather grew in demand for consultations or advices for those.
But if there's a downturn in the economy due to this Pandemic going forward, it would definitely impact our clients and then impact us also.

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Diksha’s Answer

Hi, David!

I just recently started working as an auditor and my whole experience has been virtual due to the pandemic and firms implementing work from home. Of course it is a bit hard because you cannot just walk up to your co-worker and ask questions. However, video-calling both co-workers and clients have helped tremendously and I am grateful to have co-workers who are willing to help me smoothly transition into the team.

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Roy’s Answer

This is a really good question, David. And this is a question that a lot of people most likely are curious about during this time. I work with income taxes, and with the Covid-19 resulting in a lot of businesses on lockdowns, we had to change the way we do our work especially during this tax season, which normally is the busiest time of the year. Typically, January until April consists of a lot of meetings and catching up with clients to go over their tax filings. This year was a little different. First, we had to shutdown our offices in March and had to start doing our work from our own home. Client meetings have been postponed and were done either through calls, or zoom meetings. It's the same for interacting with my team. We no longer have physical weekly meetings, and is now done through video calls. It works, but definitely not the same being in the same room with everyone. Fortunately, the tax deadline has been moved a couple of months further, so it has been giving us a little bit of a pressure release since most of our clients also preferred to wait and see for the progression of the pandemic. The other thing that is fortunate is we still get to keep our jobs despite of the ongoing crisis which gives me a realization how grateful I should be for choosing this career. There is definitely quite an adjustment being at home for weeks and not seeing your co-workers, but we are staying optimistic that some kind of normalcy will be back in the near future. I hope this is helpful and insightful.

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Steven’s Answer

The day to day tasks and responsibilities have not changed. Likely very similar to how COVID has impacts many office positions, how the work is performed has changed dramatically. Learning how to get the most out of remote meetings, while also being conscious about building business relationships was a challenge initially. I am no longer walking by my direct reports desks to see how things are going or bouncing ideas' off of someone. Now I have to be very conscious of how those things are done and have gotten to the point where I only schedule time with people with a defined purpose. Overall this has made me more efficient.

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Sean’s Answer

David,

Great question. The virus has forced our firm to embrace remote work. The good news is that we have the infrastructure in place to do this with limited interruption. The unfortunate news is that teamwork and collaboration become more difficult. It's harder to work with a manager on an issue but it's not impossible.

For me personally, the virus has given me the curiosity of thinking about how public accounting (and really business in general) will look long-term. I think the new norm will be a dynamic work environment - a split between working in an office and working from home. This would change our careers by enhancing the flexibility of the job and altering the work-life balance.

I could go on and on but to summarize, the virus has forced us to embrace remote work, work through collaboration challenges, and think long-term about how work will be done.

Sean

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Jason’s Answer

Great Question. With respect to the work that is performed, there are no differences due to COVID. The same requirements are placed on team members to get work done and our client expect the same quality work as before COVID.

The location of work performed has changed due to COVID as both my office as well as my client's office have been closed for a few months. This has forced us to grow more comfortable with certain digital tools (i.e. Google Meetings). While certain individuals struggled with this at the start, everyone has grown accustomed to the "new norm" and have grown into a routine. This "new norm" means virtual team meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and all tasks are being performed as well as virtual happy hours to socialize outside of work hours and get to know other team members.

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Michael’s Answer

Hi David,

Great question. COVID has had a big impact on my experience in public accounting that past couple of months. The actual work that I have been performing has not been changed; however, remote working has challenged me and the teams that I am on to rethink the way that we collaborate and communicate, both internally and with our clients. Working remotely has also reinforced the importance of incorporating digital technologies into our everyday work environment, even once we are able to return to a traditional office setting. Good luck with everything!

Mike

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Regina’s Answer

Hello David!

Thanks for question.

My role has been significantly impacted during this crisis and I suspect for many more months to come.

Our organization enabled close to 80,000 associates globally to work from home and re-allocated resources to help clients calling or emailing us for assistance.

Being in payroll, we are in the front lines to help our clients get their employees paid on time. With close to 3M employees unemployed across Canada (unemployment rate increased to 13%), ROEs (Record of Employment) have been issued by employers in the thousands daily so employees can claim Employment Benefits to help them survive.

Furthermore, with all the new legislation passed by the Federal and provincial governments, time is as of the essence to understand what the laws mean. Our job is to direct clients to the government websites so they can get their questions answered and help them translate legislation into payments for employees in payroll.

Hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy,

Regina

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Jason’s Answer

I'm a cost accounting for a large insurance company. Covid has caused our organization to mobilize in a way that we can detect and record financial impacts relating to covid. So in essence, it has created a significant about of project work and deep probing within our business units. Otherwise, it has also highlighted the pro's and con's for work at home policy. I think it has illustrated to the world that many professions are well suited for working at home.

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chelsey’s Answer

Hi David! This is a great question. COVID-19 has changed some of the dynamics around how we work, but it has not affected completing work or delivering to clients. The firm I work for was already equipped to work remotely, so the shelter in place orders had little effect in that aspect. The communication within the firm has been amazing, and we fully utilize any technology available to stay connected to each other. We have daily - weekly Zoom meetings and share our screens frequently while working on projects together. Now more than ever clients are leaning on us to help them and to guide them through all the changes around them. In a way it has been a neat experience to see the firm come together, be creative, and help our clients in different was through this challenging time.

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Emily’s Answer

Hi David!

I feel very lucky to have a job that I was able to transition to working from home rather smoothly. There has been some adjustment to talking with my team and clients on the phone, over video, or via messaging apps only. It has also been a transition to learn how to stay focused while at home when there are lots of distractions. My job luckily has a lot of flexibility and a lot of tools that allow me to keep up a normal routine and complete my job in the same manner.

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Jeany’s Answer

Hi David,

Thanks for your question. Since my company has incorporated two days working from home policy and it has been a year already, I feel that we are very prepared for this pandemic in workwise. I don’t see many changes in my day-to-day work except for the fact that we are all working from home all days and we get more flexibility during the work hours. I think we are currently heading the future state that almost every accounting work can be done virtually with a strong information and technology system based. COVID-19 is the real challenge, but I can say that Accounting is the safest field that you can choose.

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Laurie’s Answer

My overall responsibilities have remained unchanged but how I complete these responsibilities has changed. All of our work is performed remotely and i’v had to learn to manage my direct reports via Skype, Team's and zoom. As a leader it has caused me to become more engaged in being an example for my employees. Also my counseling skills have increased as my goal is to help my team keep positive and motivated during this difficult time.

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Aaron’s Answer

Hi David - It’s changed quite a bit and at the same time hasn’t changed that much. The work still needs to get done and companies have as much if not more to monitor with the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. We have migrated to remote full-time but technology allows everyone to remain connected and get the job done. Hopefully, sometime in the near future we can return to face to face work, but for now we keep doing what we do.

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Johanna’s Answer

Hi David,

I think most people who work in finance/accounting are lucky to have the flexibility to work remotely. My days definitely look and feel different than they did 3 months ago, but I have been adjusting to the new normal. I used to go into work at a large campus (probably ~5,000 people) everyday and had a lot of interaction with coworkers and in person meetings. Now I work from home and call into many WebEx or Zoom calls to stay in touch with coworkers. The job really hasn't changed much but the way we interact has changed significantly. We are all looking forward to the day when we can return to our office, but it sounds like that might be months away. Until then, we are working to stay connected and engaged as a team. Overall, I wonder if this will change the way we do work moving forward. I do think there will be more general flexibility in working remotely since we have proven that we can be effective even while away from our desks. I think given the option, I would still prefer to be in the office rather than working from home, but I will feel more confident working from home for one off situations (home project, sickness, etc) moving forward.

Johanna

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Will’s Answer

Hi David,

This is a really important question. Although no career is 100% unchanged during a recession, accounting is very recession-resistant relative to other fields. Afterall, the capital markets live on and will always require accurate financial information. As external auditors, we provide reasonable assurance to users of the financial statements that there are no material misstatements.

That being said, the impact that COVID-19 has had on our clients is something that we must be highly aware of for a couple of reasons

1. It's important to understand the particular stresses that our client are facing
2. It will absolutely impact certain areas of our testing

This is an incredibly unique time we live in and we've had to make adjustments to navigate our way through this, but I'm very thankful to still be working and to be able to get my job done from the safety of my own home. Happy to answer more questions!

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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



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Kellie’s Answer

Hi,
Great Question! The only change for myself is now I work from home full-time since March 17th. It's pretty much business as usual. I am able to work remotely as if I am in the office with the use of Webex and Micro Soft Teams for meetings and Cisco Jabber to instant message a team member. Actually some days I work longer hours than I would if I was in the office. Finding that perfect balance is essential to managing through this unique circumstance that is COVID-19. I am the Payroll Manager for my company and my customers are our employees and our Payroll Department has been doing great work in keeping all of our employees paid accurately and timely. My company was so great in being pro-active with the is COVID-19 which means a lot to us as employees. My company has been flexible and understanding thru this COVID-19 pandemic and that is a important quality to find in a company. Work life balance is so important also. Best of luck to you!

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Adebola’s Answer

Awesome question David! Normally, most accountants are required to travel to their client's site, but due to covid 19, they are limited to working from home. Many of these accountants are hosting virtual calls with their teams in order to get the job done and involve auditory communication, instead of just relying on emails.

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Christina’s Answer

Hi David - This is a great question. I began my career this past January during busy season. As a new hire, working from home has presented some challenges, as I am still becoming acclimated to the firm. Although challenging at times, I have been able to adapt to this new way of working. My teams and I often communicate over google hangouts, sharing our screens to work through our testing together. We frequently hold "catch up" calls to ensure that everyone is on the same page. For me, the work has remained the same. The methods that my team has gone about to complete that work has just been altered. Needless to say, it has been a great learning opportunity early on in my career, as being able to adapt to different work environments (whether that be physical locations or team culture) is very important.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hey David!

I started with an accounting firm September of 2019 and by March 2020 I was working from home for the foreseeable future. So far I have worked from home longer than I have in the office since starting. I think the biggest change in working from home is the fact that I don't have friends and co-workers around me all day. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated when I am working alone in my apartment. While we have video meetings and calls it doesn't replace the informal run-ins or coffee breaks that we normally would have in the office.

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Shiyoung David’s Answer

Hi David,

Good question. Since COVID19 spreads out to the country, we have experienced "New Normal" in various fields. As an auditor in public accounting firm, I also experienced new style of work. I have worked from home since this March and did lots of video call with clients instead of field work. It helps me to save the commuting time but makes the boundary between work and personal life vague. Hopefully, my firm provides diverse solutions for this issue by encouraging proper working hours per day and providing mental care services including lots of programs and mobile apps. In addition, the way of auditing is also changing as it is limited to visit/contact the customer location. The company keeps updating the accounting policy and guideline for employees periodically and provides lots of training for employees to be familiar with these updates. To sum up, there are lots of changes in the business world and we all try our best to survive in this new normal environment.

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Zach’s Answer

Hi David,

I'm an associate for a public accounting firm. My firm is currently working from home until at least the end of May. There have been some struggles with technology, but our firm has invested heavily into technology over the past couple of years. This has made our transition much easier. From a personal perspective, it is tough to be out of the office and not working face to face with people on my team. I feel it hurts the learning opportunities that we get from being in the office, but my team does a great job of getting on video calls to discuss updates. Most of us are looking forward to getting back in the office.

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Richard’s Answer

Hi,

I generally agree with all of the answers above. The personal interactions with my teams, the office, and with the clients have all come to a halt here in NYC. While our teams still interact and have zoom events, nothing can replace the interactions we have in the office and at work events. I have realized that you rely a lot on established relationships for questions that come up in the normal work day. But overall, the firm has great tools for team collaboration that have allowed the pace and nature of work to all but stay the same. We are all still taking time to learn how to adapt to the situation and we won't have a full scope of the change for months to come still!

More specifically as an associate in core assurance, the job at the end of the day has remained the same - there may even be more work in light of the current market environment and the impact it has on our clients. It is important to learn to manage your roles and responsibilities on each job as there is less supervision. This is a great time to establish yourself as a self-sufficient worker.

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Jordan’s Answer

Hi David –

Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all business to some degree including our company.

Speaking specifically to my job -- one key change has been my work environment. Working remotely, I’m expected and have been able to perform all job responsibilities. However, communication with team members has become a new obstacle. Before I was able to walk over to my coworkers’ desk and have a discussion or hold an in-person meeting. Without being in the office we still hold conference calls, but this can present challenges such as IT or hybrid work schedules. Another change has been life-work balance. Fortunately, I’m able to work from home without distractions, however some colleagues are juggling remote learning with their children or loved ones also working remotely. For me, I struggle with work hours now that I’m at home. Usually, I’m accustomed to putting in long days at the office (especially around year-end) but I find that this has become a habit now that I’m at home. Although this isn’t a problem since the work is getting done, I miss the separation between my house and the office since it forced me to take a break(s) when commuting.

Aside for my personal experience, COVID-19 has impacted our company. We have had to adapt how we do business as well as how we service our customers during this time. This has led to us rethinking some of our processes and spending efforts to encompasses the new technology that is available. One example is adjusting the way we are training employees to utilize new software as we approach our “go-live” dates. For our clients/customers, we have updated our website functionality to allow further assistance that wasn’t available before.

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Charles’s Answer

Hi David,

Great question. I looked over the prior responses and would echo the sentiments about how work responsibilities haven't changed. It's the way employees accomplish the work that has been impacted.

Some individuals may have worked remotely in the past making their transition to working remotely 100% of the time easier. However, for those folks that were used to in-person meetings or walking into a co-worker's office/cubicle, they are having to switch to new tools and other ways of working to remain productive at home.

Personally, I worked from home one day a week before COVID and shelter in place orders went into effect. I was lucky to be working for a client that shifted quickly to an all remote workforce so my career pretty much stayed the same. What's really different is the tools I'm using to do my job. Not only am I using more tools to manage tasks such as virtual workshops or project team task tracking, but also I'm finding out about new ways of working by talking to colleagues, friends, and clients.

Another element to your question that I think is important to consider is the impact to your colleagues/friends. Everyone adjusts to new situations differently and having that compassion and extra patience right now goes a long way. We're lucky to have so many options out there to help us collaborate and be effective despite being at home.

Hope that helps!
-Charles


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Alexandra’s Answer

For me as a tax accountant, this crisis has accelerated how I use technology and has put me on alert for legislative changes. That is a positive effect. However, a lot of consulting projects have been put on hold or postponed as we give our clients time to recover.

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Amy’s Answer

I currently work as an an accountant in hospitality finance which has been an industry hit particularly hard by the COVID19 pandemic. In our field due to the sheer loss of revenues we've seen many jobs furloughed and hours reduced. In other sectors however, I've seen many new job postings and opportunities for accounting career growth. There also ton of opportunities with online classes and certificates that are being offered at discounted rates or free of charge while people are home during this time. Long story short the careers are out there if you have the desire and drive!

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Hongyun (Heley)’s Answer

Definitely. Work from home. Being remote. And the way to communicate.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hey David!

I started with an accounting firm September of 2019 and by March 2020 I was working from home for the foreseeable future. So far I have worked from home longer than I have in the office since starting. I think the biggest change in working from home is the fact that I don't have friends and co-workers around me all day. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated when I am working alone in my apartment. While we have video meetings and calls it doesn't replace the informal run-ins or coffee breaks that we normally would have in the office.

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Yunna’s Answer

Great question! We are busier than ever. I am working from home, but given that a number of accounting firms are paperless (including ours) the day to day work did not change. What's missing is a social element: zoom does not really replace in-person human interaction.

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Cristina’s Answer

Wow, what a great question to ask! Covid-19 has forced everyone to adjust to working from home, which we've never had to do for such an extended period. We've had to rely on technology to have team meetings, work with our clients, and receive coaching from senior members of our teams. I think Covid-19 is going change our working arrangements for quite some time.

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Michelle’s Answer

Hey David!

I started with an accounting firm September of 2019 and by March 2020 I was working from home for the foreseeable future. So far I have worked from home longer than I have in the office since starting. I think the biggest change in working from home is the fact that I don't have friends and co-workers around me all day. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated when I am working alone in my apartment. While we have video meetings and calls it doesn't replace the informal run-ins or coffee breaks that we normally would have in the office.

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Cody’s Answer

COVID19 has had a significant impact on our daily tasks. For example, majority of firms are working from home and have been the past two months. This has also led employees to figure out how to continue building their relationships with their clients, whether there are new or existing. Also, this has increased procedures around our audits to ensure the Company has proper forecasts and projections based off what they see in their industries.

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