As, 15th April, the deadline for filing taxes this season, approaches fast, coronavirus has taken the nation by storm.

Yesterday (12th March 2020), the WHO declared the Coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. The count of the affected people has reached thousands,  according to Worldometer.

As per the article published in USA Today, President Trump will be instructing the Treasury Department to put off the tax payments without penalty for many businesses and firms drastically affected by the widespread of the coronavirus.

How Accountants Can Prepare Against Corona virus in This Busy Tax SeasonThis step could provide additional liquidity of up to $200 billion to the economy, he added. Meanwhile, it’s not clear who all will get or won’t get the relaxation and for how long.

Coronavirus is a type of virus that majorly affects the respiratory tract of animals and mammals, especially humans. Out of the seven coronavirus species known, COVID-19 is the one which has caused an alarming situation all over the world.

This disease is associated with Common cold, Pneumonia, and Bronchitis. Relevant symptoms can be sneezing, high fever, and shortness of breath.

Various practices can be done at a personal level to prevent the spread of coronavirus: –

  • Avoiding close contact with people and, most importantly, large gatherings like parties and social events as far as possible. One doesn’t know about the travel history of the individuals.
  • Maintaining good personal hygiene should be a top priority. Washing hands at regular intervals and keeping an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60-95% alcohol handy at all times. Clean hands will have the least chances to catch the virus. Make sure adequate supplies of the same are maintained.
  • If having symptoms like acute respiratory disorder, high fever, or headache for at least 24 hours (most common symptoms), he/she should be recommended to stay home, seek medical help, and share the travel history with the health specialist. They should cover their nose and face with a handkerchief or mask if possible.
  • The cleaning department should regularly sanitize the frequently touched platforms in the office, such as workstations, lift buttons, and biometric screens. Use and throw wipes for cleaning the keyboard, mouse and mobile screens should be provided.

Apart from these precautions, accountants can safeguard themselves by adopting a few additional measures such as-

  • Accounting firms should give access to suitable applications and portals for the staff to work from home.
  • Make necessary changes in the schedule and informing the client of the same.
  • Adopt digital data and file sharing platforms needed for the client to avoid contact with papers.
  • Avoid conducting or attending meetings for a while and adopting video conferencing.

Make Use of Cloud Services

With the tax season at its busiest, the coronavirus can put a dent on the revenue generated by the tax industry. It is advised that the tax professionals work in isolation until the situation is under control. However, it is easier said than done.

Hence, tax professionals should adopt the most mobile solution in the market- tax software cloud hosting. With the capabilities of the cloud, you can work from the comfort of your home and stay away from the crowd in the office or traveling.

Moreover, you can share files on a digital platform rather than using paper that can be contaminated. Client communication can also be accomplished seamlessly without any loss in productivity.

Don’t Panic

CPAs should prepare well to fight against this fast-spreading disease by adopting various strategies. Remote working will be the best practice that can avoid unnecessary physical contact.

The coronavirus outbreak might have some effect on accounting operations. However, it is imperative not to panic and take necessary precautions until this epidemic pass. It is also essential to be up to date with the changes happening in the major sectors of the country.

Situations like these help the firms to establish trust between the employees. Any business that isn’t prepared for such possibilities is being negligent. This can surely help firms to project new ways of working and handling clients from the other methods which they used to adopt earlier.

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