Accountants and Covid : We’re not immortal

As sadly the number of deaths attributable to the Covid19 pandemic continue to rise we at the ICPA acknowledge that members have sadly lost their lives and our thoughts are with their families and friends as they try to deal with their loss.

The passing of an Accountant does not mean the practice of that Accountant stops, far from it, especially in these times, the clients are still needing help and advice and as I say even more so during the pandemic.

What it highlights is the importance of having a Practice Alternate in place. That person who in circumstances such as these can take up the reigns of the practice and make sure that the practice is impacted as little as possible and that the clients and the staff are looked after going forward.

The need for a practice alternate is mandatory for every ICPA member and for virtually every Institute I know of so make sure you have one but do remember to check in with your alternate to see of they are still willing to act themselves as their circumstances may well have changed. Make sure that that they have access to all the most important practice information like system passwords and gateway credentials because they may have changed.

If you have business partners it’s most likely that they will be your alternate and the transition should be relatively seamless but if you are a sole trader and have staff or even no staff your alternate will need a lot more information so why not take a moment and check in with your alternate, review with them the systems currently in place, make sure they know where important documents including password etc are to be found. Be sure they know what was your intention regarding the practice going forward for example have you already agreed with the alternate a valuation formula for them to buy the practice or for them to use to help sell the practice on behalf of the family? do you want the alternate to look to the existing staff to take over? Have you agreed some form of remuneration scheme for the alternate to take this responsibility for running the practice while a buyer is sought?

Ads I said at the outset those calls have made me think and I without wishing to be morbid I hope it makes you think as well.

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