How Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry have managed the bookkeeping for our clients over the COVID 19 crisis….
The COVID-19 lockdown has been a challenging few months so far for most, for Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry, it was no exception. Although fortunate enough to not have to close like many businesses, a lot of changes needed to be implemented to be able to continue to provide bookkeeping services where required and operate safely.
Caroline O’Brien from Rosemary Bookkeeping Coventry explains how they managed changes within their business, operations & services to enable them to continue to operate and provide bookkeeping for their clients.
Continuity of service
When lockdown was first announced, we sent a Business Contingency statement out to all of our clients to inform them of our short term action plan.
Caroline then spent a considerable amount of time studying all of the various government support packages available, so that she was in a good position to give accurate and valuable advice to her clients.
It was important for us to keep in regular contact with our clients and be proactive, we sent various emails to each of our clients to direct them to the most useful and user-friendly sites with links to support packages most appropriate to them. We also suggested that any VAT registered clients could defer their VAT liability submitted during lockdown to the new deadline of 31.3.21.
About 20% of our clients were forced to close due to lockdown measures, one has already reopened, we are hopeful that others will be able to reopen soon, as more lockdown measures get eased and we will be here for them when they need us.
It is important to us that we continue to meet the needs of our existing clients. We are able to provide bookkeeping services remotely most of the time but do have some clients that for various reasons require us to be on site. For the clients that need someone on site, we confirmed that, if we did need to go to site, we could remain socially distanced at all times. We provided cleaning wipes for our staff so that they could keep their work station clean and hygienic. Adhering to social distancing guidelines meant we were able to ensure that the work for this client was not adversely affected.
Obviously, some businesses have been adversely affected by the lockdown measures. I have been undertaking detailed cash flow forecasts where clients have been concerned about cash flow problems and/or to help them decide if they wanted to apply for any of the government loans or grants available.
Because we use cloud based industry approved software, in most cases we are able to work remotely, this has made it easy for us to continue to provide our bookkeeping services with very little or no interruption.
Keeping things going
On the whole, we were able to continue to provide our bookkeeping services through the last few months of lockdown, we had one client that we were not able to work for, for a period of time as they closed mid-March. However, in the second half of May, they re-opened and utilising their required security and VPN access we were then able to resume work for them remotely.
When we could see that a lockdown was likely, we asked one of our on-site clients to set up VPN access so that we could continue to cover all aspects of the job remotely. For those clients with whom we have regular monthly meetings in person, we have been able to hold remote telephone meetings instead.
It is also important to provide our clients with useful and helpful information. So we utilised social media as a method of maintaining contact and used it to post about the government support available.
As lockdown measures ease, we will work remotely as much as possible whilst the government advises and to help keep everyone safe. However, if there is a pressing need to go on-site for a particular reason, we will ensure that we do this in a socially distanced and hygienic way.
If a client does request that we start to work in their office again, we will ask them to confirm that they are COVID-19 secure and share their COVID-19 method statement to ensure everyone remains safe.
Due to the flexibility of Rosemary Bookkeeping, our ability to increase capacity and our good relationship with local accountants, a new client was passed to us in May from one of our local accountants. This new client had a large backlog of bookkeeping which we processed, cleared and passed to the accountant to complete the accounts and we look forward to the ongoing relationship we have started.
Our priority here at Rosemary bookkeeping is to focus on the bookkeeping so that our business owner clients can focus on what they do best and grow their business. Now more than ever it is important for business owners to spend time in their business looking at ways they can move out of lockdown in a strong and positive way. We are here to keep their books in good order whilst they do just that.
If you would like to chat about how Rosemary Bookkeeping can help you sort out your books and assess your business finances during these difficult times, contact your local Rosemary Bookkeeper today.