I wanted to share with you some thoughts on how COVID is affecting our clients, their go-forward strategies and our own firm as well.

It’s a time when we’re all starving for normalcy and certainty. Many of us are used to monitoring a set of daily numbers in our work lives, whether that’s a combination of business dashboards or perhaps stock market indicators. Now we’re forced to keep an eye on strange new indices around hospitalization rates and ICU bed capacities. It’s not how anyone envisioned we’d be spending our summer a few short months ago.

As business leaders with employees and families depending on us, it’s our job not only to provide hope for the best, but to make plans for surviving and even pivoting to new opportunities in this COVID environment. Make no mistake, for many of our clients, they DO see opportunities and they’re acting aggressively to pursue them.

This isn’t the first recession I’ve experienced during my business career and I can share with you that this is no time to hunker down. I understand that many companies are operating in survival mode, but that can’t be our default position. While we know this intuitively, there’s data to support it. After the 2008 downturn, Harvard Business Review studied what happened to 4,700 companies during the prior three recessions:

  • 17% of companies didn’t survive.
  • 80% hadn’t regained their pre-recession growth rate three years after the recession (40% hadn’t even returned to the same revenue and profit level).
  • Only 9% flourished – outperforming competitors by at least 10% in revenue and profit growth.

The winners, those 9%, are never in any hunker-down mode. And neither are we. Instead, we’re encouraging clients and our own teams to find ways to invest in the business, in each other and in ourselves.

We recognize we are in a critical position to provide advice and counsel that can be pivotal to ensuring you’re a part of that flourishing 9% – and we’re looking for ways to help. Let me highlight a few of those initiatives at BMF:

  • The tax code and business regulatory environment has always been tangled and complex to interpret. The ever-changing EIDL and PPP government support programs to help businesses survive certainly have taken confusion to a new level. We’ve spent thousands of hours helping clients and non-clients alike by creating checklists, advisories, webinars, calculators and guidance documents to help them understand and apply these new programs in ways that will ensure compliance and the very best outcomes for them.
  • Our Tax Advisors have been working with clients on self-employment tax, business tax, charitable deductions, goodwill impairment testing, disaster losses and analyzing the tax implications for permanent remote work arrangements post-pandemic.
  • We are able to help clients deliver timely reports to their owners and their financial institutions while also providing up-to-date reports on cash flow and financial standing. We’ve developed flash reports to ensure key stakeholders have an up-to-date picture of the critical drivers of their business results.
  • Lenders are facing tighter scrutiny with PPP loans and borrowers are being asked to provide detailed projections. We’re providing analyses to help optimize their working capital and 13-week cash flow modeling to determine the impact of revenue reductions under various scenarios.

Help isn’t just defined in a business context, of course. The lines we see at food banks around the country, and for many social services here at home, are heartbreaking to me personally. We’ve re-doubled our efforts to support our local charities by encouraging our associates to take on and continue in their roles as nonprofit agency leaders. Many of us in business may feel isolated and disconnected because we’re temporarily working alone at home, but we remain part of Northeast Ohio. It’s always been a BMF core priority to support our neighbors and agencies and we continue to do so.

Non-traditional times give rise to non-traditional challenges, which require new and different answers, approaches and strategies. My hope is that these comments demonstrate our strong desire to understand the challenges you’re facing so we can collaboratively develop the best response for you.

Put simply, I want to know what’s keeping you up at night. We would like to be part of the solution in addressing your business challenges during this once-in-a-generation challenge.

Richard C. Fedorovich, CPA
CEO and Managing Partner

Visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for information and resources for you and your business.

 

About the Authors

Richard C. Fedorovich
CPA
Managing Partner and CEO,

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