Getting a Handle on COVID

Views from the front lines: Victoria Martin, Elaine Kovner, Gary Zeune

Accountants show new signs of optimism as fears of COVID chaos wane.

How to battle the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The turning of a terrible tide of COVID pessimism has been neither quick nor clear-cut as the endless Busy Season of 2020 drags on, according to new findings and analysis from the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer.

MORE TRENDS in SURVEYS & RESEARCH: COVID Crushes CPA Business OutlookIs the Worst Over? 63% of Small Business Say So | Beat the Covid Crisis with These 20 Steps for Your Firm and Your Clients | Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down | Covid Crushes Rosey Forecasts | The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid COVID-19 | Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector | Tax Season Pivots to Covid Rescue Season | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | How Accountants Are Coping with COVID-19 |

More Coronavirus coverage here

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The outlook certainly isn’t back to where it was in the sunny days of February. But hopes for a better year have edged up from 23 percent in April to 27 percent in May.

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COVID Crushes CPA Business Outlook

Top three takeaways: Hiring outlook for next 12 months is bleak. 92 percent of businesses report being negatively impacted by pandemic. Liquidity emerges as a top concern.

The CPA Outlook Index falls 50 percent since last quarter and now stands at 38, its lowest level since early 2009. (AICPA)

via AICPA

Battered by repercussions from the COVID-19 pandemic, business executives hold the most pessimistic view of the U.S. economy since the end of 2011, when the nation was still emerging from the lingering impact of the Great Recession, according to the second-quarter AICPA Economic Outlook Survey.

The CPA Outlook Index—a comprehensive gauge of executive sentiment within the AICPA survey— fell 50 percent since last quarter and now stands at 38, its lowest level since early 2009.

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Is the Worst Over? 63% of Small Business Say So

But 84% worry about a second wave of infection.

By CPA Trendlines

As business owners across the country focus on getting back to business, 63 percent feel the worst is behind them when it comes to the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, according to new research from a payroll agency that handles payrolls for 670,000 small- and medium-sized businesses.

MORE on the COVID CRISIS: Six Ways Accounting Firms Will Never Be The Same AgainRetired CPA Partners Face Pay Cuts from CovidCOVID Tests Accountants’ Entrepreneurial TalentsDeciphering the SBA’s New PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules [New Dates Added] |

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However, four in five business owners are somewhat or very concerned about a possible second wave of infection.

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Beat the Covid Crisis with These 20 Steps for Your Firm and Your Clients

The ultimate checklist for focusing on cash, communication, continuity – and accepting uncertainty.

CPA Trendlines Business Barometer
Your best advice to colleagues and clients?
Join the survey. Get the results.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The toll of Covid-19 on business will be an ongoing trauma. It ain’t gonna be over ’til it’s over, and that ain’t gonna be for a long, long time.

MORE on COVID CRISIS MANAGEMENT: How to Inoculate Your Firm against Covid Competition | Pro Tax Prep Stalls to a Crawl amid Covid-Extended Season | Covid Kills 67,600 Jobs in Tax and Accounting | Client Accounting Services Poised to Surge in Post-Corona World | Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down | Andrew Argue Is on a Mission | 3 Questions for Determining Your Value | Covid Crushes Rosey Forecasts | The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid Covid-19 | Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector |

See: All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Crisis Coverage

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To survive, tax and accounting practices are going to need to take precautionary and proactive measures to ensure their financial continuity. Those measures must necessarily include guidance for clients to help them survive. Because failing clients mean failing firms.

Crisis management is a lot easier if it starts before the crisis hits. Here are some steps that accountants can take for themselves and their clients, gleaned from the thousands of accountants and advisors we’ve been hearing from over the past several weeks. READ MORE →

Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down

Eckelkamp, Neilson, Blank: Clients late, clients new, clients in need

Pandemic cuts profits at 42% of firms, client numbers off at 29%, and revenues down at 38%.

The CPA Trendlines Business Barometer
How accountants are managing:
Join the survey. Get the results.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Like just about every other business in the world, CPA practices are hunkering down for a year of hard times. Yet a third of them think they can buck the odds and see some increase this year.

MORE:  Saving 10,000 Businesses from the Covid Crash  | The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid Covid-19 [Survey Results] |  Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector  |  Tax Season Pivots to Covid Rescue Season  |  How Accountants Are Coping with COVID-19 |  SURVEY: Confronting Coronavirus Chaos | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | Tax Season Turns Ugly under Coronavirus | Tax Season Turns Ugly under Coronavirus | Coronavirus Culture-Shift Hits Accounting Firms | 41 Items to Check on Business Tax Returns | Tax Season Funnies: The Poetic Versions | How to Stop Drowning in COVID Tax Deadlines [Webinar]

CPA Trendlines is providing FREE access to some of our latest coronavirus crisis updates: Start here for a guide to all our free coverage.

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Back in the bullish days of February, the CPA Trendlines 2020 Busy Season Barometer was reflecting expectations of more clients, burgeoning revenue, and increased profit, with a medium-chance of more extensions.

But these bearish days see most practitioners expecting a year stagnant at best and quite likely worse than stagnant in all benchmarks of success.

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Covid Crushes Rosey Forecasts

Survey shows hopes for a smooth and profitable 2020 are destroyed by a floundering economy.

CPA Trendlines Business Barometer:
How accountants are managing:
Join the survey. Get the results.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The resilience of the coronavirus and the continued spread of Covid-19 has accountants shifting the focus of their concerns.

MORE: The Seven Factors Keeping Accounting Firms Afloat Amid Covid-19 [Survey Results]Feeling the Pain? The Biggest Job Losses by Client Sector  |  Tax Season Pivots to Covid Rescue Season  |  How Accountants Are Coping with COVID-19 |  SURVEY: Confronting Coronavirus Chaos | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | Tax Season Turns Ugly under Coronavirus | Tax Season Turns Ugly under Coronavirus | Coronavirus Culture-Shift Hits Accounting Firms | 41 Items to Check on Business Tax Returns | Tax Season Funnies: The Poetic Versions | How to Stop Drowning in COVID Tax Deadlines [Webinar]

CPA Trendlines is providing FREE access to some of our latest coronavirus crisis updates: Start here for a guide to all our free coverage.

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Ages ago—back in February, B.C. (Before Covid)—the CPA Trendlines 2020 Busy Season Barometer survey found that out of 14 common concerns, economic conditions were of the least concern, the bottom of the list, worrying just eight percent of respondents.

Covid changes everything.

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