Moore or Less: Finding Your Footing in the Age of COVID-19

Contributed by Alan G. Badey, CPA, President & New York City Managing Partner of Citrin Cooperman and member of the Moore North America Board

MOORE-or-Less_NEW-Moore-Brand.jpgTo say COVID-19 is pushing the world into uncharted territory would be an understatement. The deep seeded impacts of such monumental shifts to our business operations and day-to-day lifestyle are causing disruptions on a scale which we have never seen before. Uncertainty of this level causes massive panic and anxiety and the strain we are seeing to our clients, contacts, and families is palpable.

The immediate questions are obvious: Are we prepared? What can we do? How can we help? But often times what makes the biggest difference in response to crisis is the depth of financial resources and the infrastructure that businesses have built up or instituted months, years, and sometimes decades earlier. These foundational blocks are the ones that will enable sustainability and provide assistance during this time.

Be prepared to try something new, quickly. One of the key resources that set us up for success early on in the COVID crisis was the adaptability of our team and operations in order to maximize the knowledge and expertise circulating within our firm. Within the first week of COVID-19 our crisis team and marketing department had procedures instituted to manage the influx of articles and alerts, seamlessly operate programs like webcasts and virtual roundtables, and disseminate content internally and externally without oversaturation, all within a time-sensitive window. For our employees, that meant trying some of these things for the first time. For our clients, it gives them constant access to our stable financial guidance through resources like our COVID-19 Response Unit portal, and our CRU services guide. Pivoting resources to accomplish these tasks is no easy feat. It requires weekends, late phone calls, and people stepping into positions they’ve never been in before. To that end, the pride in our employees is overwhelming.  

Help yourself so you can help your clients. A building block of our firm’s inception and growth has been around creating a concrete cache of quality employees, institutional knowledge, and financial resources. By taking the time to frequently assess and refine our core values our employees are inherently equipped to provide guidance to those who rely on us. We must be in a position to help clients navigate through the ever changing present and get them through to the inevitable “other side.” That ability comes from our rapid response in self organizing “who leads what” and communicating consistently and clearly to the firm so that each of our employees understanding the full scope of resources available to them. As economic positions deteriorate across the globe, our ownership of responsibilities and technical excellence will becoming increasingly vital resources to our clients.

Understand that relationships grow deeper during crisis. We’ve always been proud of our collaborative culture, but what we are seeing first-hand in the COVID crisis is how critical a culture becomes during chaotic times. Our knowledge sharing is unbridled, and with offices across the nation many of our clients are getting an unprecedented look at how collegiate we must be in order to provide necessary guidance and resources. We have leadership of all levels working together to get ahead of the laws and best practices being rolled out by the federal government on a daily basis. Technical people have emerged as indispensable knowledge bases, spending most of their days reading and disseminating complex federal programs while our market facing folks have taken the task of deepening our client relationships through proactive outreach and support. When we do make it to that “other side” our client relationships will grow deeper, but our relationships with each other will as well.

No one knows when we’ll get to the new post-COVID normal. What we do know is that the actions and efforts we make now will have a direct impact on what that “normal” will look like. By focusing on what counts: our people, our clients, our work, we’re able to make sure we’ll see it, together.