Our Return to the Office
Over the last seven weeks, our team have been working remotely from home, however in line with the recent announcements regarding the easing of restrictions, we will be slowly working towards returning to the office starting next Monday 18th May.
Phase 1: What we are doing, and how you can help
- Both our Stanthorpe and Toowoomba offices will be open during our normal trading hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm)
- Our team members have been split into teams, and they will work in the office on a week on/week off rotation
- When not in the office, team members are still working from home
- Wherever possible, we are still holding meetings via phone, Skype, Messenger, Zoom etc
- If you do choose to come into the office for an appointment:
- You will be emailed a questionnaire the day before with regards to your recent travel and current health
- When you arrive for your appointment, you will be taken straight into the relevant meeting room
- If you are feeling unwell the day of your appointment, we ask that you contact our office to reschedule or make alternative arrangements to hold the meeting via phone, Zoom etc
- While it is uncomfortable for all of us, we are minimising personal contact (eg. handshakes) and adhering to social distancing rules
- We have hand sanitiser and cleaning products available throughout the office to ensure all health standards are maintained
Along with transitioning to working remotely during these last seven weeks, we have been assisting clients with:
- Cash Boost Stimulus payments that will continue to flow over the next six months
- State Government and Local Government Grants
- State Government Payroll Tax Concessions
- Negotiations with Landlords post the Code of Conduct and the various adoptions of each State Government
- Applications for QRIDA loans
- Assisting businesses in regards to deferral of repayments to financial institutions
- Applications for the Government 50% Guaranteed Loans – these applications have proved to be more difficult than anticipated as each financial institution has their own views, processes and assessment procedures
- JobKeeper – determining if businesses qualify under the Basic or Alternative Tests, enrolling and lodging forms on behalf of these businesses, and setting up plans to assess each fortnight. Please remember if you have not yet qualified as an eligible employer, there is still the opportunity going forward to do so.
We feel a sense of achievement from the volume of work our entire team has completed during this time. On top of the normal BAS, 2019 tax and planning towards year end, we have also worked on financial plans via our team at Magnify Wealth, helped our clients negotiate business purchases and sales, as well as financed houses and equipment through our Leasing & Finance team.
As a business and a team, we have an understanding around some things and have spent considerable time helping clients and ourselves in regards to:
- Cashflow: understanding and planning are so important
- More structured communication using technology and video
- Remote operations and working from home
- A strong sense of community and collaboration
- Resilience and compassion: we will get through this together!
- A focus on what the business plan should be, and re-thinking business strategies going forward – it won’t be the same as what it was in February
As business owners, it is more crucial than ever to be prepared for the rollback of the lockdown caused by COVID-19. Ensure you have thought about:
- The availability of appropriately skilled labour, this will be different going forward.
- Communication with clients to let them know your road back and what your business is doing and engagement with your suppliers on what their road back is.
- What can be done better, based on the learnings you have taken away from this experience?
- Planning the path back to a full recovery:
- What does this look like in your business?
- What resources are required?
- What further support do you require?
- Have you projected your cash flow (this is so important, especially if you have deferred repayments to financial institutions and also government stimulus)
- Have you planned when any deferred repayments (whether this be to financial institutions, leases etc) will recommence?
- What opportunities are now possible?
- How have your competitors coped during COVID-19?
- Has the lockdown shown you have less reliance on your previous operations and practices?
- Is there likely to be more talent available to hire now, to improve your service offering?
- Do you still have cash reserves?
- Is the COVID-19 effect not fully presented itself yet? Will it hit in twelve months’ time?
- Do you have a budget forecast for the period of COVID-19, and the exit from lockdown to recovery?
COVID-19 has been overwhelming, but we are here to work with you on your strategies and goals to ensure you have the best chance of achieving your desired outcomes post pandemic.
Our team are here to provide you with some direction and focus to start thinking about and planning for the future, so please do not hesitate to contact us.