The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought regular life to a halt. The number of cases is shooting up every day. To substantially reduce the spread of the virus in the country, lockdown was the only way out. Governments across the world have been requesting people to stay at home and practice social distancing to reduce exposure to the deadly virus.
We saw announcements coming from the government a couple of weeks back asking people not to step out unless very necessary. It wasn't long after the declaration came from the government that companies across the country took to work from home. In today's world where technology is advancing at a rapid pace, it is possible for us to practice something like "Work from Home". However, not everyone has been able to execute it very well. CAclubindia took to Twitter yesterday and asked the community through a tweet, "How has COVID-19 affected the regular work of Chartered Accountants". Here is what the members replied:
1: Overdue payments from clients:
The most common reply that we received was, "Recovering payment from clients has become a challenge."One of the members of the community even stated that Chartered Accountants in practice are probably the worst hit by this pandemic as their income is totally dependent on the fees that clients pay and because the whole country is on lockdown the clients(Taxpayers) are at home and collecting fees from them is challenging. Well, we understand that it is a tough time for you but it is nothing different for the taxpayers as well. It's best that we all cooperate with each other in this time of crisis. As we know the government has announced various relaxations in the form of extension of due dates, meeting compliances is not a priority for taxpayers right now.
2: "Chartered Accountants, not technically efficient to tackle work from home":
A response that many members of the community resonated with, was by Mr. Santosh S Nair. He wrote, "Most of the Chartered Accountants realized that they are still not technologically advanced."We hope you all remember those endless nights that you have spent in-office, meeting deadlines and while all this you got so comfortable with your office desks and DESKTOPS that you didn't realize the need to upgrade, update, and upskill. But, then again no one saw this coming.
But it was not the case with everyone. Some people were prepared well in advance:
3: It is time to upgrade:
The “Work from home” situation was more like a reality check for many CA Firms. But we all learn from our mistakes. It is good that many of you realized the importance of becoming technically efficient. Many users told how they are using this time to explore software that allows working from anywhere at any time because no one knows for hong long we will have to sit at home.
4. Productive Quarantine:
Well, we know compliance dates have been extended and clients aren't approaching you at this hour. Your infrastructure doesn't allow you to work from home. But here, are a few things that Chartered Accountants can do and make this quarantine time productive.
i. Try to complete manual or paperwork. A user suggested that one can at least frame draft reply for show-cause notices, appeals.
ii. Technology has become so advanced that you can connect with the world, sitting in front of your computer screen. You can connect with fellow members of the community and participate in an intelligent discussion on CCI Forum and CCI Expert.
iii) CA Gauri Chaddha told us how people can use this time to review their portfolio, make a financial plan, review Form 26 AS, or even learn a new skill. Well, that's a great piece of advice!
iv) Upskill yourself! Do some value addition. Explore online learning.
Do let us know in the comments below what are the challenges that you are facing and how you are spending your time during lockdown!