First Class Accounts COVID-19 response

April 2, 2020

For information regarding what you should be doing to respond to COVID-19 in your home or workplace, please refer to the government websites that are updated regularly. It’s essential to focus on reliable and trustworthy information.

 In these uncertain and unprecedented times, being a small business owner is very stressful. We’re so proud of our bookkeepers who are playing a vital role in helping small businesses stay afloat, and either pivot their offerings or adjust their business plans and practices to make sure they come through this uncertainty intact. Now more than ever, having bookkeepers who are focussed on finding solutions to keep our countries small businesses operating and finding new ways to work is essential. Together, our franchisees and their clients are working through means to whether the impact of COVID-19

As our franchisees help others, we are making sure we are doing all we can to support their businesses, and offer any support we can. Here are some of the ways we are helping our franchisees.

First of all, we are there for them. We pride ourselves on operating with a family mentality; that is, we make sure we know all of our franchisees and check in with them regularly. To us, it has always been important to connect with our franchisees, even before this isolating period, so they feel comfortable coming to us if they are experiencing hardship, or going through tough times. We want to know how our franchisees are going so we can offer support wherever necessary. This connection is even more critical at times like this. Owning your own business in current times is stressful, so we’re making sure we’re available to talk with any franchisee who is struggling, both business-wise or privately.

We’re reminding our franchisees to keep doing the things they love to do. Early morning walks, gardening, hobbies and exercise while adhering to all social distancing guidelines and washing their hands. We’re reminding them to take care of themselves and ensure they’re still connecting with family and friends. And even though they work for themselves, it’s so important to take breaks and make time to unwind and breathe. None of us has lived through such an ordeal as this, so it’s important to adjust our expectations and output and take care of ourselves first and foremost.

We have also created a dedicated team of National Office employees who are going through all of the government communications and putting together a concise list of information & links. We then pass this onto our franchisees so they are aware of their rights, responsibilities and what is available to help them and their clients. Being on top of the ever-changing communications is a tough gig, and since every business is different, we make sure our National Office team is doing the hard yards gathering as much information as they can, so our franchisees can communicate quickly with their clients.

We’re making sure all of our franchisees have access and training to the technology they need to operate their business. Now is the time to utilise all of the integrating bookkeeping and accounting software, not to mention all of the new digital communication technologies popping up. We’re making sure our franchisees are informed of new developments and understand how to implement them.

Working with our external partners in the legal and human resources fields, we have put together a franchise response guide. The aim of this is to make sure our franchisees understand their rights when it comes to leasing and supplier agreements, and they are clear on how to communicate with their clients about changes in their businesses and ensure they are following OH&S guidelines. We are helping them draft changes to their own policies, contracts and communications, review leases and help their business not only respond to this crisis but continue to thrive on the other side of it.

Above all, we want our franchisees to remember #WeAreAllInThisTogether

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