Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Business advice



COVID-19 has presented a significant threat to business health, with government moves to reduce the spread of the virus causing sudden drops in demand for many products and services, labour shortages and supply disruptions. As part of a comprehensive risk management strategy, there are a range of actions you can take to assist you or your client’s business to manage through the crisis and prepare for recovery.

CPA Australia has developed resources to support you and your clients at every stage of the COVID-19 crisis. The following content will help you manage through the immediate technical and business challenges of COVID-19. Refer to our Road to Recovery for further resources to help you transition from response to recovery.

On this page:


ACCOUNTING RESOURCES

  • Tax
    Checklists, articles and commentary on tax issues relating to COVID-19.
  • Reporting and auditing
    The latest requirements and implications for financial reporting and auditing.
  • Client resources
    A selection of resources to download and use with your clients.
  • Business in distress
    Information on insolvency and supporting businesses in financial distress.


BUSINESS ADVICE

  • Managing your business
    Practical tips and checklists for managing your business, or your client’s business through COVID-19.
  • The economy
    Updates on government stimulus measures, the economy and the outlook for the future.
  • Leadership
    Guidance and strategies to help lead your team through COVID-19.
  • Health and wellbeing
    Resources to support the physical and mental wellbeing of you, your team and your clients.
  • Case studies
    Hear from members about their experiences managing through COVID-19.

ACCOUNTING RESOURCES

Tax Resources

Checklists, articles and commentary on tax issues relating to COVID-19.

JobKeeper legacy employer certificate Terms of Engagement template
As of 28 September 2020, certain employers can use some of the JobKeeper provisions (with some changes) for their previously eligible employees if they meet specific conditions. These employers are known as legacy employers and must hold a certificate from an eligible financial service provider that confirms they have satisfied the turnover test for the relevant quarter. CPA Australia members who qualify as eligible financial service providers can use this Terms of Engagement template for this purpose.
Uploaded October 2020 | DOC

JobKeeper extension update – Recorded webinar (21 September)
This recorded webinar covers the rules and requirements that apply to the extension of the JobKeeper Payment Scheme from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021.
Updated September 2020 | Recorded webinar

JobKeeper extension update webinar questions
Following the JobKeeper extension update webinar (above), we’ve prepared an extensive factsheet that provides answers to a number of questions you might have about the extension. With answers to more than 90 questions, you’ll find the latest information on everything from eligibility, GST attribution, ATO processes and guidance for not-for-profits. All answers current as of 28 September 2020.
Uploaded September 2020 | PDF

JobKeeper extension update – Recorded webinar (4 September)
Gavin Swan FCPA, director of Absolute Accounting Services and Elinor Kasapidis, CPA Australia's tax policy adviser, discuss the rules and requirements that apply to the extension of the JobKeeper Payment Scheme from Monday 28 September 2020.
Updated September 2020 | Recorded webinar

JobKeeper extension bulletin
This JobKeeper extension bulletin presents a summary of the rules and legislative instruments as at 17 September 2020.
Uploaded September 2020 | PDF

Tax updates you may have missed during COVID-19
Last updated 10 June 2020 | PDF

ATO JobKeeper podcast
The ATO released a special JobKeeper payment webinar with information for not-for-profits and charities.
 Uploaded May 2020 | Podcast

Tips for tax agents on the JobKeeper payment
Enrolments for the JobKeeper payment begun from Monday 20 April. CPA Australia has developed some tips for tax agents assisting their clients.
Last updated 16 April 2020 | PDF

Tax frequently asked questions – JobKeeper and cash flow boost
CPA Australia has prepared frequently asked questions (FAQs) for accounting and tax professionals related to the tax issues arising from COVID-19 and the Australian government’s stimulus measures.
Last updated April 2020 | PDF

JobKeeper stimulus: Relief for many, frustration for some
With businesses, not-for-profits, workers and the newly unemployed unclear about their options, business advisory and tax professionals are seeing a significant increase in the demand for their services. Find out who gets what and the rules to follow. Read now.
Last updated April 2020 | INTHEBLACK article

JobKeeper package: Eligibility, challenges and how to prepare
In this podcast episode, Paul Drum, General Manager of External Affairs at CPA Australia and Elinor Kasapidis, Tax Policy Advisor at CPA Australia discuss the JobKeeper package.
Last updated April 2020 | Podcast

How the JobKeeper initiative will affect clients
Here’s a look at the who, what, when and how of the JobKeeper rules.
Last updated April 2020 | INPRACTICE article

COVID-19 not-for-profit resources
A list of resources to help to the not-for-profit sector through COVID-19.
Last updated 13 July 2020 | PDF

Reporting and Auditing Resources

Updates on the latest requirements and implications for financial reporting and auditing.

COVID-19 Impacts on annual reporting disclosures
This new Guide for directors, preparers and auditors explains how COVID-19 challenges, uncertainties and impacts need to be addressed in the annual report. The Guide, jointly published by CPA Australia, the AICD and CA ANZ, will also help investors and other users know what to look for in the annual report and better understand changes in disclosures and related communication due to the pandemic.
Uploaded July 2020 | PDF

Updates on the latest requirements in reporting and auditing
In this webinar, presenters from ASIC, Grant Thornton and CPA Australia explain the latest challenges in reporting and auditing, and how to effectively and efficiently address these when preparing financial statements that comply with legislation and Australian Accounting Standards/IFRS.
Recorded 7 July 2020 | Webinar

COVID-19 challenges for auditors
This webinar explores the challenges faced by auditors for 30 June 2020 year-end audits, and how to address the uncertainties and financial reporting complexities presented by COVID-19. With speakers representing ASIC, the AUASB and practitioners, you’ll hear insights from three very different perspectives.
Recorded 9 July 2020 | Webinar

IFAC: The financial reporting implications of COVID-19
A summary of key guidance and areas to consider are provided as well as links to key references on the IFAC website.
Last updated 4 May 2020 | Web page

ASIC: Implications for financial reporting and audit – COVID-19
ASIC addresses the impact of COVID-19 on financial report preparation, including going concern assessments, asset values, disclosures and director liability and Director's solvency statements. Guidance is also provided on reporting and AGM deadlines and how auditor's reports can address the increased uncertainty.
Last updated April 2020 | Web page

Modern Slavery Act – coronavirus information sheet
The Department of Home Affairs provides guidance for entities about how to reduce the risk of vulnerable workers in their operations and supply chains becoming exposed to modern slavery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This information sheet also explains how reporting entities under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 can address the impact of COVID-19 in their modern slavery statements.
Uploaded 23 April 2020 | PDF

Going concern: Business as unusual
The business sector’s “going concern” assessment is generally a rather routine practice, but in extraordinary times no process is as simple as it once was.
Last updated 22 April 2020 | INTHEBLACK article

Auditors turn to new tech amid COVID-19 crisis
With COVID-19 having forced many businesses to dramatically change the way they operate and adopt remote working, there are technology solutions that can help auditors stay on top of their game.
Last updated March 2020 | INTHEBLACK article

Impacts of COVID-19 on reporting entities and auditors
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, or the coronavirus, governments have placed restrictions on the movement of people to and from certain areas and countries. In this article, we look at the impact on reporting entities and auditors and how authorities are responding.
Last updated March 2020 | INTHEBLACK article

Client Resources

A selection of resources to download and use with your clients.

Request for financial information for commercial rent relief
If a client asks you to prepare financial information (e.g. turnover) for the purpose of seeking a reduction in commercial rent from their landlord, you may use this example of an accountant’s compilation report and accountant’s report disclaimer.

You need to ensure the APES 315 Compilation Report and Accountant’s Report Disclaimer on an Engagement to compile Special Purpose Financial Information for regulatory compliance purposes with respect to lease renegotiations due to COVID 19 is right for you and your practice. You should use it as a guide and tailor it to your needs. You may consider seeking further professional advice on your particular circumstances. For more information refer to APES 315 Compilation of Financial Information.
Uploaded May 2020 | DOC

Client resources: Record of advice templates – early access to super
Any individual considering early access to superannuation should first seek professional advice. These two record of advice (ROA) templates have been developed to support financial advisers and registered tax agents (RTAs) in providing advice to clients about early access to superannuation under the regulatory relief measures. Download the financial adviser super access ROA template (DOC) and the RTAs super access ROA template (DOC).
Uploaded April 2020 | DOC

Terms of Engagement template for BAS agents
The Tax Practitioners Board has extended the definition of BAS agents’ services to include advice on the Australian Government’s COVID-19 stimulus support package. BAS agents and bookkeepers can use this Terms of Engagement (TE) template for the delivery of JobKeeper advice.
Uploaded May 2020 | DOC

Client resources: Government stimulus measures
If you would like to provide clients with information on government stimulus measures, the below member-only factsheets are available to download, brand with your business details and forward to clients.


Supporting clients through COVID-19
Never has good advice been more valuable. Here’s why accounting practitioners should be considering proactively contacting their business clients, not just to explain the relief assistance that is available to them but to advise on whether the measures make sense for their specific business.
Last updated April 2020 | Article

BUSINESS IN DISTRESS

Information on insolvency and supporting businesses in financial distress.

Indicators of potential insolvency
With the progressive withdrawal of government support, you’re likely to see an increase in indicators of insolvency amongst your clients. This factsheet highlights the various factors to take into account when considering whether a company is insolvent, so you can refer clients to an insolvency expert as soon as possible.
Uploaded September 2020 | PDF

Is your SME client insolvent and how can you help?
CPA Australia’s 60-minute webinar recording outlines the warning signs which indicate that your SME client may be insolvent and how you can help. Presented by Travis Anderson, Partner at Deloitte, and Kristen Beadle, Partner at Hall Chadwick.
Last updated August 2020 | Webinar

Insolvency fact sheets
The outbreak of COVID-19 is continuing to have an overwhelming impact on individuals, businesses and communities. We have created three fact sheets designed to work together to help you and your clients in financial distress:

The meaning of insolvency
The risk of corporate failure under the current and evolving COVID-19-related economic circumstances is unprecedented. Learn about the meaning of insolvency and how to identify the indicators.
Last updated April 2020 | PDF

Options for clients in financial distress
If your clients are in financial distress, find out how you can help them navigate through this health and economic crisis with an overview of the options available.
Last updated June 2020 | PDF

Directors duties, insolvent trading and you
An overview of Director’s Duties and Insolvent Trading provisions in the Corporations Act 2001 and the implications this may have for our members who are advising clients in financial distress, despite the relief offered through the Coronavirus Economic Support Package.
Last updated June 2020 | PDF

Recorded webinar: Dealing with clients in financial distress
In this webinar, experts from Deloitte cover how to deal with clients in financial distress, particularly in relation to business continuity, contingency planning, cash flow, and changes to the insolvent trading regime. View the webinar presentation file (PDF).
Uploaded April 2020 | Webinar

Recorded webinar: Corporate and personal insolvency
In this webinar, experts from Deloitte provide an overview of corporate and personal insolvency. View the webinar presentation file (PDF).
Uploaded April 2020 | Webinar

ARITA: Helping clients with companies in financial distress
The Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA), with the support of CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, has released a special guide for accountants in public practice. It outlines steps you can take to help your clients with companies in financial distress.
Last updated 23 March 2020 | PDF

BUSINESS ADVICE

MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS

Practical tips and checklists for managing your business, or your client’s business.

PLANNING

Checklist of possible actions to help your business manage through COVID-19
There are a range of actions you should consider as you manage your business through the COVID-19 pandemic. Download our checklist which includes a clear list of actions you can undertake at this time. View a detailed summary, including example worksheets and checklists.
Last updated 26 March 2020 | PDF

EMPLOYMENT

Factsheet: COVID-19 employment issues
To maintain a sustainable firm you need your people safe, engaged and at work for the inevitable rebound from COVID-19. Developed specifically for public practitioners in Australia, this factsheet outlines key legal considerations, HR strategies and employment resources to support you in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last updated 31 March 2020 | PDF

COVID-19 employer’s manual for public practitioners (member login required)
This manual has been produced to provide accounting practices with guidance around the employment and industrial law updates arising out of COVID-19. The manual covers amendments to the Fair Work Act (including JobKeeper), amendments to the Modern Awards, general stand down provisions in the Fair Work Act, and remote working and working from home, including templates and forms.
Last updated May 2020 | Article

FINANCE

Tips to manage credit and accounts receivable
Having credit and accounts receivables policies in place and being clear and upfront about your payment expectations both in person and on your invoices will go a long way towards ensuring that your small business gets paid on time. These tips aim to help small business develop a framework and consistently apply processes to manage their credit and accounts receivable.
Upload July 2020 | PDF

Tips to manage foreign exchange risk
Foreign exchange risk refers to the possibility that a business’s financial performance or position will be affected by fluctuations in exchange rates between currencies. Government policy, changes to supply chain, customer flows and general economic factors are likely to contribute to this risk. Read our tips for managing foreign exchange risk.
Last updated 19 April 2020 | PDF

MARKETING

Business development during a crisis
In this recorded discussion, the Chair of CPA Australia’s Queensland Public Practice Committee Shanna Hunter FCPA caught up with host of the Beyond Billables podcast Michael Bromley on how to navigate business development in times of crisis.
Uploaded June 2020 | Video

Tips for building customer trust – online commerce
For many small businesses, building trust is crucial to ensuring repeat customers and standing out from competitors. This is no different, and perhaps even more important, when you are selling online.
Last updated 28 April 2020 | PDF

Staying close to clients while social distancing
In these tough times, while we maintain our social distance, clients need to know their practitioner is right by them.
Last updated April 2020 | Article

SMALL BUSINESS

How to better manage your suppliers
Developing and sustaining positive supplier relationships is crucial to business success. Here are 12 tips on how to cultivate strategic partnerships that are mutually beneficial and align to your business goals.
Last updated 18 September 2020 | PDF

Supply Chain Resilience: Tips for building flexible and resilient supply chains
Unforeseen supply disruptions can create shortages of key items for your business, which can have significant consequences for your ability to operate. These steps should assist you to continue to operate in a difficult environment and may give you an advantage over competitors that are not as well prepared for such disruptions.
Last updated 7 August 2020 | PDF

Good practice checklist for small business
This checklist helps Australian small businesses identify some of the tasks critical to good business practice. If you regularly undertake these tasks, you’ll be in a better position to manage and grow your business and reduce the pressure you may face at the end of financial year.
Uploaded April 2020 | PDF

Tips for small business in uncertain times
Reduce your reliance on external debt, improve your productivity, review your cost structures for savings, adopt appropriate risk management strategies, and review your business plan for the changing environment.
Uploaded April 2020 | Article

High-level tips to help small businesses manage through COVID-19
COVID-19 presents a significant threat not only to human health but also to businesses. For many, the steps by governments to contain the virus, such as restricting movement of people and shutting non-essential businesses, will result in a sudden fall in demand for their products and services. Our list of tips will help your business survive and place it in the best possible position for recovery.
Last updated 26 March 2020 | PDF

Example checklist: COVID-19 contingency plan
Part of a comprehensive risk management strategy includes an effective contingency plan to ensure your business is prepared for what’s coming. Download our checklist which includes a range of areas to consider, such as employees or related parties catching COVID-19, staffing arrangements that should follow, impact on customers, and ideas on how you can implement plan B.
Last updated March 2020 | PDF

TECHNOLOGY

Factsheet: Cyber security essentials for working remotely
With many people working from home, it’s more important than ever to incorporate cyber security measures into your contingency planning and every day work practices. Follow this eight-step guide for keeping your data and systems safe and secure.
Last updated April 2020 | PDF

Factsheet: Setting up your virtual office
Moving to a virtual office has become a need rather than a want for many accounting businesses. Help transition your firm by following this practical guide, which includes short-term steps for setting up your virtual office and longer-term considerations for finding a sustainable solution.
Last updated April 2020 | PDF

Data security in the age of working from home
Data security is more important than ever when you and your team are working remotely. Listen to CPA Australia’s podcast with Alan FitzGerald, Founder of Practice Connections, as he shares insights into how we can improve data security in response to COVID-19.
Recorded 1 April 2020 | Podcast

Remote working checklist
Additional risks can arise when teams start working from home. Luckily there are some simple policies, settings and tools that firms can deploy to significantly reduce their risks. In this checklist we share 11 low-cost tips for doing this.
Uploaded May 2020 | PDF

Protect your practice – audits, bans, coronavirus and data breaches
Clare Bannon, Senior Manager, Professional Standards at CPA Australia, joins Rizwan Zaidi, Territory Lead – Risk Proposition at Thomson Reuters, to highlight the risk and compliance issues for tax practitioners. They also discuss CPA Australia’s engagement with Thomson Reuters to provide high quality training content around risk, compliance and ethics.
Uploaded March 2020 | Webinar

THE ECONOMY

Updates on government stimulus measures, the economy and the outlook for the future.

Summary of data on COVID-19’s impact on Australian businesses
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is releasing data to show the economic impact of COVID-19.
Last updated 17 October 2020 | PDF

CPA Australia’s economic and fiscal update
The governments’ recent economic update paints a sobering picture of the state of the Australian and global economy. This webinar recording covers the recent Government economic and fiscal update; announced changes to JobKeeper; and the extension of income support. Presented by Elinor Kasapidis, CPA Australia’s Tax Policy Adviser, and Gavin Swan FCPA, Director of Absolute Accounting Services.
Last updated 3 August 2020 | Webinar

The impact of stage 4 restrictions on accounting practices
Information from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria about business and industry stage 4 restrictions.
Last updated 4 August 2020 | Web page

Government grants and other assistance available for business in Victoria
In addition to the JobKeeper Scheme and the cash flow boost, the Victorian government has announced a range of grants and other measures to support businesses.
Uploaded 17 October 2020 | PDF

Government stimulus summaries
The Australian Government, alongside state and territory governments, has announced a range of measures to assist small to medium-sized businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Find out what the Australian Government and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) have announced and what each state and territory is working on in order to support individuals, households and businesses.
Uploaded April 2020 | Article

LEADERSHIP

Guidance and strategies to help lead your team.

COVID-19 – key implications for boards
Boards and their organisations, regardless of size, must be proactive in managing the risks and challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. This briefing is aimed at directors or advisers to boards, who will help organisations reinvent themselves to survive and capitalise on new opportunities that arise.
Last updated 22 April 2020 | PDF

Not-for-profit and charities update webinar – COVID-19 challenges
Watch this webinar to hear updates on regulator responses to the COVID-19 crisis and other key areas of regulatory focus relevant to the not-for-profit and charities sector. Read the Q&A.
Updated May 2020 | Webinar

Triple threat: Leading in the age of COVID-19
What does crisis management look like when conventional wisdom seems hopelessly inadequate? Australia’s business leaders are facing a once-in-a-generation test of their managerial mettle. Three CEOs share their experiences so far with leading through the COVID-19 crisis.
Uploaded 26 March 2020 | INTHEBLACK article

HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Resources to support the physical and mental wellbeing of you, your team and your clients.

Mental health at work – recorded webinar
This recorded webinar explores how members can recognise and support their clients, co-workers and staff who are experiencing mental health problems or conditions as well as ways to look after their own mental health. It was facilitated by Brent Szalay, Managing Director, SEIVA, with special guests Michael O’Hanlon, Workplace Engagement Manager, Beyond Blue and Kathy Bond Workplace Engagement Manager, Mental Health First Aid (MHFA).
Uploaded May 2020 | Video

Mental health toolkit
The outbreak of COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the mental wellbeing of individuals within our community. Support your own mental health, and the wellbeing of your employees, with these useful links to information, resources and support.
Last updated April 2020 | Web page

CASE STUDIES

Member experiences of managing through COVID-19.

Lay Chew Chng, FCPA, Singapore 
Lay Chew, who oversees finance, treasury, investor relations and corporate services in Singapore Exchange Ltd (SGX), reminds us of the importance of remaining optimistic and having a community mindset in challenging times.
Last updated June 2020 | PDF

Bernard Poon FCPA, Hong Kong
In responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bernard Poon, partner at Ernst & Young, has been open and supportive of his staff, maintained a strong relationship with his clients and redeployed resources to improve business operations.
Last updated April 2020 | PDF

Derek Lai FCPA, Hong Kong
With many industries facing significant challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, Deloitte China has been working closely with its clients to navigate through the crisis. Derek Lai, Vice Chairman of Deloitte China, shares his observations on how COVID-19 has impacted a range of industries in China, including automotive, customer products, retail, technology and financial services.
Last updated March 2020 | PDF

Eddie Chew CPA, Malaysia
Eddie Chew, CEO and Founder of Potboy Groceries, an online grocery store, discusses the changes in consumer behaviour and its impact on their supply chain management strategy and resource planning.
Last updated May 2020 | PDF

Gark Chee Jin FCPA, Malaysia
Gark Chee Jin FCPA, senior director controller and managing director at Cypress Semiconductor (M) Sdn Bhd, shares his experience managing global business services as well as semiconductor testing and fabrication operations during the Movement Control Order period in Malaysia.
Last updated May 2020 | PDF

Grace Ng CPA, Mainland China
As an integrated logistics company based in Mainland China, COVID-19 presented SF Express with a very different challenge to many other businesses. Their CFO and Director, Grace Ng, discusses how they managed a surge in demand for their transportation and delivery services
Last updated March 2020 | PDF

Janssen Chan FCPA, Hong Kong
With a focus on meeting the needs of clients and maintaining workplace health and safety, Janssen Chan, Managing Director of accounting firm Anssen Consulting Limited, has increased the use of communication and cloud-based technologies, and provided personal protective equipment and hygiene products to staff.
Last updated March 2020 | PDF

Koh Ree Nie CPA, Malaysia
Ree Nie, partner at KPMG, shares that organisational priorities for staff wellbeing and forward-thinking digital transformation initiatives has allowed the firm to cope with the plethora of changes brought on by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Last updated May 2020 | PDF

Roy Lo FCPA, Hong Kong
While the negative impact of COVID-19 has been significant, Roy Lo, Managing Partner of accounting firm ShineWing in Hong Kong expeditiously implemented a series of strategies to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, including a focus on managing cash flow, reshaping business strategies and investing in technology. ShineWing Hong Kong has adopted a number of practical measures to overcome the challenges of COVID-19.
Last updated March 2020 | PDF

Thomas Wong FCPA, Hong Kong
While COVID-19 has negatively impacted business operations at CW CPA, a combination of prudent business measures, targeted investment in technology, and flexible working arrangements has helped the firm increase efficiency while keeping employees safe and motivated.
Last updated March 2020 | PDF

Wayne Treeby FCPA, Malaysia
Wayne Treeby oversees finance and strategy at Maxis, and has built a conservative recovery plan based on the current and forecast economic conditions that suggest a deep U-shaped recovery. He also shares personal experiences from economic recessions in the 80s and the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
Last updated May 2020 | PDF

Member FCPA (anonymous), Hong Kong
As Chairman and CEO of a boutique investment firm offering a variety of financial services, this member shares how their firm has responded to the challenges of COVID-19 by improving cost structures, while cautiously expanding the business and continuing to look for new opportunities.
Last updated March 2020 | PDF