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



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.

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

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

Client Resources

Information to download and use with your 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.

Guides for SMEs: Understanding Your Options – Business in Distress
In an ever-changing economic environment, it’s important to understand your options if your business is in distress. Learn how to spot the signs of insolvency in your SME and what your options are.


Business exit strategy – Public Practice Conference 2020 recorded session
Research and planning are two key components of delivering a successful exit strategy. In this recorded session, Jason Bertalli FCPA outlines the importance of researching potential buyers, how to maximise the return on the sale of a business and how to communicate with your clients about an exit strategy.
Last updated November 2020 | Video

Be the doctor, not the undertaker – Public Practice Conference 2020 recorded session
Shabnam Amirbeaggi FCPA highlights why clients shouldn’t fear the word ‘bankruptcy’ or ‘insolvency’ and why there’s a greater chance of a positive outcome if early advice is given on the best approach.
Last updated November 2020 | Video

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 March 2021 | 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 March 2021 | 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

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

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

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.

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 and financial distress – A director’s perspective
This briefing document is for board directors or advisers who assist organisations in navigating these challenging times. It highlights various indicators of financial stress and key actions that can lead to better outcomes for business continuity and creditors, even where solvency is not an immediate concern.
Uploaded November 2020 | PDF

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

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.

Psychological and suicide intervention first aid
CPA Australia members have faced increasing workloads as a result of COVID-19 and many of their clients have been under increased stress, sometimes indicating self-harm and suicidal thoughts. This training program has been produced with Psychologist Clare Mann to help members handle the most difficult conversations with clients, colleagues and staff who demonstrate feelings of hopelessness and are in danger of suicide. Complimentary for members, using access code: CPACPR21
Last updated March 2021 | Web page

Mental health support for small business owners
NewAccess is a free and confidential mental health program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners the support they need. Over six sessions, coaches work with small business owners on a personalised plan to overcome difficult issues, learn practical skills to manage stress and get back to feeling like themselves. Available in Australia by phone or video call.
Last updated March 2021 | Web page

Recorded webinar: Strategies for avoiding burnout
In this follow-up to her Public Practice Conference session, psychologist Clare Mann provides strategies to avoid burnout, manage stress and empower your clients to do the same.
Uploaded November 2020 | Video

Engendering hope in a time of a crisis – Public Practice Conference 2020 recorded session
Psychologist Clare Mann explains why looking after the mental health and wellbeing of your employees, your clients and yourself during times of stress is so important and provides tips for dealing with continuous change and uncertainty.
Uploaded November 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