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INCPAS Members Share How the Impact of COVID-19 Has Changed


Nov 10, 2020

Executive Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change the landscape for Indiana’s CPAs statewide. To better understand the perceived impact and anticipated future impact on operations, we conducted a survey of members in April. The results of that survey revealed widespread uncertainty. Now, several months further into this new normal, the Society relaunched that same survey—how much has changed?

Some Things Remain the Same
On the following, there is little change among survey respondents in rounds one and two:
  • 96% believe INCPAS has met or exceeded expectations during the pandemic (up 1% since April)
  • 96% feel the pandemic has been disruptive to their organization (down 1% since April)
  • INCPAS can be most helpful over the next 6 months by providing complimentary access to educational content (up 4% since April)
  • The top concern for employers remains ensuring the health and safety of employees (down 9% since April)

So far, how disruptive has the COVID-19 pandemic been to your firm, organization or company?

When It Comes to Duration, Optimism Wavering
In April, little more than a month into large scale work from home orders and quarantine, most respondents (25%) believed business would be financially impacted for 7–12 months, while 6% believed it would last over 2 years. Now, with several more months living through the pandemic, respondents aren’t quite so optimistic when it comes to the duration of the financial impacts; 22% anticipate financial impacts will last 13–24 months and 7% foresee over 2 years of impacts.
I expect the financial impact on my business to last: 

Top Challenges

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, what staff changes have occurred within your organization? 

Employees

Members are slowly returning to their office, but many remain home. The number of members with reduced staff at the physical office has declined from 49% to 27%. Of those 27%, however, respondents indicate that most of the employees are still telecommuting. At the same time, the percentage of respondents who reported staff reductions has increased by 3% (11% to 14%). Other employee-related concerns expressed by CPAs include:
  • Hiring qualified staff
  • Providing mentoring to young staff

Financial

Members are less concerned about losing revenue due to business closures. While a large number of members reported concern over losing revenue due to business closures (34%) this is a significant improvement compared to the first survey where nearly half (49%) reported this same concern. Other financial concerns expressed by CPAs include:
  • Pay freezes
  • Reduction in revenue led to reduced bonuses
  • Supply chain shortages and increasing prices

What are your most pressing concerns related to your work and professional success?

Personal

The ability to maintain a work/life balance was cited as a continued challenge at 49%. Overall, almost one-third of INCPAS CPAs are concerned with handling stress related to personal situations and/or family needs. Female respondents (40%) are statistically more likely than their male counter parts (23%) to indicate this as a pressing concern. Other concerns expressed include:
  • Adjustments as needed for those with children
  • Estate planning in fear of COVID

Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts and experiences? Did anything surprise you?

The second in a series of benchmarking collaboratives conducted by Avenue M Group on behalf of 14 state CPA societies from across the US to analyze the impact of COVID-19 on operations. Launching at the end of August and closing in early September, the full survey included over 14,000+ CPAs. In Indiana, specifically, an invitation to participate was sent to 5,807 individuals. A total of 325 surveys were collected with an overall response rate of 6%. The survey had a margin of error at +/-4% at the 95% confidence level. The industry standard for member research studies is to achieve a margin of error at +/-5% at the 95% confidence level. Thus, results are considered representative of INCPAS’ audience overall.


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About the Author

Courtney Kincaid, CAE, INCPAS VP – Strategic Initiatives