COVID-19: Guidance for SMPs

Helping SMPs and their SME clients come through the COVID-19 crisis stronger, smarter and sustainable

Last updated on 15/02/2021

Set out below is a specially curated list of free guidance and other resources designed to help SMPs better manage their practices and provide high quality services to their SME clients.The date of publication, if known and applicable, and authoring organisation are shown in brackets. Items are listed in order of publication with the most recent at the top with items marked [NEW] added since the last update on 11 Januray 2021. Items flagged with * are highly recommended by EFAA. Please contact the authoring organisation directly if you wish to reproduce or translate an item.
  

General

  • In this article learn how Australian accountants, including SMPs, are resetting the way they operate and the services they offer (4 February 2021, CAANZ)*
  • This study, Space to Grow, describes the key role that SMPs can play in advising SMEs on growth and recovery from Covid-19, including working more closely with the developers of accelerator and incubator programmes (9 December 2020, ACCA)*
  • This paper, ‘Accountancy Skills Evolution: Impact of COVID-19 & the Path Forward’, provides a roadmap for the professional accountant (4 November, IFAC)*
  • This Eurobarometer survey confirms the need to support SMEs on their path towards digitalisation and sustainability (23 September 2020, European Commission)* 
  • This survey report, ‘The Global State of Small Business Report’ , summarizes key findings and their implications of a survey of SMEs around the world in the context of COVID-19 (September 2020, Facebook / OECD / World Bank)* 
  • This report, ‘Digitalisation and the Global Pandemic’, examines the impact of the immense change due to the pandemic and offers practical guidance to accountants on coping with digital transformation (August 2020, ACCA)*
  • This resource centre hosts essential resources, guidance and advice to help support professional accountants on audit, financial reporting, business continuity & crisis management, professional & personal wellness and more (September 2020, IFAC)*
  • This resource centre brings together some useful resources and advice to help accountants in practice and businesses deal with the impacts and implications of COVID-19 (September 2020, ACCA)*
  • This resource centre includes virtual learning (some free for non-members), learning resources, articles and more: this podcast explains these resources (September 2020 AICPA)
  • This report, ‘Meaningful work for the digital professional: roadmap beyond the pandemic’, predicts that the future work for accountancy and finance professionals will transform for the better through increased adoption of digital technologies (14 July 2020, ACCA)*
  • This report on ACCA’s  Covid-19 global survey ‘The Road to Recovery’ examines responses from 4,600 respondents, including 2,900 in Europe and many SMPs and SMEs (24 June 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article explains that the COVID-19 pandemic sped the development of some hard trends that will change the view of our profession in the future (15 June 2020, AICPA)
  • In this podcast IFAC CEO Kevin Dancey talks about how professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) around the world are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and are working with each other to solve problems and share resources (5 June 2020, Accounting Today) IFAC has also issued this position statement ‘Public Interest Responsibilities Must Remain Paramount in an Age of COVID-19’ (9 June 2020, IFAC)* 
  • This short video and this this article promote and explain the role and responsibility of accountants and finance professionals in leading businesses through and after the crisis (7 May 2020, AICPA)*

Practice Management

  • This article provides guidance to SMPs on planning for a new normal post COVID-19 (29 January 2021, Accounting Today) 
  • This article explains how to attract and retain clients even during challenging times (AICPA, 14 December 2020)*
  • This checklist helps SMPs ensure staff are safe from infection with COVID-19 when they visit or work at client sites (30 November 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article stresses that pandemic resilience starts with compassion for employees (21 October 2020, AICPA)*
  • In this article SMPs share their challenges and solutions in working remotely during the pandemic (13 October 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • In this podcast a small UK SMP explains how to network and acquire new clients in a remote environment (16 September 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article explains how SMPs can ensure the mental well-being of staff as they return to the office (11 September 2020, AICPA)*
  • In this podcast a small US SMP explains how they are developing and growing their staff in the current remote environment (26 August 2020, AICPA)*
  • In these webinars – slides and recordings available – learn how small firms can evolve in the COVID-19 environment using the ‘Practice Transformation Action Plan – A Road Map to the Future’ (24 August 2020, IFAC)*
  • This article advises SMPs to apply three key practice leadership principles to improve mental health and personal transformation of people during turbulent times (20 August 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article provides advice and tips on how SMPs can optimize business development amid disruption and remote working (18 August 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article sets out 5 stages and skills to help professional accountants and firms navigate difficult times (17 August 2020, IFAC)
  • This article provides tips on how SMPs can network when remote working is the norm (13 August 2020, AICPA)
  • This article sets out the steps a 120 day plan for how SMPs can emerge more resilient by completely re-imagining their business models and instituting proactive planning (31 July 2020, Accounting Today)*
    This article describes the risk factors SMPs need to consider as they decide how and when to return to their traditional workspaces (30 July 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This article examines nine key areas that SMPs must address as client needs, technology and staff expectations change (23 July 2020, Accountancy Age)
  • This article looks at the pros and cons of SMPs moving to the cloud (17 July 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This article posits that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for SMPs to have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan and explains what aspects of the plan now need revising (17 July 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This online newsletter contains a wealth of information and advice for SMPs including a collection of short video clips offering advice from leading edge SMPs and a two-part webinar series in which an SMP reveals how you can transform to a cloud-based practice (15 July 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article provides advice, in the form of 5 steps, that SMPs can take when reopening their offices (15 July 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article describes 10 red flags that SMPs need to avoid after COVID-19 (13 July 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This article summarizes the discussion of a roundtable of tech experts on how SMPs and SMEs have adapted to the crisis and what trends will emerge (1 July 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article summarizes what the post-pandemic landscape will look like, and how SMPs can best equip themselves to survive and thrive (1 July 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This webinar looks at how US SMPs have safely reopened their offices following the easing of lockdown measures (30 June 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article provides 5 tips for practitioners working from home with kids (22 June 2020, AICPA)*
  • This webinar addresses how two firm leaders prepared for their offices to reopen and give insight on what you can do to prepare (30 June 2020, AICPA)*
  • This two-part podcast series learn how two SMPs successfully pivoted during the COVID-19 pandemic (22 June 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article examines the 15 questions SMP firm leaders should ask on health, safety and other issues before reopening (16 June 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article looks at the business imperatives for SMPs post crisis including client service, business development, knowledge and financial prudence (3 June 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This article shares lessons that US SMPs have learned from COVID-19, from being ‘small businesses’ first responders’ to remote working (1 June 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This article comprises a collection of free self-care resources to help SMPs and their people cope during this difficult time (31 May 2020, AICPA)
  • This article and this webinar set out 12 strategies for having a thriving accounting firm after the coronavirus (29 May 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • In this article a case study of a US SMP explains how their people are cautiously returning to the offices amid coronavirus (29 May 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This podcast sets out some technology and human lessons for SMPs of COVID-19 (22 May 2020, AICPA)*
  • This guide provides guidance to SMPs on how to digitalise and/or diversify in an incremental and systematic manner (May 2020, ACCA)*
  • In this podcast hear how US SMPs are coping with the pandemic and the they expect to play as the economy reopens (20 May 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This article sets out 7 steps to keeping staff safe and healthy when the time comes for them to return to the office (8 May 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This article predicts how the coronavirus pandemic will leave indelible marks on accounting (8 May 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This online newsletter contains a wealth of information and advice for SMPs including: a selection of virtual events and webinars; a collection of videos from three SMPs across the world sharing their experiences of managing their during the pandemic; and articles on remote working and rethinking way of doing business (6 May 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article gives 5 tips for effectively managing the virtual accounting practice (6 May, 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This action plan for transformation of SMPs during and after the crisis covers four key focus areas – embrace change, leverage technology, focus on talent management, and evolve the firm operating model and build advisory services (1 May 2020, IFAC)*
  • This article explain how SMPs have been forced to rethink how they work with clients, transforming the way they operate in the future (1 May 2020, ACCA)*
  • In this podcast the managing partner of a UK SMP discusses how their practice has adapted to the crisis (29 April 2020, Accountancy Age)
  • This article examines how US SMPs are responding to these challenging times and how they will differ in the future (28 April 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • These short videos provide helpful tips to SMPs including communicating implications of COVID-19 to SME clients (24 April 2020, AICPA)
  • In this podcast a US SMP explains how to run a completely virtual practice including getting right staff (22 April 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article examines the potential long-term professional-liability consequences of the crisis that SMPs might wish to address now (21 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article explains how the crisis will permanently change how SMPs work including remote working, offering more advisory and closer communications with client (17 April 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article explains why and how SMPs and their staff should embrace virtual learning (8 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article looks at how accountants can maintain their mental health in these challenging times (27 March 2020, Chartered Accountants Worldwide)
  • This article shares recommendations from leading SMPs on how best to respond to COVID-19 in terms of managing their own practices and working with SMEs (27 March 2020, ACCA)*
  • These resources help with remote working including video-conferencing: this podcast addresses whether remote working will continue to be popular after the pandemic ends (29 June 2020, AICPA); this article sets out a few tips to help make the virtual connection manageable (24 March 2020, IFAC)*; this podcast explains how to quickly become comfortable in an home office (31 March 2020, AICPA); this article advises SMPs on how to lead in a work from-home environment (1 May, 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This article describes 4 steps SMPs should take to a strategic review at this time of crisis (1 April 2020, Chartered Accountants Worldwide)
  • This podcast gives practical tips on how SMPs can run their practice remotely while this podcast shares practical tips on how SMPs can communicate with clients during the crisis (1 April 2020, ACCA)*

Advisory

  • This article looks at the future fee earning opportunities for SMPs (25 January 2021, Accounting Today)*
  • In this article SMPs serving restaurant, medical and real estate clients discuss how they have used client advisory services to help clients stabilize and reposition businesses (19 November 2020, AICPA)*
    This article explains how a start-up mentality can help save small businesses during the pandemic (2 December 2020, New York Times)*
  • This article stresses that SMPs are shifting to more advisory services amid coronavirus (16 October 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This article outlines 5 strategies SMPs can adopt to enhance SME services for 2021 (2 October 2020, Accountancy Age)*
  • This article explains how delivering advisory services to help small businesses through the pandemic is a win for everyone (17 September 2020, Accounting Today)
  • This interactive guide describes measures adopted around the world to support distressed businesses through the crisis (5 June 2020, INSOL/World Bank)*
  • This article summarizes the key implications of a global survey for SMPs, specifically their need to take advantage of the opportunities in advisory services relating to digital transformation, supply chain management and business continuity (15 July 2020, ACCA)*
  • This webinar shows how SMPs can provide business continuity support for clients (May 2020, ACCA)*
  • This publication provides guidance for owners and directors of SMEs to assess the prospects of their business in the wake of COVID-19 (19 May 2020, ICAS / ICAEW)*
  • This article provides tips to help protect clients and the practice from cyberattacks during the coronavirus pandemic (15 May 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article explains how accountants can be trusted partners of SMEs during this crisis (14 May 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This checklist sets out best practices for financial and strategic management to help SMEs survive and thrive post COVID-19 (11 May 2020, IFAC)*
  • This practical checklist comprising a list of steps that organisations can take to respond to the current crisis (6 May 2020; ACCA)
  • This report summarizes the findings from a global survey of accountants on the impact of COVID-19, and explains how clients are affected and how SMPs can help (6 May 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article describes 8 steps businesses should take before restarting post-crisis, including caring for employee safety and re-establishing supply chains (5 May 2020, McKinsey & Co.)
  • This article explains how to advise clients on emergency business funding (1 May 2020, ACCA)
  • These resources can be used to advise clients on financial management during the crisis: this guide sets out some principles for cashflow forecasting; this guide sets out 6 actions for managing cash flows; this guide shares insight on how to reduce errors in spreadsheets; and this checklist serves as a step-by-step guide to help manage working capital (1 May 2020, ICAEW)
  • This podcast explains how SMPs can help SMEs survive the pandemic by helping them manage their cashflows and apply for government stimulus programs (29 April, AICPA)
  • This article explains that future success of business will depend on a willingness to adapt and change (24 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article looks at how SMEs can mitigate increased cybersecurity risks arising from the crisis (24 April 2020, Accountancy Age)
  • This series of guidelines help SMEs manage cashflow in a crisis situation (24 April 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article provides tips for SMPs in their communications with SMEs during the crisis (10 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article provides 5 steps for advising clients through the crisis (9 April 2020, AICPA)
  • In this article US SMPs explain how they are meeting the advisory needs of their clients (6 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article and checklist provides tips for SMEs, or their advisors, on how best to address disruption arising from COVID-19 (April, CPA Australia)*
  • This article explains how accountants are helping SMEs manage cash flow and access government financial support (31 March 2020, AAT)
  • In this podcast two practitioners discuss how SMPs can help their clients (26 March 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article looks at how accountants can help SMEs stay afloat (12 March 2020, ACCA)
  • This webpage describes the wide range of EU financing programmes that facilitate SME access to finance via local financial institutions (May 2020, European Commission)*
  • This YouTube channel includes short videos providing helpful tips to SMPs including working from home and advising SME clients on cyber security risk (May 2020, AICPA)

Assurance and Related Services

  • This publication, Ethical and Auditing Implications Arising from Government-Backed COVID-19 Business Support Schemes, highlights ethical and auditing implications arising from government-backed business support programs which have been utilized at unprecedented levels during the COVID-19 pandemic (26 January 2021, IESBA / FRC)*
  • This publication, Navigating the Heightened Risks of Fraud and Other Illicit Activities During the COVID-19 Pandemic, including Considerations for Auditing Financial Statements, highlights the heightened risks of fraud arising from the COVID-19 environment and the implications for professional accountants in business and public practice (16 December 2020, IESBA / IAASB / IRBA)*
  • This publication, COVID-19 and Evolving Risks for Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Cybercrime, highlights the heightened risks of money laundering, terrorist financing and cybercrime in the COVID-19 environment and describes the implications for both professional accountants in business and public practice (16 December 2020, IESBA / CPA Canada)*
  • This quiz can help SMPs determine whether they are ready to address the additional vulnerabilities, presented by the pandemic-necessitated move toward remote work, that could be exploited by fraudsters (16 December 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article provides guidance on how to proceed with audit engagements when the coronavirus pandemic has made business far from usual (8 December 2020, AICPA)*
  • This publication provides consolidated covid-19 guidance for companies and auditors (4 December 2020, FRC (UK))*
  • This article explains what SMPs need to know as they audit the risk of fraud on engagements during this time of crisis (2 December 2020, AICPA)*
  • In this article SMPs can learn how to meeting the challenges of managing an audit team remotely (16 October 2020, Accounting Today)*
  • This publication, ‘Using Specialists in the COVID-19 Environment: Including Considerations for Involving Specialists in Audits of Financial Statements’, provides guidance to help SMPs determine when there might be a need to use the services of a specialist (6 October 2020, IAASB/IESBA/AICPA)*
  • This publication provides guidance on taxation and valuation services for professional accountants in practice when applying the Code in COVID-19 Circumstances (31 July 2020, IESBA)*
  • This 3-part webinar series (including the full recording, PowerPoint slides and summary of key takeaways) addresses practical audit quality considerations related to planning, performing, and reporting and looking ahead (24 July 2020, IFAC)*
  • This article examines the key risks when auditing a not-for-profit during the pandemic (22 July 2020, AICPA)
  • This website contains guidance for auditors during the coronavirus pandemic including guidance related to Auditor’s Report, Going Concern, Subsequent Events and ISRE 2410 reviews of interim financial information and other audit considerations arising from changes due to COVID-19 (2 July 2020, IAASB)*
  • This webpage compiles resources on applying the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants including this publication providing staff Q&As to help navigate ethical challenges arising from the pandemic (2 July 2020, IESBA)*
  • This toolkit contains resources related to remote auditing, heightened audit risks and industry-specific guidance (1 July 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article looks at how audit risk assessments and sampling procedures may need to change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic while this quiz can help determine whether auditors are ready to audit areas of heightened risk (24 June 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article explains how auditors can address 4 key COVID-19 audit risks – internal control, fraud, legal compliance, and accounting estimates – for 2020 year-ends (5 June 2020, AICPA)
  • This dedicated webpage summarizes audit considerations, key challenges and implications from COVID-19 and highlights various relevant resources (including audit evidence, auditing accounting estimates, auditor reporting and subsequent events etc.) (3 June 2020, IFAC)*
  • This report shines a light on a number of areas that auditors are required to focus on during these challenging times (20 May 2020, ACCA)*
  • This article describes six areas to focus on as auditors perform calendar year 2019 audits (15 May 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article looks at how to overcome auditing site visit limitations while remote auditing during the coronavirus pandemic (8 May 2020, AICPA)
  • In this publication learn about audit matters and auditor reporting issues related to COVID-19 (15 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article provides tips for auditing with changed controls during the pandemic (13 April 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article and video clips look at how to conduct a remote audit (9 April 2020, Info)
  • This podcast helps auditors address subsequent events, going concern considerations and inventory observation during the coronavirus pandemic (7 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This publication provides guidance on adapting assurance and related service delivery due to the crisis (6 April 2020, NBA)*
  • This article sets out going concern tips for auditors during the pandemic (3 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This article summarizes the challenges facing auditors and the guidance to help address them (1 April 2020, AICPA)
  • This webcast looks at remote auditing (30 March 2020, AICPA)*
  • This article describes a few ways auditors can obtain sufficient appropriate evidence of inventory / stock even when they are unable to make a physical site visit (26 March 2020, AICPA)

Financial Reporting

  • This publication provides consolidated covid-19 guidance for companies and auditors (4 December 2020, FRC (UK))*
  • This article, ‘Applying IFRS Standards in 2020—impact of covid-19’, provides an overview of the key financial reporting considerations that may be on the minds of preparers, auditors, investors and regulators as they tackle the complexities associated with covid-19 (28 October 2020, IFRS Foundation)*
  • This dedicated webpage summarizes financial reporting considerations, key challenges and implications from COVID-19 and highlights various relevant resources (including going concern, fair value measurement and impairment, lease accounting etc.) (3 June 2020, IFAC)*
  • This paper addresses the implications of the current health emergencies for financial reporting and what is required by accounting standards (20 April 2020, ACCA)*
  • This publication provides guidance on how to adapt accounting service delivery as a result of the crisis (6 April 2020, NBA)*
  • This website provides help with financial reporting during the crisis including educational materials on the application of IFRS 9 Financial Instruments, educational materials on the application of IFRS 16 Leases, and relief to lessees in accounting for rent concessions (N/A, IFRS Foundation)*
  • This website hosts educational materials on the application of IFRS in the light of COVID-19 (N/A, SAICA)

Taxation

  • This webpage is a comprehensive guide to tax measures implemented by countries around the world to combat the economic effect of COVID-19 (6 May 2020, ACCA)*
  • This report describes SME policy measures taken to mitigate the impact of the corona pandemic by countries worldwide (19 May 2020, OECD)* 
  • This report describes policy measures by countries worldwide to avoid corruption and bribery in the COVID-19 response and recovery (May 2020, OECD)*
  • This article looks at the tax implications of international employment arising from COVID-19 (14 April 2020, RSM Global)
  • This website sets out the EU’s COVID-19 tax response including VAT and customs (N/A, European Commission)*