CA magazine: May 2020
Well, that escalated quickly. At the time of writing my last letter to you, it was still possible to hope that the UK might escape the worst of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, with the country in lockdown and with Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing new emergency measures seemingly every day, it’s no longer credible to wish for the best, only the least worst.
We want you to know that ICAS is here to help during this extraordinary and unprecedented period. We have set up a dedicated COVID-19 hub on the website, collating as much relevant information as is available. The FRC has already responded to the crisis by recommending a two-week moratorium in companies’ financial reporting, except where necessary to meet a legal deadline. By the time you read this, that may have been extended.
Companies House is closed to callers in both London and Edinburgh and is requesting that any physical documents be submitted by mail instead. Upcoming ICAS events have been postponed, and in some cases cancelled, and we are making all courses online-only for the moment, as well as CA training for students.
Like many of you, no doubt, the majority of ICAS staff are working from home. We have published advice for those who are doing likewise, both companies and individuals, as well as offering five IT tips, from video conferencing tools to visualising apps, that you may find useful as you adjust to your new working conditions.
We are also holding regular webinars for members in practice about COVID-19, and are looking at delivering more virtual events to support members in the future. For many, this will be an unfamiliar experience and it is important that, as well as minimising the risk of contamination, you maintain your physical and mental health as far as possible.
The world is going to need its accountants in the months, maybe years, of recovery that lie ahead. Unusually, I’m not going to sign off by hoping you enjoy the issue, but rather that you find it packed with useful advice and information to boost your resilience. For more, visit our dedicated COVID-19 hub. And please, stay safe and well.
This article first appeared in the May 2020 issue of CA magazine.