Pamela W. Baker CPA Managing Partner

Who does not love a snowy day? When we were growing up and in school a snow day meant staying home, sledding, hot cocoa, and no homework. Five years ago, it meant major disruption to our schedules and workflows and the resulting crush to make up for time lost at client offices to ensure that work got completed to meet deadlines. This time last year it meant that staff would be able to work from home with little disruption as long as they had thought ahead in order to obtain information from clients. This year our physical office actually closed on the snow day with everyone – even our administrative staff – working effectively at home. A snow day means little change to the majority of our staff who, since last March, have fine tuned the art of being able to work remotely. We still “see” one another – but in a virtual manner with the use of technology. The only difference today is a pretty scenery outside with no hassle to shovel ourselves out.

Just like snow days – so much has changed for everyone. Over the past nine months we have experienced numerous firsts:

  1. A remote work environment
  2. Interviewing potential new hires on Zoom
  3. On-boarding staff remotely
  4. Attending board meetings through technology
  5. Establishing work groups via Microsoft teams
  6. Implementing electronic signature capabilities
  7. Moving administrative functions into a paperless environment
  8. Hosting virtual happy hours
  9. Our first virtual holiday party
  10. Hosting virtual conferences for schools and nonprofits
  11. Presenting at conferences via technology

Some of our firsts have been exciting and new. Others were a little more challenging, but we are so fortunate to have a team of dedicated and highly skilled individuals who did not give in or give up. We also need to pause to give a huge shout out to our clients. Everyone knows that for many people during the pandemic there were lost jobs, decreased sales, unemployment. Those are all real issues. For our clients – the nonprofits and schools and governments – there was never a time when they were not needed more. We have been witness to the dedication and hard work of those that needed to step up. The nonprofit sector has experienced lost revenue from cancelled fundraisers while the need for services has significantly increased. Our public schools have struggled to protect faculty and children while continuing to provide learning opportunities. Our governments had to continue to work to provide public safety, utilities, roads, and other vital services. We are more grateful than ever to be a niche-based CPA firm specializing in services to these essential workers.

We are hopeful that the year ahead will be a time to put the pandemic in the rear-view mirror. We will be excited to enjoy some of the things that had to be modified because of Covid-19 (like dropping into a client office to say Hi). At the same time, we are energized at what we have learned about each other, our clients, and our firm and we are confident that we will be better for it.

Be on the lookout for more virtual training opportunities, continued great service, and a trusted advisor to be here to meet your needs.

Pamela W. Baker, CPA, CGFM