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Vishnu Naidu. Vishnu Naidu. Featured
24 August 2020 Posted by 

BUSINESSES FEELING THE PRESSURE

Number crunchers now emotional props
LAWRENCE MACHADO
ACCOUNTANTS are usually seen as number crunchers and problem solvers able to detach themselves emotionally from the businesses they work with.
However, Covid 19 has revealed another side to them with many adding vital emotional support to their financial acumen to help businesses and owners navigate these uncharted waters.
 
Chartered accountant Vishnu Naidu, who runs Your Business Group at Parramatta, said it has been very draining for both his clients and his team as their clients struggle with cash flow, paying their salaries and bills and no revenue and ability to service their clients.
 
"The past three months have been very stressful and I haven't been able to switch off, being there for my clients at all times," Mr Naidu said.
 
“Accountants are much more than number crunchers, which is just one small aspect of what we do.
 
"Some of my clients have been very emotional and are forced to close their businesses for now. We can see the impact it is having on their personal lives.”
 
Naomi Mitchell, a partner with KPMG Enterprise, said her firm is helping many clients in the mid- market sector in many ways.
 
She said their clients have major concerns in getting the capital to keep going, having their supply lines staying open, keeping a fine family balance and even ensuring their staff can work remotely.
 
Ms Mitchell said the important thing they can do is to listen to their clients.
 
“While many businesses are finding themselves in survival mode, others have started to look towards the future,” she said. 
 
“As businesses begin to adjust to this new normal, opportunities will open for them to continue to thrive in a post COVID19 world.
 
“The tendency for family businesses to pull together in times of crisis stands them in good stead.”
 
Mr Naidoo said federal and state governments have provided vital relief for businesses.
 
"As a member of the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce board and committees, I help businesses in retail and Eat Street, even though they are not my clients because that's what you do for people,” Mr Naidu said.
 
"Some of them said they haven't been able to meet their accountants. Emotionally, it’s always been about people for me, not just money and I want to encourage and support them.”
 
“It’s been a mixed bag for our clients during Covid-19 with some even doing very well while others are struggling.”
 
His company has also seen a reduction in revenue but Mr Naidusays helping their customers, is most important.
 
“We live in a very lucky country where the government is here to support the people and many countries don’t receive anything near to what we are getting,” Mr Naidu said.
 
Ms Mitchell said there are a lot of businesses which are private, but family owned and there is a correlation with the health of the business and that of the families.
 
"We find that we must not jump in and try to solve the problems,” said Ms Mitchell, who has a wealth of Australian tax consulting, advisory and compliance experience in numerous industries.
 
"We listen to the clients. People love hearing that they are not the only ones going through this.
 
Ms Mitchell says some clients breakdown while they speak of their difficulties. We provide them a shoulder to lean on because they are in a crisis and need help and empathy,” she said.
 
Biggest concerns of their clients
 
Naomi Mitchell
 
1. Accessing capital they need to stay afloat.
2. Keeping supply lines open and making sure employees can work remotely.
4. Balancing increased family demands (I.e. balancing running a business and caring for their households).
 
Vishnu Naidu
 
1. Inability to generate revenue and service their customers.
2. Lack of cash flow.
3. Unable to pay salaries and business expenses. 


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