Pine & Company CPAs will be working remotely and closing our offices for a while. Thankfully, we are already completely cloud-based so we don’t expect this change to impact our clients’ services.
It’s no secret that the world is preoccupied with COVID-19, and precautions to slow the spread of this virus are being taken everywhere we turn. After a great deal of reading, prayer, and discussions with people well versed in infectious diseases, I have decided to close the Pine & Company office for the next week and possibly longer. The health of our team, our clients, and the families of all must take precedence during this global pandemic.
Besides the health of our team and clients, I am in large part making this decision so that Pine & Company is doing its part to “flatten the curve” for COVID-19. Our nation’s hospitals and doctors can easily provide top care to our entire nation, so long as the people that get infected do so over a long period, rather than the rapid spread that other countries like Italy have seen.
A great example of this that helped solidify my decision is the comparison between St. Louis and Philadelphia during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. During this epidemic, St. Louis acted fast, enforcing social distancing and the shutdown of all offices and churches that weren’t vital to the public — a decision that some considered overly cautious. Meanwhile, Philadelphia decided to continue business as usual. The infection spread so quickly in Philadelphia that hospitals and doctors were pushed beyond their capacity. In the two weeks that it took them to follow St. Louis’s lead, Philadelphia saw more than twice the percentage of deaths as in St. Louis.
It is my hope that by being “overly cautious” like St. Louis, we can do our part to help our county, state, and nation get through this very trying experience. We really have no idea how many infected people there are in the country, each state, and in our local region. That will likely improve over the next week or two, and we will be able to make more educated decisions about office closures when that data is available. I am hopeful that, in the next week or two, we will be able to look back at my decision to close the office and agree that it was, in fact, overly cautious. However, I could not accept the opposite happening.
Despite our office being closed, our team will continue to work diligently to serve our clients remotely.
- We have video and phone conferencing capabilities already set up, so we will be happy to meet with you as requested. We can also initiate a screen-sharing connection if the need arises. To schedule a phone or video meeting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by dialing our office line at (817) 581-3223.
- Our phone system is a VoIP, so we will continue to answer our office line remotely during our normal business hours. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you need anything during this time.
- For clients who need to provide us with documents for their taxes or other reasons and who do not want to upload those documents to their Client Axcess Portal (or who experience issues in doing so), we have a secure mailbox in front of our building. This drop-box-style mailbox requires a key to retrieve any documents inside, and our office has the only key, so your documents will be secure until retrieved by a member of our team, which will be done every weekday while we are closed.
I am extremely hopeful that this office closure will be a seamless experience for our clients. Please don’t hesitate to call or email us if you need anything during this time, or to provide feedback on the service you’re receiving during this time. We always strive to provide excellent service to our clients, so please let us know if we fail in any way to meet that standard during this time so that we can make the necessary adjustments.
I want to encourage you and your families to practice the recommended social distancing and frequent handwashing. If you are a believer, I also want to encourage you and your families to continually pray for a slowing of this pandemic and for the health and welfare of people everywhere. Members of our Pine & Company team will be meeting virtually every Wednesday to do the same. Jesus says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matt. 18:20 ESV). Over and again in the Bible, God promises that He hears our prayers and answers them.
As decisions are made about the length of this closure, I will communicate that to you so that you know what to expect.
Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe during this time. Let us know if there is anything we can do to serve you more effectively, or if there is anything specific that we can pray about for you.