Two Years Later

Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of our first shut down in the pandemic. I don’t know about you, but it actually feels like a lifetime ago. I guess time flies when you’re having fun.

Maybe I’m just being nostalgic, but I think that attention should be paid.

Do you remember where you were when you first learned that the Governor was shutting everything down? It was one of those pivotal moments in history, like the Kennedy Assination or the Shuttle Disaster.

I was sitting exactly where I am right now, reading an article on the Tribune Website, stating that the Governor was going to hold a news conference closing down most businesses inside the state, We had all heard the rumors that they were considering this, and I was prepared.

At least, I thought I was.

I’d instructed my computer guy to set everyone’s computer up so that they could work from home and I had purchased printers for everyone so that they could. So I went into the weekend handing out the printers and telling everyone that they could work from home.

Wow, was that a disaster. Our team concept of quality and professionalism just doesn’t work remotely, so once we realized that we were considered “essential”, we got everyone back into the office.

Then Congress started passing legislation.

New lexicons came into our language like PPP and ERC. I realized that these new stimulus items were the way that most of my clients would make it through those horrible times. Instead of ignoring them as most of my competitors tried, I embraced them.

We went through the process of learning new governmental processes. In taxation, there’s what the law says, how the agency then interprets it, and what the agency actually does. It shouldn’t be, but those are three very different things.

The law says that you can get a PPP Loan forgiven using payroll and operating expenses. In practice, the banks are really tough on allowing the operating expenses, so you learn to just use payroll, if possible.

The law says that claiming the ERC is a simple matter, but when you try, most are denied. Early in the pandemic, the majority of our claims came back with denial letters.

So we dug in, studied the letters, and came up with the 13 common ways that the IRS was using to conserve government resources. We now haven’t had one denied in over a year.

We knew that the ERC’s would be one of the main ways that our clients would survive, so we did the hard work and got it done. To date, only two of our clients have closed inside the period because of the pandemic.

That has to be some sort of record. My former partners tell horror stories worthy of Stephen King.

The human side of the pandemic is yet another nightmare. My entire staff came down with Covid the week of Christmas, 2020. Oddly enough, it was everyone except me, my wife, my daughter, and my now sainted mother.

Early in the pandemic, my doctor at the University of Chicago told me to take Vitamin D every morning. She said that they’d done an informal study of all the patients they had on ventilators at the hospital and that 87% of them were deficient in Vitamin D.

We have religiously taken that vitamin every day of the pandemic. I honestly believe that this is what saved us.

That Christmas Week with no one in the office except family, I remember being in a constant state of fear. What if no one came back? How would I rebuild? How long would it take? How much of my practice would I lose?

For me, that was the low point. I had officially hit “the wall”.

But they all came back, and we made it through. We did it the way that we’ve always faced adversity and disaster. We did it together, as one.

Let me leave you with this.

Two years later, where are we? Are we better? Are we stronger? Have we learned?

Yet another wave of the Coronavirus is coming. Are we better prepared? Obviously. With all of the inoculations and so many having already had the virus, we’re in a much better position.

It even looks like our elected officials have learned a few things as well. When the last wave hit and the numbers went sky high, they were strong and smart enough to not shut down the economy again.

But new threats have emerged.

Russia has invaded Ukraine, inflation has hit new heights, our supply chain problems show no end in sight, and our financial markets are fighting to rebound. Does the fight ever end?

It’s important that you take care of yourself. PTSD is a real thing, and you don’t have to be in uniform or carry a rifle to experience it.

These aren’t easy times for any of us.

Take some time for yourself. Read a book. Do some gardening. Go down the lakefront and enjoy the simple perfection of nature. Center your soul.

Something tells me that this fight isn’t over, not by a longshot. We’ll all need the strength of character necessary to lead our businesses, our families, and our communities through these new disasters.

Take care of yourself so you can do what Entrepreneurs do best; which is take care of others. And do so knowing that you aren’t alone. We’re right there with you.

Accounting Solutions Ltd. stands ready to complete our mission and purpose of protecting you, your family, and your business. Whether you need PPP Loan Forgiveness, Employee Retention Credits, Payroll Services, or Accounting and Tax Work, you have but to ask. I’m here and I remain,

Sincerely yours,

Chris Amundson
Accounting Solutions Ltd.

Note that the only professional services provided by Accounting Solutions Ltd. are those specified in a written communication from our office detailing the scope of services to be rendered and the terms and conditions applicable to the engagement.