Business Checklist - COVID-19

As we progress up and down Alert Levels, businesses need to review their business continuity plans, and take a flexible mindset to operations. 

Time to read: 6 mins

In 2021 we have seen the advance notice of a Level 4 lock-down drop significantly, not allowing the time experienced in 2020 to “prepare for lockdown”. The Government has altered the ability to access premises during Level 4 slightly to accommodate this, meaning that visits can be taken to access essential equipment / shut down plant etc.

Business Checklist – COVID-19 Lockdowns

The below check list provides some key areas to consider when updating the BCP plan for your business and / or making sure you’ve considered key issues while the nation is at Level 4 and Level 3. At any time, your Baker Tilly Staples Rodway adviser is available to talk through any concerns you have, and act as a sounding board for your questions.

People focused actions

  • Do you have the QR code at your workplace for when people return to work?
  • Do you have a hand sanitising station at the entrance way?
  • Have you communicated to staff about self-isolation expectations?
  • Do your team members know how you will manage different scenarios during their time off in self-isolation?
    • When they are sick, do they know when/what leave applies?
    • What if they are not sick and are not able to work from home?
    • Able to work from home and well, how will they be paid?
  • Have you checked your employees’ leave balances?
  • How is your “working from home” set-up: does everyone have what they need?
  • At level 3 and below, have you formed a policy/guidance on whether or not team members are required to travel for work? Can alternatives be used? Are you discouraging event attendances?
  • Have you considered potential and temporary changes to your employees’ work, do you know your contractual obligations and any alternatives i.e. reduced hours of work?

Key people

  • Have you identified key people that have a major impact on key parts of your business or those who have sole responsibility for processes? Is there a plan for who else can do their work or temporary substitutes who can step in?
  • If your business can operate remotely, are there processes and procedures in place to ensure quality is maintained and operations can continue?
  • Have you drafted a communication plan for staff, clients, suppliers and other key stakeholders in the event of a mandatory closedown?

Your finance and revenue

  • Have you spoken to your bank to understand its position on COVID-19, access to funding and your banking obligations/current commitments?
  • Do you currently prepare projected cashflows to understand your cashflow requirements for the 2021 year? Are these regularly updated? Do they need to be more frequently reviewed?
  • Do you understand your working capital requirements – are you reviewing debtors, work in progress and creditors regularly?
  • Have you calculated the financial impact of a shut-down period and how long your business can operate at each Alert Level?
  • Have you spoken to your insurance provider? Does your business interruption cover COVID-19 interruptions, and to what extent?
  • Do you have back up plans if your business partners shut down or are affected; specifically, what happens if your IT or payroll service can’t operate normally?
  • Have you done any analysis of the cost of continuing to operate with fewer staff/customers compared to the cost of completely shutting down for a period?

Your tax and government subsidies

  • Are you aware of all the subsidies and payments available? Go here for our overview.
  • Did you know that income tax payments can be easily deferred using a tax pooling intermediary? Check in with your Baker Tilly Staples Rodway adviser about the services available through Tax Management NZ.

Your customers

  • How are the Lockdown levels likely to impact your customers’ buying behaviours?
  • Are you proactively communicating with clients to understand and manage their expectations?
  • Have you considered how you can promote to them your services are still available?
  • Have you checked contractual supply obligations with your customers?
  • How will you monitor customer behaviour and impact on revenue? What trends/indicators will be tracked more frequently? What signs and signals will you look for (lead/lag indicators)?
  • Could your debtor’s terms be shortened or altered to better manage your cash flows?
  • Are you dependent on a limited number of customers? What are the consequences if of lockdown level changes?
  • Do you operate retail space that requires direct customer contact? What options of delivery are in place at Level 3 and below?
  • Have you communicated what steps you are taking around the hygiene of your store/outlet for your customers and your team?
  • Can you provide additional reassurance over supply compared to your competitors?

Your IT systems 

Our Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Taranaki Firm has a full IT services team. They offer a huge range of solutions, including outsourced IT, data security and remote working advice. Go here for more info.

  • Are your networks secure and are your staff able to work from out of the office?
  • Has your team tested your IT systems and software from out of the office?
  • Have you considered the security and/or firewall implications of your team working outside the office?
  • Do you have a Business Continuity Plan and Disaster Recovery Plan?
  • How will your team or IT supplier deal with IT systems issues (such as upgrades or outages) when working remotely? Do they have a plan if this has to be done remotely?
  • Have you discussed with your IT vendors, managed service providers and other relevant third parties regarding their readiness and availability about the potential impact from COVID-19?

Your suppliers

How dependent is your business on suppliers? Are any of your suppliers likely to be impacted by COVID-19 and experience delays or shut down?

  • Have you communicated with your suppliers and discussed the impact of COVID-19?
  • Do you have contingency plans in place if your supplier can’t meet your needs? Are there other alternatives?
  • Do you have quantity obligations or prepayment terms and /or terms of payment? Is there an ability to renegotiate terms?
  • Have you considered the inventory you are holding? Is your stock dated or perishable? Do you have additional storage available to provide for any supply chain disruption?

Your key decision making

  • Have you undertaken a stakeholder analysis to identify those people and organisations that could impact on or influence your business that you need to communicate with?
  • What are your current messages to those stakeholders regarding yours and their preparation, management and response to COVID-19?
  • Who are the key people that will decide to continue or cease operations?
  • How will those decisions be communicated? Can that be done remotely, if required?
  • Disregarding COVID-19, have there been any changes in your business risk profile? How are these being managed?
  • Do you have a crisis communication management plan?

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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