COVID-19 decision making tools

We have put together this checklist to help identify areas you may need to attend to.

Time to read: 6 mins

This guide covers questions and thought prompters to assist you get through now, for tomorrow. It provides a list of questions we’ve been asking ourselves and our clients as we work through this together.

The sections covered are:

  • Your people
  • Your finances and revenue
  • Your tax and government subsidies
  • Your customers
  • You IT systems
  • Your suppliers
  • Your key decision making

Your people

Have you established hygiene procedures and hygiene information at the entrance to your workplace, and in highly visible internal work areas?

Have your people been informed about self-isolation expectations?

Do your team members know how you will manage different scenarios during their time off in self-isolation?

Scenarios might include:

  • 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?
  • What if they able to work from home and well, how will they be paid?

Have you checked your employees’ leave balances? Are you able to support ‘special leave’ if required?

Have you brainstormed with teams what resources they’ll need to work from home?

Do you have a plan and resources in place to allow business to continue if some or all are at home?

What processes will need to change?

Are you monitoring the Ministry of Health websites for updates?

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?

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?

This plan could include:

  • handover instructions; and
  • system/process training required in advance.

If your business can operate remotely, are there processes and procedures in place to ensure quality is maintained and operations can continue?

Have you identified those roles that can and cannot be performed remotely and determined the relevant requirements?

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 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 might survive a mandatory shut down period?

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 less staff/customers compared to the cost of completely shutting down for a period?

Your tax and government subsidies

Have you considered any potential tax relief by way of instalment arrangements relating to COVID-19?

Have you considered eligibility for the Government’s recently announced wage subsidy scheme?

Have you considered the effect of tax relief recently offered by Government for the 2021 year onwards?

Did you know that income tax payments can be easily deferred using a tax pooling intermediary? Have you explored these options?

Your customers

Are your customers directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 disruption? How will this impact their buying patterns or behaviour?

Are you proactively communicating with customers to understand and manage their expectations? Have you considered how you can communicate which products and services are still available? Will additional advertising and promotion assist?

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 cashflows?

Are you dependent on a limited number of customers? What are the consequences if they shut down?

Do you operate retail space that requires direct customer contact?

  • What options of delivery are in place?
  • 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

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?

Consider a planned work from home day as a test for your full team.

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? Have they communicated their plan?

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 how will you be impacted if they experience delays or shut down?

Have you communicated with your key 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 it possible 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 stakeholders 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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