At E. Cohen, the health and safety of our employees and clients is of paramount importance. We have activated components of our business continuity plan and our operations team is well prepared to guide our response to this evolving situation.
Our office remains open and fully operational, but we want to maintain a safe workplace and adopt practices protecting the health of our employees and the clients we serve. At this time, no one knows the impact COVID-19 will have on our region. Given this uncertainty, and the fact that the seasonal influenza (flu) virus is also widespread, we are taking proactive steps to address business concerns and ensure the continuity of business operations in the event COVID-19 becomes more widespread.
According to the most recent information from the CDC, for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to COVID-19 is low. However, we want you to feel comfortable working with our firm during this important time of year. Below, we’ve outlined how we are working to minimize potential risk as we approach these critical deadlines.
We have shared guidance with our staff detailing how to protect against the transmission of germs, including hand-washing protocols and the enhanced cleaning of common areas and the technology we use. We have restricted non-essential travel and are adhering to guidance from health authorities on proper testing and self-quarantine. We are in regular communication with our staff, keeping them updated on this evolving situation and any associated adjustments we might need to make.
Our Clients and the Use of Technology
We love meeting with our clients but, in most cases, face to face meetings in our office can be replaced with email, secure file transfer, telephone calls, and video conferencing. Clients who need to send us original documents may do so by using local couriers, FedEx/UPS, or the US Postal Service. We are also urging clients to take advantage of the option to e-sign and receive e-delivery of their individual tax returns. For more information about these options as well as the possibility that certain filing deadlines might get extended, please contact your advisor/preparer.
Our Contingency Plan
We are working on a plan of action if we are directed to close our office by local, state, and/or the federal government. Should this occur, we want to assure you that our work will not be disrupted. We are making the appropriate adjustments to ensure that each of our staff members can work remotely for as long as they may need to.
We are monitoring this developing situation closely and if any major changes occur, such as the need for our office to close, we will update you immediately with details. In the meantime, if you have any questions or further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your patience and trust in E. Cohen during these unusual times. We hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.
Eric Cohen, CPA