Celebrating the 'financial frontliners' this Global Bookkeeping Week

November 19th, 2020 by Jennie Moore 3 minutes read

It’s Global Bookkeeping Week, but this iteration feels very different to previous years. As I sit back and reflect on the multitude of challenges that bookkeepers and accountants have faced this year, I can’t help but feel an immense amount of pride for my profession.

2020 has been nothing short of chaotic. Personally speaking, I’ve fielded multiple calls from weeping clients, understandably fearful over their business’s future, and have often worked through the night crunching endless cash flow projections. But that’s not all. Despite doing all we can to allay our clients’ fears, many of us bookkeepers and accountants have also had serious doubts over how well our own practices would fare in this period of economic uncertainty.

However, I don’t want to lament—I instead want to celebrate. I want to celebrate my fellow bookkeepers and accounting professionals for rising to the challenge and showing our true colours. Across the world, accountants and bookkeepers stepped up to the mark and saved the day for millions of much-loved businesses, whether these were small neighbourhood shops or multinational corporations.

Alexi Boyd, presenter of the radio show Small Biz Matters and BAS Agent, agrees completely: “We had to move faster than our clients. We had to move quickly and be agile, like all small businesses, but we also had to stay ahead of the curve. For many of us, this involved getting up to speed with new developments across multiple industries. Other finance professionals could wait it out until everything was sorted and the panic was over—but not us. That’s why we’re considered frontline. We know how our clients operate on a day-to-day basis and we’re right in the middle of it, proactively helping our clients rather than sitting back and hoping it all blows over”.

You worked heroically to put your clients’ needs above your own. You were the financial frontliners, the heroes whose efforts ensured that the economy didn’t face its own catastrophic health crisis. Many of you did this while quarantined within your own homes, taking Zoom calls in broom cupboards, alongside juggling the myriad of other challenges and responsibilities that we all have to contend with.

Perhaps, like me, you had to suddenly assume the role of part-time teacher for your kids. Maybe you were in charge of handling your home’s IT requirements (who knew the internet could be this slow with everyone using it at once?). Or, you might’ve had to juggle your ever-increasing workload with the constant attention that your pets have now come to expect—all while trying to keep multiple businesses afloat.

Alexi also pointed to another silver lining to have come out of 2020: the power of community. “When I first came into this role eight years ago, there was a certain animosity and competitiveness—people really worried about sharing information with another. Now, however, I think we’ve all realised how important it is to speak with each other, even if we are technically competitors. At the end of the day, we’re all in the same boat—so I think that bookkeepers around the world have begun to develop a strong sense of community as a result of this year’s challenges”.

I couldn’t agree with Alexi more, and I certainly hope that this newfound global bookkeeping community goes from strength to strength in the future. So to summarize, from the bottom of my heart: thank you! Let’s take a moment to sit back and celebrate Global Bookkeeping Week. After all, I think we deserve it.

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