COVID-19: message from our CEO

March 2020

I was recently quoted in the International Accounting Bulletin as saying how, due to current high levels of global uncertainty and instability, the developing role of an accountant to advise businesses on their international journeys, is becoming increasingly difficult. And; hence, it’s even more important to have access to experienced firms all over the world, with talented individuals to whom to turn for advice.

Flying back from New York over the weekend, on an eerily empty flight, highlighted how we are currently in even greater times of uncertainty. I also read an article on the BBC website this morning, explaining how the coronavirus has plunged the world into such uncertainty with relentless constant panic from news about the pandemic. This, as the artilce went on to explain, is taking a toll on people's mental health and stability.

I left New York City on a wet and dreary day; which also depicted the sense of anxiety around the world. And, to be honest, I am not entirely sure when I will be back in the air! (... this coming from a person who spends almost 50% of the year travelling the globe)

I wrote to our members towards the end of last week, announcing the cancellation of another Russell Bedford event; one which would have been our second largest of the year.

As a global organisation, in the financial services industry, we must look after our people; their health and welfare being paramount. We have therefore now cancelled three important events of the year (the EMEA/International tax meeting, our Asia Pacific conference, and our European Managing Partners' meeting)

Yet; it is important to stress the positives and not allow fear to consume us.

We are in a fortuitous position, as providers of professional services, geared up for working remotely, able to function virtually from any location; and we will continue to provide the expert and quality services that our clients have come to expect from Russell Bedford firms. 

Our firms have been testing complete remote working, ensuring they are all prepared if and when this becomes fully required.

As leaders; employees and clients will look to us as role models and will be turning to us for advice during this difficult time. To quote our global Chair, Bruce Saward, "You can assist in combatting this contagion of fear by helping others be realistic but also positive." 

As a global network, we SHARE; and this must also include the sharing of 'concerns'. We often refer to our group as a “family”, and together we ARE stronger and we will allow nothing to stop us from doing what we do best: taking you further!

Author: Stephen Hamlet

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