‘N’ is for the ‘new normal’

The building blocks of accountancy

Julia Burn continues with her A-Z of issues affecting your accounts. This month, she turns to the letter ‘N’

N is for the new normal

In these strange times, the phrase we all are hearing is the ‘new normal’, but what does that mean for independent practitioners and their finances? Here are some relevant points to consider.

Managing staff

Practices will have had to adapt their day-to-day functions, including their general running as well as considering the well-being of staff. 

This could include dealing with employees who do not want to return to the office environment, additional training requirements required to satisfy the new regulations and adapting the physical workplace to ensure social distancing is adhered to.

Other issues for practices will include managing annual leave due to increased leave being taken in the second half of the year where people have been restricted from taking their usual holidays, or who have just not wanted to travel in the current climate.

On a practical note, the Govern­ment has implemented steps to help businesses throughout the pandemic such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). 

This has been operational since 1 March 2020 and, as I write, will continue to be available until 31 October 2020.

From 1 July, the Government also allowed employees to remain on furlough for part of the time but return to work part-time. Last month (August), businesses were asked to cover the employer’s National Insurance contributions and pension costs. 

For September, businesses also have to cover 10% of the employee’s pay and for October this increases to 20% of the worker’s pay.