The COVID-19 pandemic is currently sweeping over the globe, causing interruptions and disruptions to businesses of every size and scale. We’ve put together a list of general resources available to small businesses looking for ways to cope with such a turbulent landscape.
To piggyback on that advice, we’ve also compiled a list of resources for Therapists and Private Practices to help you adapt to the current climate. Consider implementing the following suggestions and pieces of advice as you work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Telehealth: Have You Made the Switch?
Seattle and Washington have a stay-in-place order for two weeks, but we do not know how long it will be extended. We are recommending Therapists and Private Practices to pivot toward telehealth solutions until the pandemic is over.
Effective telehealth platforms to consider using include:
To learn more about telehealth and related resources, we recommend:
- Free 5 day course on making the switch to telehealth from BrighterVision
- Three Best Practices for Therapists Offering Online Counseling with Stephanie Cook from The Private Practice Startup
- COVID-19 Telehealth Quick Start for Therapists from Amber Lyda
- The Therapist’s Telehealth Guide for COVID-19 from Therapy Notes
Finances: Managing Your Money in Private Practice
Many of our Private Practice clients have been asking us about finances and how best to manage their money right now. Key areas to focus on right now are:
- Maintaining up-to-date bookkeeping practices: This is not the time to have your bookkeeping out of date by several months. Update your books via QuickBooks or Excel at least every other week.
- Put a system in place for your practice cash: Watch our webinar on Managing Money in your Private Practice.
- We recommend one adjustment since this webinar came out. You should have TWO savings accounts for your business: Tax Savings and Business Savings.
Finances: 3 Biggest Expenses We Normally See
There have been some dramatic changes to the typical expenses you’re most familiar with, but best practices haven’t changed. Protect the long-term financial wellbeing of your business by ensuring you’re still staying on top of your expenses as best as you’re able.
Financial disruption caused by COVID-19 has prompted some changes to 2019 tax filings and payments:
- The due date for paying your 2019 taxes has been delayed until July 15th, 2020.
- Quarter 1 taxes are now due on July 15th, 2020.
- Quarter 2 taxes are due on June 15th, 2020 (yes, before Q1 payments are due).
You should still be setting aside 25% of your gross income into your Business Savings account for your taxes. You should not touch this money unless you absolutely have to. Keep in mind that no matter what, you are going to owe taxes to the government.
Washington State Taxes
There is an extension for Quarterly filers to June 30th, 2020 and for annual filers to June 15th, 2020.
Are you having trouble paying your rent? You are legally obligated to pay your rent and if you can pay it, you should. If you are having issues, talk to your landlord to either delay or break your lease. Here is a fantastic Rent Abatement Guide from Eric Killin, a CPA that works with fitness centers and gyms, two of the businesses most impacted by COVID-19.
Student Loans – if applicable
If you are having trouble making your student loan payments, call your lender(s). Let them know that your income has dropped because of COVID-19. See if you can work on a payment plan or go interest-free for a few months. If your loan is held federally, there are talks of 6 months interest-free and no payments due.
This advice also works for other expenses, such as your internet and utilities. Give them a call and tell them that you are having trouble right now because of COVID-19. Most large companies understand the economic challenges currently impacting individuals and small businesses and are more than understanding.
TL;DR: These are trying times and we are seeing a ton of folks coming together to support each other. Hopefully, the above advice helps! Just remember to not panic and take it day by day.