When you think about a crisis most of the time you think about a natural or man-made disaster involving emergency responders, grief counselors, insurance adjusters and the like, but crises can take the form of much more than just a natural disaster or employee incident and can involve much more than just the emergency responders most people think of when they think of a disaster.
What about the business management aspects of crises such as a natural or man-made disaster, the sudden death of an owner or key executive, employee sabotage or fraud, a complex business situation or a regulatory compliance issue?
From an accounting and financial standpoint, crisis management can involve being part of a rapid response team to analyze the potential accounting and financial implications of a crisis, investigative accounting, documentation of losses, support for your legal team, reconstruction of records or interim management duties.
A crisis management team can involve a lot of people and usually involves outside legal counsel. Legal counsel may have the company engage accounting and financial crisis management professionals as part of the crisis management team.
As a CPA and CFE, some of the key attributes related to crisis management need to be the availability to deploy as quickly as possible, analytical ability to identify key areas to address first, investigative techniques, communication skills, people skills, the ability to assist with interim management and other non-traditional accounting duties as needed.
Crisis management requires a specialized skill set in the accounting and financial management arena. An accounting and financial management professional has to have flexibility of scheduling to be out of the office in some cases for a few weeks at a time, which CPAs with rigid monthly schedules and/or duties won’t have. They need to have investigative accounting skills, which all CPAs don’t have training in. It helps to have previous experience as a financial executive in private industry, and to have extensive experience with documentation, communication and people skills. It helps to have additional certifications in areas such as fraud examination since these additional skills sets will be beneficial.
During times of crises, a CPA with skill sets in both traditional and non-traditional aspects of accounting and finance and the ability to work under pressure are more uniquely qualified to assist crisis management teams with accounting support services than the typical CPA. When organizations are dealing with difficult and often business threatening circumstances, they need an accounting and financial professional that can handle the specific needs that usually go with it.
For more information call Greg DeFoor at 770-420-8257 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org