We will make it



By Adriano Cancellari

When the storm is over, you probably won't know how you managed to get through it and get out of alive. In fact, you're not even sure if it's really over. But on one point there is no doubt, and it is that you, out of that wind, will not be the same as that who entered it. (Haruki Murakami)
First of all, my thoughts go to colleagues who, directly or indirectly, have been affected by Covid-19 and I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone on the Board. I want to remind you that we are close to all those who have suffered or are still suffering and, in particular, we express the most sincere condolences to colleagues who have suffered the loss of a loved one.

If I may, let's go back to the coronavirus emergency. I recently read that the Italian former Minister of Finance, Mr.Giulio Tremonti, during an interview on 30 March 2020, compared this pandemic to a fact from the past that shocked the world: the Sarajevo attack. As you will remember, on June 28, 1914, the young Serbian Gavrilo Princip succeeded in killing the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, Francis Ferdinand, and his wife Sofie. This double killing was the pretext for the Austro-Hungarian Empire to declare war on the Kingdom of Serbia. Then, with the involvement of the other world powers, what would later be called "the Great War" broke out.

As the First World War ended the so-called Belle Époque that had lasted for nearly 40 years, equally, says Mr. Tremonti, this pandemic seriously risks ending the "golden thirty years of globalization" and the domination of the "divine market". This should be one of those epochal events after which nothing will be as before, especially from the point of view of economic and social relations.

Is this true? Since they are already writing rivers of ink and others will write about it, for now, I want to focus on the first effects that this virus has and will have on our profession. However, I can certainly share the concept that "nothing will be as before".

When I wrote in a previous article, about the evolution of our profession, “Everything has been changing suddenly in recent years, I think we will all have realized it. And how quickly will it change in the future? ”, I never thought that an insidious and invisible virus, after even four months of consideration, would have revolutionized our way of being and working so rapidly.

In my article I remembered the intervals between one accounting "invention" and the other: about thirty thousand years to pass from the first inventory to the first form of numerical calculation, about six thousand years to arrive at the double entry accounting system, five hundred years to arrive at the era of the computer and artificial intelligence ... now, in just one month, we have all been forced to change not only our lifestyle, but also the way we work and that one of our staff.

We had to buy new computers or notebooks for our employees, so that they could work from home (arduous undertaking for those who started late, given that the more structured companies had already bought almost everything). We created new links on the cloud, we gave new instructions to those who have switched to home working and, above all, we have lost physical contact with collaborators and customers.

We have also changed the way we meet and update ourselves: meetings are now held by teleconference and training credits are obtained only through webinars.

The type of advice we provide to our customers is also changing: many of them are asking us for information on the various laws and on the decrees that continue to come out relentlessly. Others are asking us for assistance for the lack of cashflow, or they are asking us for new budgets to face the future. These are all requests that need the intervention of precise and prepared people ... and only we, as chartered accountants, are able to assist them with seriousness and professionalism.

Of course, very hard months are waiting for us, during which we will work a lot and, in some cases, with disappointing economic satisfactions. But we will demonstrate that we are not only "useful", but "indispensable" to our Country.

As you can see, there are many problems, but we are showing that we are able to overcome them. Our spirit of adaptation is beating Covid-19 and the hostile environment it has created.

I remind you the principle of the evolution of the Darwin species: who will survive is not the strongest, but the one who has a greater spirit of adaptation. And our profession is proving to have it.

And after the coronavirus? Nothing will be like before, but I we will talk about it at length when we next meet up…



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