COVID-19 Weekly Update – February 24th 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the first to sweep the globe, nor is it likely to be the last one. Throughout history, pandemics have shaped our world, as this historic lookback in the Washington Post explains. One such plague likely contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, when disease –likely measles and smallpox – swept through the ancient world and killed 5 million people over 15 years. The Black Death…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – February 17th 2021

Keeping people safe in the pandemic requires a comprehensive approach, as explained by Aaron E. Carroll, a pediatrics professor at Indiana University. By taking the pandemic seriously, “far from posing a risk to its host city or town, a university could become—by supplementing behavioral measures such as masking and social distancing with widespread surveillance testing—a model for detecting and suppressing the virus.” By the time IU’s 87,000 students return to…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – February 10th 2021

Although most of us have not been able to travel for much of the last year, that didn’t stop The Guardian from hosting a travel photography competition. Stunning landscapes, colorful marketplaces, and chance photos that capture an unforgettable moment are all among the winners in the many categories. We may not be able to travel safely yet, but we can at least travel in our imaginations. I am glad to…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 27th 2021

For many of us, it was our networks that helped us get through the last year. That was one of the lessons that Ivan Meisner, founder of BNI, an international business networking group learned from 2020. He also learned the value of limiting exposure to bad news by picking up what he needed to know from news apps. One business owner struggled with the stress of working from home while overseeing remote…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 13th 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic may have an economic impact far beyond last year and the next two or three. A recent report by the World Bank projects global economic growth to slow to 1.9% per year from 2020-2029. Prior to the pandemic, growth was projected to be 2.1%, down from 2.5% over the previous decade. Investments in infrastructure, diversifying economies and supporting the employment of women may help to mitigate or reverse that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 23rd 2020

Hoping that you are busy, making holiday plans, while scanning the news about the COVID-19 Relief Bill we’re keeping this issue extra short. Just in time for Christmas, Jupiter and Saturn appear in close alignment this week, forming what some have called a ‘Christmas Star.’ The last time this happened was in the spring of 1226, when Notre Dame cathedral was under construction. Their closest connection will be on the Winter’s…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 2nd 2020

After months of only bad news about the spread of COVID-19, recent announcements of successful trials of three different vaccines bring a sense of optimism that the return to “normal” is on the way. Pfizer was first, and chartered flights bringing the vaccine to the U.S. from Belgium began on November 27. By mid-December, people may begin receiving that vaccine. A vaccine by Moderna has also completed trials and that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 25th 2020 & Wishing You a Safe Happy Thanksgiving

One of the positive side effects of the pandemic has been reduced traffic on interstate highways. A group of amateur race car drivers decided to take advantage of the empty roads to revive the “Cannonball Run,” a highly illegal endurance race from Manhattan to Los Angeles. The object of this race is to make the run faster than anyone else. Teams plan for months, fine-tuning routes to consider traffic light…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 11th 2020 – Remembering Our Veterans!

To all veterans of all branches, we thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all. In short, thank you for your service! To all those who have served, and those who continue to serve… Happy Veterans Day! The pandemic hasn’t hit everyone equally economically, as this article in the Wall Street Journal explains. Manufacturing has largely recovered, but occupations that require face-to-face interaction, such…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 4th 2020

When the novel coronavirus hit last winter, doctors were unsure of the most effective treatments. But as the pandemic has continued, doctors are learning, as the fatality rate continues to drop, the best way to survive COVID-19 seems to be to delay catching it, as this article in The Atlantic describes. According to a study cited in the article, the fatality rate in New York City was 25.6% back in…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 21st 2020

Lately, economists have been talking about a “K-shaped” recovery from the current recession. As this article in The Conversation explains, this kind of recovery happens when different parts of the economy recover at different rates. White-collar workers who can more easily work remotely may have an easier and faster path to recovery than blue-collar and service workers who must be physically present to do their jobs. Moving forward is the…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 14th 2020

Prior to COVID-19, models of what could happen during a pandemic overstated the possible global death toll, but understated the potential hit to GDP. But as a series in The Economist explains, our current pandemic may have lasting impact. The impacts of shutting down schools for months at a time may persist for decades. Governments around the world are issuing debt at levels never before seen to finance support for…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 7th 2020

Fall is here, and with it, the beautiful colors of the season. Hikes and drives to see the colors are still something we can do, despite COVID-19, as this guide in the New York Times reminds us, with pictures and suggestions across the country. The Berkshires in Massachusetts, Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, West Virginia’s Spruce Knob, Maine’s Grafton Notch, Percy Warner Park and Radnor Lake near Nashville, and Guanella…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 30th 2020

With our normal routines turned upside down, people have found as many ways to cope with the pandemic as there are neighborhoods. I love the section of the New York Times showing a series of postcard vignettes of neighbors coming together to connect and help each other, check it out. In Los Angeles, a family picks citrus fruit from trees in their neighborhood, sharing the bounty with the owners of the trees…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 23rd 2020

Sleep is as close to a panacea as we are likely to get in our lifetimes: it helps us recover from injuries and illness, plays a vital role in memory formation, and helps keep us healthy. Disrupting our sleep has an adverse impact on nearly every system in our bodies. So it’s perhaps not surprising that a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that unemployment disrupts…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 16th 2020

As the world becomes more tech-centric, our behaviors have changed in ways that Emily Post could not have envisioned when she first compiled her guidance on etiquette. Fortunately for my firm we have been using video-chat software for years and have a system in place for two of our staff members NOW THREE to work remotely without skipping a beat.  Elizabeth Spradley is now a “southern girl” having relocated to…  Read more

We Are Running Out of Time, or Payroll Tax Deferral Without Guidance is…

It’s been almost 3 weeks and we accountants, employers and employees have been waiting for answers so that we can make an informed decision.  When I first read the memo I was concerned about the unforeseen consequences.  Please click through to my blog post of August 10th, for the full details and concerns as next week starts the clock and I am still concerned. So are many who have been…  Read more

10 Cyber Security Tips Your Business Needs Now and “The Morning” from the NYT…

Security has always been important to me as my firm started using: cloud based accounting software more technology solutions for transferring data between my clients, the tax authorities and my staff more technology solutions for client business efficiencies communicating between remote staff and clients As read through my on-line newsletters this morning I was reminded that although I have been writing and talking about the importance of protecting client data…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 26th 2020

In the past, automation and technological advances created more jobs than it disrupted, and innovation has greatly improved our lives. However, as this article in the Wall Street Journal reports, economists caution that the COVID-19 pandemic may have accelerated the changes that have already been happening for the last several decades which may be creating a divide between skilled and low-skilled workers. “For many professionals, technology has been a lifeline…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – August 5th 2020

It’s no surprise to most Americans that the U.S. economy has suffered greatly from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But what may surprise you is the extent of the decline: a record 32.9% contraction during the second quarter of 2020, the biggest drop since 1947. The virus is still spreading across much of the country, and for 19 straight weeks, more than 1 million people have submitted new claims…  Read more

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