At RLB, we frequently refer to our “People Count.” philosophy and during this rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak, we remain fully committed to that philosophy.
As clients, your well-being and safety remain our top priority and we are taking a number of proactive and precautionary steps to protect you, our team and our community.
As we strive to continue to provide the highest level of client service, while also taking the needs of our team into consideration, we have decided as a firm to take the following action:
All offices will be physically closed until further notice. Our team will be working remotely.
As a firm that prides itself on finding creative ways to meet the needs of our team, I want to reassure you that remote work is not a new process for us as we have been using work from home technology for many years.
What impact does this have on you as a client?
Privacy and Security:
Maintaining your privacy and security remains of the utmost importance to us. All of the technological solutions and procedures we have in place meet the industry standards for work from home arrangements.
Change of Deadlines:
Filing deadline for individuals for 2019 T1s was extended from April 30th to June 1st
Payments will be deferred as well for any taxes (including balances due and installments) that would normally be owing from today to August 31, 2020 will be deferred to September 1st without any interest or penalties accumulating during that time.
More information is available here.
To the best of our ability, we will maintain a “business as usual” approach to the completion of financial reporting and our business advisory services. We are, however, encouraging our clients to work with us and adopt the use of alternate methods of “meeting beyond the traditional face-to-face” appointments that many of you expect.
At RLB, we are equipped to provide face-to-face virtual meetings, we can convey information via phone or share updates via email. As always, we will do our best to accommodate your preferences in line with the social distancing measures put in place by the government. In many cases, we are also able to complete and file reports on your behalf and meet in person at a later date.
Exchange of financial information:
There are many unknowns regarding COVID-19 and the behavior of this virus. Although we have not been instructed to turn away the receipt of physical information, we are encouraging clients, where they can, to share information electronically via our secure “ShareFile” client portal service.
ShareFile is a secure collaboration and file sharing tool used by many clients at RLB for the past four years.
Business clients or clients with high volumes of information to be exchanged – we would set you up to use the portal on an ongoing basis. In order to do this, please reach out to your RLB team member directly. If you do not have access to a sharefile portal, feel free to send your documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal Tax clients – we can provide a secure upload link. For one time delivery of information, please email email@example.com.
If you have ShareFile in place, we urge you to use this solution.
We ask that you refrain from the drop off of physical information until further notice.
As you have done in the past, you are welcomed to communicate directly with our team via email. This is often the quickest way to connect with a team member.
We are only a call away, however, you may be greeted with an automated answering service which is a change for RLB. Please note this is only a short term expectation as we embrace the opportunity to forward calls directly to team members, wherever they may be.
The system will provide you with an electronic menu of team extensions. They can also be found on the website and on our email signature.
Please excuse that we are receiving a high volume of calls and you may be required to leave a message. Please leave a detailed message where you feel comfortable as this helps to speed up our ability to provide you with a valuable response.
If, as a business owner, you are looking for additional resources to navigate your options and obligations, please refer to this article published by our HR team – Best Practices for Employers- COVID 19.
The purpose of this information is to keep you updated on our steps as an organization. It reflects our best knowledge at the time of writing and will be continually updated as new learning and developments surface.
Bill Koornstra, Managing Partner