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Learning to Get Comfortable With Uncertainty

Business Uncertainty Gilmore Jasion Mahler While change is sometimes hard to accept, now more than ever before, it is the time to embrace it, which means getting comfortable with uncertainty and working on the skill of adaptability within your organization. While doing this on an infrastructural level is essential (as we discussed in Part 1 of this series) adaptability on a personal level is equally important. The good news is that it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon, as needed.

Arguably, in the current business environment that we’re witnessing globally, adaptability is the most critical soft skill a person can develop, both personally and professionally. Soft skills refer to those underlying skills that people use to do their jobs, like time-management, creative problem solving, and interpersonal style. While those remain important, adaptability will drive most business success and growth in 2020 and beyond.

What Does This Look Like on the Ground?

  • Acknowledging the uncertainty, along with the need to adapt. While this may seem obvious, many companies are accustomed to utilizing long-term strategies for their daily operations. As many experts agree, this method of approach doesn’t work so well for the current climate.
  • Accepting that things won’t be perfect (at least not at first). Another significant component to encouraging and modeling adaptability is that sometimes it will be messy, and that’s OK. A workforce that feels comfortable making course-corrections when necessary is one of the major components of building adaptability into your business. If something isn’t working, it becomes clear quickly what needs to be changed.

RELATED: GJM COVID-19 Resources

  • Taking one step at a time. Again, long-term strategies are taking a real backseat in these uncertain times. Long-term goals or outcomes are fine, but planning one step at a time how to achieve them is going to be a more prudent and less frustrating means of getting there. Things are likely to change along the way, so you can get ahead of that by building a solution around the changes, rather than having to undo an existing strategy and lose precious time and resources.
  • Encouraging and fostering emotional intelligence in your workforce. This refers to the ability of a person to empathize and control their emotions and usually involves some level of self-awareness. A workforce that has a higher level of emotional intelligence will be better at adapting to continued change, be better at collaborating, and more generally have increased efficiency, overall.

Every organization is different, so how this looks may be different for some. The most valuable aspect of adaptability is that it allows your business to respond to exactly what it needs, no more, no less.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.


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Link to Part 1

Do I need to include my PPP loan or HHS Provider Relief funds when calculating OH CAT?

Question: Do I need to include my Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) loan or HHS Provider Relief funds when calculating Ohio Commercial Activity Tax (CAT)?

Answer from Jennifer Bryant, Healthcare and Accounting Services Team:

Many Ohio businesses received funding from both the Payroll Protection Program and the HHS Provider Relief Funds that were part of the CARES Act, the sweeping legislation designed to infuse the American economy with much needed liquidity. As these businesses file their Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) returns, it is important to understand how the State of Ohio is treating the receipt of these funds.

Ohio specifically addresses the HHS Provider Relief funds, stating that these funds are not excluded from a taxpayer’s gross receipts for purposes of the CAT. But, there is an exception. If the healthcare provider is a nonprofit organization (as that term is defined in Ohio Administrative Code 5703-29-10), that nonprofit organization is excluded, and therefore not subject to CAT.

In regard to the PPP funds, the Ohio General Assembly modified the definition of “gross receipts” to specifically exclude all forgiven PPP loans from Ohio CAT. Those forgiven PPP loans have been excluded from federal gross income under §1106(i) of the CARES Act. In other words, forgiven PPP loan principal will be excluded from the tax base for federal income tax purposes and Ohio Commercial Activity Tax. 

Should your organization have any questions regarding this issue, please reach out to your GJM advisory team for help.

(Jennifer picture)

Jennifer Bryant is a supervisor in the firm’s healthcare department. She came on board with Gilmore Jasion Mahler in January of 2002. A member of the firm’s Healthcare and Accounting Services Team, she works closely with clients to ensure that their healthcare practices run smoothly, handling monthly financials and often fielding questions and offering guidance on a variety of client issues. Jennifer’s areas of expertise include ambulatory surgery centers, physician practices and dental practices.    

A graduate of Davis College, Jennifer is a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA).

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.  

How to Run a Successful Business in Uncertain Times

Business UncertaintyThis year has introduced businesses small and large to unprecedented levels of uncertainty. Even being intimately familiar with the adage in business, “the only constant is change,” very few companies were prepared for the changes that 2020 has brought us so far. These changes are still taking place and will likely continue for some time to come.

So, how does a business stay afloat, even grow when so much uncertainty abounds? In this two-part series, we hope to be able to answer that question and give you some tangible recommendations as to how you can make your business more “uncertainty-proof.”

Strategic adaptability is a term that is bandied about a lot but is much more critical now than ever before. Simply put, strategic adaptability refers to having the infrastructure in place for your business that allows it to evolve when necessary. You’re probably already doing this on some level, in looking at customer preference changes or for sudden changes in the cost of goods and services.

RELATED ARTICLE: Protecting Your Business from Disaster

The original idea behind strategic adaptability is to make your business as adaptable as possible. While it may seem impossible to plan strategically for an infinite number of outcomes, there are some basic things that almost any business can do to increase its adaptability and afford itself some protection from so much uncertainty.

  1. Digitize, Digitize, Digitize

If you have been putting off your business’s entry into the digital era, now is absolutely the time to stop procrastinating. The more of your infrastructure that is digitized, the more easily tasks can be handed off, done remotely, altered, and more efficiently coordinated. Recent research indicates that this sort of adaptability for businesses is precisely the ingredient needed to avoid disruption in providing goods and services.

Gilmore Jasion Mahler itself is actually a good example of a business that has successfully transitioned to a mainly digital infrastructure. Maybe the changes our firm made will help your business too.

When the firm moved its Maumee headquarters to a new building last fall, leadership took the opportunity to embrace some additional digital platforms, including Microsoft Teams, which allows virtual meetings and all phone calls to happen through the computer desktop, no handset necessary. The firm had also transitioned earlier to some cloud-based solutions in a number of other areas of client service prior to the pandemic. For example, secure document storage.

“I feel we’re very lucky,” says GJM managing partner Kevin Gilmore. “When the COVID-19 crisis hit, we had made some smart decisions and had the digital infrastructure we needed in place. Our team was able to seamlessly transition to remote work without missing a beat. Had we not made those infrastructure changes, I imagine we would have had much more difficulty transitioning to a remote workforce.”

The manufacturing sector is certainly proof of the power of adaptability during the pandemic. Many car companies and other manufacturers quickly retooled to start producing ventilator components, face masks, face shields and other PPE to meet the needs of overwhelmed hospitals and other healthcare providers.

  1. Build Adaptability into Day-to-Day Management and Labor Practices

What does it look like, on the ground, for a business to build adaptability in to the day-to-day?  

For one, it requires management to take an active role in recognizing the uncertainty and establishing a resilient team to work with; it may also be the time to evaluate which of the old ways aren’t working for a business in the current climate. Focusing on practical solutions and priorities is also key to building this adaptability into daily operations. It’s useful to start with what outcomes you desire and work back from there, adapting the infrastructure as needed to achieve those outcomes. Encouraging collaboration and adaptability in your workforce is another quality shared by companies that are faring well in the current climate. While this may involve some training, these skills are more important now than ever.

Part two of this series will address some of the ways that organizations can help their workforces build the vital skill of adaptability.

Your business can access the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on industry in the GJM COVID-19 Resource Center.

Established in 1996, Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM) is the largest public accounting firm in Northwest Ohio, with offices in Maumee and Findlay. Locally owned, GJM offers cloud-based accounting and provides comprehensive services including assurance, business advisory, tax, risk advisory, healthcare management and outsourced accounting. The Firm’s professionals specialize in industries including construction & real estate, healthcare, manufacturing & distribution and utilities.