An update to our contacts regarding COVID-19

Our commitment to our clients, colleagues, and community

Our first priority is the health, well-being and safety of our clients, our staff and their families, and our surrounding communities. Like you, we are watching every new development and doing our best to adjust our practices to ensure everyone’s safety. We have a responsibility to contribute in any way possible to slowing the transmission of this virus. Accordingly, we are initiating the following protocols:

Visiting our office

Effective immediately, our office is closed to clients and any other visitors. While we regret having to take this step, we feel we must in order to protect you, our neighbours, and our staff.

Fortunately, we are well-prepared to continue serving you in other ways. In many ways, it will be “business as usual” at Froese & Company, as we have been conducting virtual meetings and working with a paperless environment for many years. We have all the tools in place to continue serving you as before.

We recognize that on your end, there may be some adjustments and perhaps a learning curve to figuring out how to best use the tools we make available to handle meetings and to transfer documents. We want to assure you that we are here to help you with this, and anything else. If you feel bewildered by anything we ask you to do, please don’t be afraid to let us know that, and we will either adjust what we do, or help you figure out what needs to be done.

If you currently have an in-person meeting scheduled with us, we will be reaching out to you shortly to convert this to a phone meeting or a video-conference with screen-sharing. To prepare for this, we encourage you to download and install Zoom, which is the platform we have chosen for client meetings. This program can be downloaded from the Zoom download centre.

Submitting your documents

To reduce the potential of transmitting the virus through the delivery of mail and packages, we strongly encourage you to provide your information electronically via email, or through the secure DropBox folder we have shared with you. If we have not created a shared DropBox folder for you, please let us know immediately, and we will get you set up. Please note that we do require documents to be in PDF format.

If you must submit original paper documents, please let us know and we will make arrangements with you. However, please do not deliver these documents to our office without prior permission. Wherever possible, we will arrange for an alternative transfer location.

Appointments and phone calls

Due to increased workloads, uncertain staff schedules, etc., we are unlikely to answer every phone call. We will try, but we highly encourage you to consider scheduling in advance any discussion you wish to have with us. You can do this by visiting our scheduling page. Aside from phone calls, email is our recommended communication method. However, if you prefer WhatsApp, please send WhatsApp messages in text to our company WhatsApp line, at 226-240-3577.

Other matters

Like you, we have many questions about the consequences of this virus, and how everything will shake out in the coming weeks and months. There are a few things we know, or which are likely, which may affect you and us in the next short while:
EI benefits have been enhanced for those who are, or will be laid off from their jobs due to COVID-19 effects. If you are an employee, or an employer with concerns for your employees and wonder how to access these benefits, please let us know and we will get you up to speed.

CRA, and other government departments, are working at reduced capacity. This means that phone lines may not be available, and processing times may be longer than normal. Wherever possible, use digital means to communicate with the CRA during this time. If you have not yet signed up for “My Account” or “My Business Account”, consider doing so.

Income tax deadlines, both for filing, and for the payment of tax balances due, have been extended. We still recommend filing as soon as possible to ensure timely processing and payment of any benefits to which you may be entitled. We will do our best to process your return quickly. However, we are also working under an increased workload due to COVID-19 related issues.
Many other initiatives, including additional benefits and funding both for employees and small businesses were announced today. We will be reviewing these in more detail within the next few days and will do our best to inform you and help you make the most of any assistance available.

In conclusion

Let’s remember that even though the world we now know has acquired a sombre, frightening feel, we still have much to be thankful for, and much to look forward to. The most important things in life have not changed, and perhaps they have even become more valuable to us in the past week. We still have family, friends, faith, love and laughter. Let’s hold tight to the things that matter, and enjoy them in abundance. Let’s remember to be kind, patient, and understanding in trying circumstances. Much good can come out of a bad situation, and this crisis is no different.

Stay safe and healthy, and let us know if we can help you in any way.
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