During the existential COVID-19 pandemic, we are all striving and putting our best efforts forward to keep our businesses running. From the prevailing scenario, we understand that the Government may adopt a staggered approach in lifting the existing lockdown. This unannounced pandemic has most certainly enabled us to prepare ourselves better for such phased manner of withdrawal of lockdown. With our current experience, a list of activities that may be implemented during such period of extended lockdown / during the period when lockdown is withdrawn in a phased manner are enlisted below and categorised into executionary work, technological upgradation and data accessibility.
- Subscribing for electronic statement from banks shall enable ease and instant availability of bank statements instead of having to visit bank premises for passbook updation.
- All bank passbooks to be updated, bank statements, demat statements and other information to be made available for Income Tax Return filing for Assessment Year 2019-20.
- All data related to pending Vivaad se Vishwas Scheme (VsV) for appeals pending with the Income Tax Department to be made available and VsV application to be filed.
- Tally backup to be made available for conducting GST audits of Financial Year 2018-19.
TECHNOLOGY UPGRADATION & DATA ACCESSIBILITY
- Necessary checks of the kind of technology upgradation required needs to be analyzed viz. provisioning of quality laptops, internet connections (dongle), etc. for key personnel at their residence.
- Printers and important stationery may be made accessible at essential locations and remote availability with office server can be made available depending on the availability of infrastructure.
- Digital signatures (DSC) should be made available from a place where it can be readily accessible by all.
- Laptops provided to employees who require usage of DSCs must be well configured with necessary applications viz. emSigner application.
- Remote login of Tally may be made available enabling ready access to data and facilitating further updation of accounting entries.
- Adoption of e-banking/ online banking will prove to be beneficial. The same can be restricted to a ceiling of monetary limit.
- Important agreements/ documents, cheque books etc. should be made available from a place or places from where it can be readily accessible.
- Use of electronic interfaces for video conferencing like Zoom or Google Meet can be implemented. This enables in having a better hold over crucial conversations even when participants of the meeting are remotely located and also enables availability of maximum participants.