Accounting firms are donating supplies, funds and services during COVID-19, according to a recent survey conducted by the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA). Fifty-one of the MSCPA’s member firms and companies responded to the survey, which was conducted in April 2020.
Of those surveyed:
- 62% had already given back; and 43% planned to donate more than once; and
- 36% of those who had not donated at the time of the survey were planning to do so.
Of those who had previously donated:
- 70% gave supplies or funds to local hospitals, food banks, state relief funds, restaurants and/or other organizations; and
- 26% are donating their services to help clients affected by COVID-19, particularly as many navigate the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Participating firms ranged from sole practitioners to the Big 4 and spanned across the Commonwealth. Several large firms reported giving back as fundamental to their firm. “At KPMG, one of our core values is giving back to the communities where we live and work,” said Darren Donovan, KPMG’s Boston Hub managing principal. “Now more than ever, we are called to help those most in need, which is why we’ve donated to the Boston Resiliency Fund and the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund, in addition to loaning laptops to help set up the field hospital at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. We’re proud to support local efforts to provide critical resources to the most vulnerable populations in our local communities.”
Jane Steinmetz, EY’s Boston Office Managing Principal, added, “The Boston office of Ernst & Young LLP has always been dedicated to the well-being of both our people and the community where we live and work. In response to COVID-19, we have supported several Boston charities that focus on key issues like promoting uninterrupted education, addressing food and medication insecurity and caring for vulnerable children, families and homeless individuals across Boston. This is an incredibly difficult time, but we are committed to getting through this crisis together and coming out stronger on the other side.”
For some firms, giving back was personal. “I have quite of few clients that are in the medical field and have the utmost respect for what they do,” said Michael Sacco, CPA, MST, owner of Sacco & Associates LLC in Worcester. “When I heard there was a shortage of masks, gowns, gloves, etc., I knew we needed to help. The money we donated was used to supply our local hospitals with the equipment they so desperately need.”
Located in Wakefield, tonneson + co donated 700 KN95 masks and over 2,000 3-ply surgical masks to the Wakefield Fire and Police Departments, Melrose/Wakefield Hospital, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center and multiple nonprofit organizations. “With the shortage of PPE, we wanted to address a critical need for the first responders who are putting their lives on the line in the course of doing their jobs and helping others,” said Richard Mastrocola, president and CEO of tonneson + co.
Braintree’s Kevin P. Martin & Associates, P.C. is also rallying around the local community. “We partnered with local restaurants on the South Shore, Southcoast Region and North Shore to provide meals to COVID-19 first responder units such as hospitals and police, fire and EMT stations such as Lahey Clinic and South Shore Hospital,” said Kevin Martin, Jr., CPA, MST, managing director of KPM. “We’re proud to also be part of a collaborative team helping small, minority and women-owned businesses gain access to PPP funds. We’re in this together and we will come out the back side together.”
Other firms are also donating services to help clients navigate this trying time. “With so many businesses confused about what to do and how to seek relief, providing pro bono guidance and advice just made sense,” said John Geraci, CPA, managing partner of LGA in Woburn. “The positive response about the impact that we have made is extremely gratifying. There is more work to do, and we will continue to be there!”
In addition to the survey, the MSCPA also launched a marketing campaign and web page to promote various relief funds and organizations that accounting firms and companies can contribute to in Massachusetts. There have been over 350 visits to the web page since the campaign began in April.
“Accounting is a business of people and relationships, and our members work across various industries that have been hit hard by COVID-19, so it’s no surprise they’ve made it a priority to give back,” said Amy Pitter, MSCPA president and CEO. “This pandemic happened at the busiest time of year for CPAs – tax season – but our members care deeply about their communities and want to help, and we’re proud to guide them on the various ways they can give back.”