The COVID-19 pandemic has not only caught governments, researchers, and health officials off-guard, but it has also shaken the foundations of the business world. In a matter of a few short weeks, we have gone from record-low unemployment and a record-high DOW to job cuts in the tens of millions each week and food lines that stretch across entire city blocks.
The crash has been as precipitous as it was unexpected. Now, claims abound that the next Great Recession has already begun and that a new Great Depression may be imminent.
To stop the slide, governments the world over are injecting the global economy with massive infusions of cash. This is a promising and bold response and perhaps the global economy’s best hope to shore up the markets until the crisis passes, with the expectation that pent-up demand and an otherwise strong economy will quickly rebound after the virus abates.
However, it’s unlikely that the business world, like the rest of our world, will ever be quite the same after the pandemic is over. But what can we really expect the business world to look like after coronavirus?
If the pandemic has taught business owners anything, it’s how vulnerable even the largest and most robust enterprises can be. There are faults in the system that this virus has shone a glaring spotlight on.
As businesses struggle to survive in the face of a global lockdown, for instance, they’re turning a microscope on their financial processes, looking to salvage every bit of revenue possible to buoy the business in the midst of the storm. This will almost assuredly reveal one of the most significant sources of business revenue loss: travel and expense account fraud.
In the wake of COVID, we can expect business owners to identify bad actors padding their own pockets at the company’s expense. We can also anticipate their taking aggressive measures to prevent such abuses in the future, including the automation of operating processes, expense reporting, accounting, and auditing.
Making the Case for Minimum Wage Increases
As the business leaders and workers worldwide come to grips with the financial, as well as the physical, effects of the pandemic, it’s likely that the call for income equality will grow louder and stronger than ever before. Efforts to protect workers have also brought into glaring relief the massive gap between the haves and the have-nots in today’s global economy.
Calls for legislation to increase the US minimum wage to $15 per hour have been in place for quite a while now. However, the debate over the terms of the Coronavirus Aid Package has illuminated the harsh reality that, for most minimum wage workers across the country, even a full-time minimum wage job is grossly insufficient for the average cost of living in America today.
These challenges have also emphasized the particular vulnerability of small businesses in contrast to the relative security of the large multinationals. While big businesses have a reserve of funds to help them weather almost any storm, even one as profound as this one, small businesses typically don’t have this luxury. It’s estimated, for instance, 43% of small businesses think they will last less than six months.
Online banking has been around for decades now, but until the outbreak of the virus, it had remained a tertiary component of the banking system. Now that the pandemic has forced many banks to shutter their physical operations, however, the numerous gaps, inefficiencies, and insecurities of the online banking system are taking center stage.
Addressing these deficiencies in online banking will be of the utmost importance as the business world, governments, entrepreneurs, and consumers seek to rebuild post-pandemic. Online banking in the aftermath of corona will likely be more robust, more secure, and more in-demand than it might ever have been had the outbreak not occurred. In addition, a host of fully online banks, such as Ally and Vio, are seeing a surge in new customers due to their more accessible and reliable online services.
The world of business in the aftermath of coronavirus will look far different than before the pandemic. There will be far more accountability and transparency in expense accounting, with automation playing an increasingly important role in this process. Demands for higher minimum wage rates will grow and will likely be more successful than they have been in the past due to greater recognition of the massive wage gap that currently exists. Finally, online banking systems will become more robust, secure, sophisticated, and ubiquitous in our changed, post-corona reality.