An integrated approach to client communications in the virtual space

By Sarah Dieckman, Marketing Communications Manager, Goering Center for Family and Private Business

At the start of the pandemic, Barnes Dennig was among the first to move to remote working. Thanks to proactive investments in technology over the years, the firm was able to make the switch virtually overnight, and at the height of their busiest season, without compromising work quality or client service.

The firm was committed to maintaining existing connections and to forging new ones throughout the pandemic. To stay connected with clients and provide vital information about relief legislation and its impact, Barnes Dennig formed a COVID-19 Advisory Team, with a stated focus on providing assistance rather than monetizing the effort. The Advisory Team immediately began producing a steady stream of content and communications: more than 100 blog posts, nine webinars that were attended/viewed by over 1,100 people, and a series of “Quick Tests,” designed to help users determine their eligibility and best approach to PPP loans, loan forgiveness, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). To date, the Advisory Team has helped more than 400 organizations with more than $65 million in PPP loans and loan forgiveness – without a single loan being denied forgiveness or any changes to Barnes Dennig’s PPP loan forgiveness calculations.

Though the need for pandemic-related legislation will eventually fade, the “Quick Test” format gave Barnes Dennig the platform to provide clients with greater insight on a wider range of topics, complete with the convenience of an easy-to-complete online form. Their team has developed new Quick Tests for several of their consulting practices and plan to expand in the future. This new functionality has resulted in new business and expanded services with existing clients.

“We can’t predict the future, but we will continue to look ahead, evaluate trends, and invest strategically in technology, to ensure we’re staying ahead of the game,” said Jay Rammes, Managing Director.

For more than two decades, Barnes Dennig hosted regular, in-person events for clients and friends of the firm. The disappearance of this traditional approach to business caused concern, but the firm not only quickly pivoted to virtual events, they dramatically increased the frequency and range of topics, with a special focus on COVID-19 relief legislation and its impact. As in-person programming returns, the

firm looks to continue hosting virtual and hybrid events to expand their reach and connect with the community through a variety of platforms. With the shift to virtual, Barnes Dennig also recognized the value of an integrated approach, where practice leaders consider all markets and work with localized teams to grow their business. The approach is already showing promise for increased client satisfaction and further business growth in multiple markets.

The pandemic was not going to dampen their support of the community, either. Barnes Dennig conducted their most successful ArtsWave and United Way campaigns to-date, and, in honor of their annual October Outreach Day, the firm closed its doors and safely sent their employees out into the community for a day of service – volunteering at The Brighton Center, The Literacy Network of Greater Cincinnati, and Redwood School and Rehabilitation Center.

“Our fears about not being together, the potential impact on productivity, and whether technology could replace long-standing traditional ways of working subsided as we all embraced the new normal,” Rammes said.

Featured image: Jay Rammes (Managing Director) of Barnes Dennig

Barnes Dennig is a Goering Center Associate Member. The Goering Center is sharing this content as part of its 2021 Family and Private Business Awards celebration.

About Barnes Dennig
Barnes Dennig is a Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm serving businesses and organizations in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. As one of Inside Public Accounting’s Top 200 Firms, they offer tax, accounting, auditing, business consulting, and business advisory services to help their clients make the most of every financial opportunity. Named to The Enquirer’s Top Workplaces list for the 11th time in 2021, Barnes Dennig goes beyond the numbers, with innovative insights and game-changing strategies to help their clients thrive, maximizing cash flow and minimizing tax burdens.

About the Goering Center for Family & Private Business
Established in 1989, the Goering Center serves more than 400 member companies, making it North America’s largest university-based educational non-profit center for family and private businesses. The Center’s mission is to nurture and educate family and private businesses to drive a vibrant economy. Affiliation with the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati provides access to a vast resource of business programing and expertise. Goering Center members receive real-world insights that enlighten, strengthen and prolong family and private business success. For more information on the Center, participation and membership visit goering.uc.edu.