No matter what the disaster is, whether it is a fire in your offices or something on the scale of the Corona Virus, proper expense tracking is critical for a few reasons:
1. You may need this information to provide to your insurance company.
2. Federal Grants require expense tracking related to the disaster for reimbursements.
3. When reviewing your historical financial data, you will want to easily determine why you had a spike in expenses and why the dip in revenue.
In order to keep these records clean you will need to work with your accounting professional to do the following:
1. Set up a separate expense account for costs associated with the disaster. In the case of the Corona Virus these expenses could include: laptop computers and/or other work at home equipment for staff, subscriptions to new software to facilitate remote working, additional IT contracting expenses to set up systems, or additional office equipment.
2. Setup a separate time tracking item in your system to code all Corona related time to. This could include time setting up systems or assisting staff with remote work issues. This will be paid out the same as other payroll, but if the need comes up, you will easily be able to report on the payroll expense related to disaster response.
3. Ensure you have receipts for EVERYTHING. You should normally be doing this, but it is critical in disaster and any grant reimbursement is driven by documentation showing you officially paid for the time.
Setting up these expense tracking items early in the event will pay dividends later.