Firm News

October 27, 2021

Chris Cicalese Featured in October Issue of South Jersey Biz on “Planning for the Unpredictable”

Associate Partner, Chris Cicalese, CPA, MSTFP, is featured in the October issue of South Jersey Biz. He comments in the article, “Planning for the Unpredictable” discussing crisis management for businesses and how to prepare for a potential disaster.

Cautionary Tales and Lessons Learned
While there’s no way to predict how, when or to what extent a catastrophe will strike, an emergency playbook can help cooler heads prevail in dire times. It can also force your company to consider catastrophic scenarios in a proactive way, empowering them to proceed confidentially into an unclear future. And even if it goes unused for years, it’s always better to have a backup plan and not need it than to need it and not have one.

It’s a lesson the Alloy Silverstein team at the accounting firm’s Cherry Hill office learned nearly a decade ago. Chris Cicalese, Alloy Silverstein’s associate partner and director of cloud services, explains how Hurricane Sandy’s devastation underscored deficiencies in their emergency backup plans.

“You don’t think that kind of thing is going to happen to you because you don’t think those kinds of storms will reach us, but we were without power for about a week and our office was not set up to be remote then,” he recalls. “We had to get a generator for the whole building that cost almost $20,000 a day to run.”

The frustrating fiasco jolted the company into action so it could prepare for all manner of emergencies, and is a big reason why its team smoothly transitioned to remote work as soon as COVID mandates shuttered non-essential workplaces.

It’s also why Alloy Silverstein was able to act as a business advisor throughout the pandemic, sharing work-arounds with and offering guidance to clients that came directly from the team’s experiences.

“Our clients can use us to whatever capacity they want to because we have that experience from doing our own emergency planning,” Cicalese says. “We reached out to our clients to say, ‘Hey if you need help, let us know. Our team has gone through this.’ We’ve been advising clients specifically on how to be more mobile, how to work from anywhere, and how to really plan for the worst.”

Getting Started
“The basics of a good plan are redundancy, mobility and worst-case scenario planning,” Cicalese explains.

Some key company players are loathe to confront their mortality by establishing a succession plan; some believe the storm of the century won’t hit their offices; some think their business is too small for hackers to target. Others simply put it off until it’s too late.

An Evolving Plan is an Effective Plan
But if you’re really in the tall grass when it comes to crafting your crisis-management plans, there are always experts who can help, as well as seminars and other educational resources providing guidance from those who have survived the same disaster that will, in time, impact your business.

“No one thinks that worst-case scenario is going to happen to them, but it is definitely going to happen to someone,” says Cicalese.

The article features other South Jersey business leaders and their advice and tips for crisis management planning. Follow South Jersey Biz on Twitter @SouthJerseyBiz for more South Jersey business news and updates. Read the full article here→

Download the South Jersey Biz October 2021 Issue