Tax and accounting work was a normal business day for Tom Golden, a partner at Kinol Sharie Leyh & Associates, for the past 20 years. “It’s just routine,” Golden said. Then the coronavirus hit. Increasingly, his clients began calling his firm, worrying about having cash on hand and increasing lines of credit to make it through the pandemic financially sound. “It’s chaos,” says Golden.
Eventually, it became less about giving advice to his clients and more about looking out for the people he’d gotten to know as their advisor for the past 20 years. He wants his clients to know he has their back: as of now, all of his clients are getting their tax, accounting, and small business work or advice for free during the pandemic. “What happens is most of your clients are your friends, and I think you have an obligation to try to get them to the other side,” Golden said, adding that the scariest part is not knowing for certain if his clients can get to the other side. The least he can do, he thinks, is help them in any way he can without adding financial strain.
What hasn’t changed for Golden is his sense of optimism when it comes to his client’s situations. Regardless of whether or not he thinks his clients can make it through this pandemic financially, he believes his ability to look from an outside perspective at someone’s financials can provide a calming force for those depending on his advice. He doesn’t believe in just telling them that they’re going to fail, but rather, he likes to provide options.
What Golden and his business are doing is stepping up, and helping the community that’s built them up first. The buck doesn’t stop there for him though: he thinks that if enough people step up like him, then this community can get out of the pandemic stronger than ever. He personally knows the hardship we’re going through, but he’ll also be the first one to tell you that you can get through it. “I know from my own experience how dark it is,” he says, adding that the hope lies in others stepping up. In that way, Golden leads by example.