Central Geelong professional services have adapted quickly to meet customer demand through the challenges of COVID-19.
The need for financial, legal, medical, technical and personal services has not stopped, and the more than 600 professional services in Central Geelong are doing things differently to ensure they continue to provide their expertise to customers.
Central Geelong is home to a broad range of professional services – from large providers through to small businesses.
Financial and business services
The demand for financial and business advice, both for individuals and business owners, is high.
Central Geelong’s businesses can provide a range of services via phone appointments, virtual meetings and electronic document sharing.
It’s business as usual for Planwell Financial Services – but staff are working remotely; H&R Block Tax Accountants is offering phone appointments and electronic document sharing; while Warnock Accounting offers phone/Skype tax return appointments and the capacity to submit tax return information electronically.
McHenry Partners Accountants & Business Advisors is offering customers phone or virtual meetings.
The use of cloud accounting software, with information provided direct from the Australian Taxation Office, plus the implementation of Single Touch Payroll (STP) and insurance provider reporting, have all made it easier than ever at tax time. A phone call or virtual meeting with McHenry Partners can confirm expenses incurred.
An electronic signing system allows clients to be sent their tax return securely for signing from their mobile phone or computer and once processed by the ATO, all refunds are processed directly into the client’s bank account.
Using an accountant that is set up to complete and sign tax returns electronically helps avoid the delay in processes and reduces the need to have face-to-face contact or rely on traditional mail delivery.
McHenry Partners is also supporting other Geelong businesses through the City of Greater Geelong’s Coronavirus Business Support Package – it is one of many local businesses offering expert advice to assist other business operators impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.
Central Geelong’s legal service providers were quick to respond when COVID-19 restrictions began.
Wightons Lawyers moved to provide all services electronically with appointments available via phone, Skype or Zoom.
Slater and Gordon moved all appointments to telephone or video.
Coulter Roache continues to provide its broad range of legal services to clients by phone, email or video conference.
Coulter Roache has also partnered with the City of Greater Geelong to provide employment law advice to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Senia Lawyers principal lawyer Andrew Senia says throughout the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an added emphasis on people making a will or updating their existing will.
He recommends people should look at updating their wills from time to time as their needs and circumstances change. They should also consider powers of attorney – the two most common being financial power of attorney and medical power of attorney.
Mr Senia says making a will and power of attorney can be done face-to-face, by telephone or by Skype and it is a two-appointment process. The first appointment is to obtain instructions, and the second for checking and execution.
There are special rules in relation to execution of these documents, and it’s best done in the presence of a legal practitioner so clients are fully aware of the process. Execution can be arranged electronically.
While abiding by COVID-19 restrictions, Senia Lawyers is open for business and is offering a free consultation (by telephone or Skype) to assist anyone contemplating making a will or power of attorney or updating their current documents.
Details: 5221 6788
Medical and health services
It’s important to ensure people in need are still seeking the support of medical and allied health professionals. Many providers in Central Geelong moved quickly to support their patients and clients during COVID-19.
Transcendent Psychology moved all appointments to telephone or video, ensuring ongoing support and assistance to its clients.
The team of physiotherapists at Waterfront Health Studio is committed to working with clients to meet their physiotherapy needs. Using telehealth, physiotherapists will discuss and assess any musculoskeletal or pain issues being experienced. They will then provide a comprehensive explanation about the injury or concerns. Clients will be prescribed a treatment plan which may include stretches, exercises and a range of evidenced-based self-management strategies.
Virtual dental consultations are being offered by Gheringhap Street’s Dentists & Doctors while all routine (non-emergency) dental consultations and appointments have been deferred.
The virtual dental consultations – via video or phone – allow the dental team to engage with patients, discussing their dental concerns and understand their expectations from the treatment. It also allows communication to patients about treatment options, realistic goals to set, understand the provisional treatment plan, the process of how it works, and expected duration from start to finish.
If the client does not have access to video services, the consultation can be conducted over the phone with any patient photos (such as selfies) emailed through – everything remains confidential. These virtual consultations allow the dentist to start treatment planning steps, so that once restrictions are lifted, they can get straight into patient treatment and minimise downtime.
To see the huge range of professional services on offer in Central Geelong and find out more about how businesses are doing things differently visit centralgeelong.com.au/at your service or download the Love Central Geelong smartphone app.
For more information about the City of Greater Geelong’s Coronavirus Business Support Package visit www.geelongaustralia.com/business or call 5272 5272.