Central Geelong professional service businesses have been adapting quickly to meet the demands of customers through these challenging times. The need for financial, legal, medical, technical and personal services has not stopped and there are over 600 professional services in Central Geelong doing things differently to make sure they can continue to provide their expertise to customers.

Central Geelong is home to a broad range of professional services businesses – from large financial, legal and medical providers through to small businesses providing a wide range of niche professional services.

The demand for financial and business advice for individuals and business owners is high and Central Geelong’s financial services businesses have adapted to provide a range of services via phone appointments, virtual meetings and the sharing and signing of documents electronically.

Planwell Financial Services are working remotely with their service business as usual, H&R Block Tax Accountants are offering phone appointments and the ability to share documents electronically while Warnock Accounting offers phone/ Skype tax return appointments and the capacity to submit tax return information electronically.

McHenry Partners Accountants & Business Advisors are offering phone or virtual meetings to their customers. The use of cloud accounting software with information provided direct from the ATO with 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 can then confirm expenses incurred. McHenry Partners provides a cloud based electronic signing system which allows clients to be sent their tax return securely for signing from their mobile phone or computer. Once processed by the ATO, they process all refunds into the client’s bank account directly. 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 to be relying on traditional mail to arrive.

McHenry Partners are also supporting other Geelong businesses through the City of Greater Geelong’s Coronavirus Business Support Package – they are one of many local businesses offering their expert advice to assist business operators impacted by restrictions. For more information visit www.geelongaustralia.com/business or call 5272 5272.

Central Geelong’s legal service providers were quick to respond to meet customer demands when restrictions began. Wightons Lawyers moved all services to be provided electronically with appointments available via phone, Skype or Zoom. Slater and Gordon moved all appointments to telephone or video.

Coulter Roache continues to provide their broad range of legal services to their clients during the rapidly changing COVID-19 situation. Their team is accessible to clients by phone, email or video conference as they reduce face to face appointments during this time.

Coulter Roache has also partnered with the City of Greater Geelong to provide employment law advice to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19. For more information visit www.geelongaustralia.com/business or call 5272 5272.

Senia Lawyers principal lawyer Andrew Senia says with the COVID-19 pandemic there has been an added emphasis on people either 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 in view of the pandemic and it is a two-appointment process. The first appointment is to obtain instructions, and the second appointment for checking and execution. There are special rules in relation to execution of these documents, and it best be done in the presence of a legal practitioner for the legal practitioner to explain clearly to the clients the process of execution. Execution can be arranged electronically. While abiding by the rules covering the pandemic, Senia Lawyers is open for business and is offering a free consultation, which can be by telephone or Skype to assist anyone contemplating making a Will or Power of Attorneys or updating their current documents. Call 5221 6788 for more information.

It’s important to ensure people needing medical and allied health services and advice are still seeking the support of medical and allied health professionals. Many providers in Central Geelong moved quickly to support their patients and clients online or over the phone via Telehealth. Transcendent Psychology moved all appointments to telephone or video ensuring ongoing support and assistance to their clients.

The team of physiotherapists at Waterfront Health Studio are committed to working with clients to meet their physiotherapy needs during COVID-19. Using Telehealth, their physiotherapists will conduct a thorough discussion to assess any musculoskeletal or pain issues being experienced. They will then provide a comprehensive understanding and education about the injury or concerns. Clients will then be prescribed with 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 (nonemergency) 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, what they are unhappy with 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 and stays under the client’s patient record. These virtual dental consultations allow Dentists & Doctors’ Principal Dentist to commence the initial treatment planning steps, so that once restrictions are lifted, they can get straight into patient treatment and minimize downtime

To see the huge range of professional services on offer in Central Geelong and find out more about how Central Geelong’s professional services businesses are doing things differently visit centralgeelong.com.au/at your service or download the Love Central Geelong smartphone app.