Small businesses are heralding accountants’ increasingly critical role in keeping them running since Covid-19 arrived, considering them to be among the key workers of the post-pandemic economic recovery according to new research.
The study by found 43% of small business (SME) owners said that their accountant has been crucial to their pandemic survival, with 37% saying that their accountant helped them retain staff during the height of the lockdown.
However, while one-third (32%) of SME bosses turned to their accountant for business advice when Covid-19 struck, 34% turned to government websites and resources and 15% turned to friends or family.
Almost half (45%) of small businesses said their accountant is more important to their business than ever before, while 14% said they have turned to an accountant for the first time. Meanwhile, 38% of SME owners said they have built closer relationships with their accountants in recent months.
More than half (58%) named their accountant as their most trusted business advisor, assisting in areas such as business advice and planning for the future, with 61% saying their accountant supports them in areas they struggle with or are baffled by.
VAT (37%) and payroll (30%) were two areas in which SMEs felt particularly supported by their accountants, with 70% saying they felt most supported in the area of tax returns.
Gary Turner, managing director of Xero said: “Behind every resilient small business there’s a hard-working accountant. They have played such a huge role in saving, and often transforming, small firms adapting to the pandemic. Accountants and bookkeepers are the unsung heroes of our recovery and their importance has never been greater to individual businesses and the British economy.”
Key workers in the economic recovery from Covid-19
- Delivery drivers/postal workers
- Technology firms
- Political leaders
- Mentors/business coaches