8 in 10 UK SMEs say their accountant has helped alleviate inflation woes
With inflation rising around the world, new figures from Intuit QuickBooks suggest that accountants are not only helping SMEs save time and money, but are helping ease the pressure of rising inflation.
As small businesses face a double-hit on their finances, with costs rising and consumer spending falling, 8 in 10 SMEs surveyed in the UK (83%) said that their accountant or bookkeeper has helped reduce the impact of inflation on their business – with 38% feeling this “significantly”.
What’s more, a huge 93% of UK small businesses said they believe their business is more likely to survive with an accountant on board. On the other hand, small businesses without an accountant are 16 percentage points less likely to report strong financial health (52% vs. 62% of those with accountants) – a troubling sign as the impact of recession looms for SMEs.
Without an accountant, stress rises and confidence falls
For those businesses without an accountant, the survey found that the business owner tends to take on the burden of financial admin – 50% in the UK – while the other half rely on family and friends (20%) or someone else unqualified (24%) to manage their books.
Unsurprisingly, this has an impact on business owners’ stress levels – 93% of UK business owners say their accountant helps them feel less stressed. Making use of a qualified accountant also saves UK SMEs an average of 59 working days per year, and an average of £28,000 – 7% of the average UK SME turnover.
Not only this, but SMEs without an accountant also feel less confident in their ability to pay taxes correctly (35% less confident), pass financial audits (31%), and meet compliance checks (22%).
It’s no wonder then that 99% of those benefiting from professional help agreed their accountant gives them more confidence in their business, and 90% credit their accountant with their business’ success.
Nick Williams, UK product director at Intuit QuickBooks, said: “With such a tough period looming for small businesses, it’s fantastic to see so many UK SMEs getting the support they really need from their accountants. The findings also highlight just how important a role accountants play in small business success. Many small businesses will experience difficulties in the coming months, so knowing where they can get the help they need will be crucial.
“With these figures, SMEs will also hopefully see that their accountants are much more than just ‘number crunchers’. Accountants boost business owners’ confidence as well as the bottom line, and this is down to their skills with not just the purse strings, but also the wider set of tools small businesses need to succeed. For example, 8 in 10 SMEs said their accountant helps them make better use of technology. With Making Tax Digital still a stumbling block for some businesses, and new technologies bound to arise soon, this help will become invaluable.”