Trusted advisers: what are accountancy clients’ needs in the next normal?
Has there ever been a time when accountants were more highly valued by their clients as a trusted adviser?
The Coronavirus crisis has brought with it a multitude of financial support packages from the Government to help businesses that are struggling.
But the level and range of information has been overwhelming.
Accountants swamped by client calls
Our recent customer survey of nearly 1,200 leading professionals painted a picture of accountants inundated and overwhelmed by client queries, due to the introduction of schemes such as furlough and bounce back loans.
Some 67% of accountants in practice highlighted this influx as one of their main challenges during the pandemic.
It is little wonder clients have been flocking to accountants for help. It can be confusing for them to understand not only what support is available, but how it applies to them and their business.
As the trusted adviser, accountants are perfectly placed to assist.
What are clients’ needs in the next normal?
As part of the same research, to help accountants understand more about their clients’ likely needs and expectations, we also asked company owners for their views.
We asked: given the evolving COVID-19 situation, is there a high level of positivity regarding your organisation’s future?
There was clearly a lack of strong optimism from many, further indicating how much financial advice business leaders may need from accountants in the age of COVID.
Some 74% of medium-sized business owners (classified as those with 50 to 249 full-time staff) appeared to lack confidence, having not agreed with the question above.
This rises to 79% for small firms (10-49 staff) and a huge 86% for micro organisations (1-9).
Although 41% of large businesses (250+) did agree that they were highly positive, this still left 59% that were not.
It seems, understandably, the smaller the business, the less confident they are, and therefore the more they will need their accountant’s advice and help.
What else did the survey uncover?
We also asked them:
- What actions have you taken so far?
- What are your next priorities?
- How long will it take you to return to pre-pandemic trading levels?
To discover the answers, read our report in full here. It’s free to download and also reveals:
- How accountants have fared since lockdown
- What their biggest challenges have been
- What they are focusing on next
Get your copy of ‘Accountancy in the next normal – thriving amid rapid change’ here.