In the last 12 months accountants have experienced a 60% uplift in small businesses approaching them for payroll expertise and services, according to new research from QuickBooks.
The research was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Intuit QuickBooks with a sample of 500 UK over 18 accountants/decision makers at accountancy firms in February 2021.
The research revealed that due to the increases in enquiries and evolving regulations, 48% of respondent accountants have had to personally spend more than five hours a month navigating payroll developments in the past year.
Furthermore, nearly two thirds (64%) of accountants overall expressed that they had to undergo additional training to provide “tailored, up-to-date support” to small businesses, with 59% of accountancy decision makers also having to undergo additional training.
A further 29% of respondents stated they have also had to increase the number of staff on their books to manage shifting payroll requirements.
Additionally 62% of accountancy businesses claimed they have invested more than £5,000 to provide the “right payroll service” to cover the needs of SMB clients. Of these, more than one in four accountancy firms (26%) reportedly invested more than £10,000.
Pauline Green, head of product compliance at QuickBooks, said: “We can’t underestimate how tough the past year has been for the small business community, so I’m not surprised that SMB owners have been turning to their accountants in droves to source expert guidance and support.
“Keeping on top of payroll updates will be vital to small businesses’ survival as we move out of the pandemic. The role accountants are playing to support them with payroll will prove extremely valuable in the road to recovery, and it is extremely reassuring to see the dedication the accountancy community has to navigating the changes.”