Seeking support from a business accountant is the most popular choice for SMBs in the UK addressing rising costs to their businesses – with more seeking support from their accountant than from the Government, according to a new study from Intuit Quickbooks.
It found that over half (55%)of the SMBs it surveyed are already benefiting from this support from their accountant, while a further 30% are planning to enlist their help. Meanwhile, just 42% have already sought government support, while 44% look to small business networks, and 50% to social media.
Intuit also found that over three-quarters (76%) of accountants in the UK are seeing increased demand for advice managing rising costs – making it the most in-demand area of support for accountants.
In addition, this is no surprise given that the main challenge for almost half (43%) of small businesses is the rising cost of living, with 33% feeling unprepared for its impact.
According to accountants, taking advantage of hybrid working is the main way SMBs can mitigate rising costs (28%) with changing the way they manage business finances following closely behind (26%).
However, flexible working causes its own challenges, including hiring new staff. Staffing costs are one of SMB’s biggest expenses, and over one in four (29%) already seek their accountant’s advice when hiring new staff.
While a vast majority (79%) of accountants do feel their SMB clients can make decisions on hiring new staff without them, some common mistakes are tripping SMB owners up, with the top issues seen by accountants being:
- Hiring staff without knowing how they will manage payroll (34%)
- Making hiring decisions without a growth/financial plan (32%)
- Not knowing what the business can afford in terms of salary/benefits (31%)
- Not investing in payroll software/trying to do it themselves (30%)
Pauline Green, head of Product Compliance and programmes at QuickBooks, said: “The rising costs facing SMBs are clearly causing financial stress and concern, so it’s encouraging to see the majority enlisting the expertise of their accountants for support. Accountants are acutely aware of SMBs’ financial struggles, and a safe pair of hands to turn to when the going gets tough.”