At the start of 2021, there were estimated to be 5.6 million UK private sector businesses.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the country, accounting for 99.9 per cent of all businesses across the UK.
According to a survey commissioned by Sage, SME’s acknowledge that their operations would struggle to function efficiently without the assistance of accountants, particularly as COVID-19 has swept across the country.
Strategic guidance vital to SMEs
The survey has confirmed the importance of accountants to SMEs, rating the profession as the go-to business service as firms struggle with problems over the pandemic, Brexit and other areas like moving across to Making Tax Digital (MTD).
This is where the expertise of accountancy firms in the latest cloud accounting technology eases the burden on their clients.
The survey shows 91 per cent of SME owners rate accountants as an important part of their business operation, while 49 per cent are happy to approach them for strategic business guidance.
When asked what services they would go to when first starting a business, more than a third (34 per cent) said accountants would be the first port of call.
The survey also found:
- Over a quarter (28 per cent) said Covid-19 had driven them to seek out the help of an accountant
- A fifth (18 per cent) named Brexit as the driving factor. In fact, during the pandemic, over half increased their reliance on accountants
- Sage also found that two-fifths (39 per cent) of SMEs name Making Tax Digital as the number one reason they sought accountancy services.
Named by small and mid-sized businesses as ‘critical’, the new study discovered a huge 91 per cent of SMEs use the services of an accountant, with half (49 per cent) using their services at least weekly.
Paul Struthers, MD, UK and Ireland, Sage, said: “Accountants play a critical role in accelerating this success and our research shows they are vital to the UK’s economic recovery.
“Our research shows accountants have an open door to become a de-facto strategic partner for their clients – this is an opportunity they must embrace.”