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Accounting businesses more resilient, report finds

Accounting small-business owners are among the most resilient in the small-business sector, according to recent research.

Business Aidan Curtis 28 May 2020
— 2 minute read

The Reckon Resilience Report, which measured resilience using the Brief Resilience Scale, found that professional services small-business owners — including accountants — reported higher levels of resilience than other small-business leaders.

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The survey of 1,019 small-business owners found that 64 per cent of professional services business owners surveyed believed their business would ride out the pandemic with little trouble, compared to 56 per cent of other small businesses.

Professional services were also eight times less likely to consider giving up their business, with only 2 per cent thinking about closing up as a result of the pandemic and economic uncertainty.

Reckon chief executive Sam Allert believes these more resilient business owners will be crucial in helping the small-business sector recover.

“Things have been tough, and it is even tougher under the current conditions, with Australia enduring drought, bushfires, a pandemic and a global economic slump,” Mr Allert said.

“It has never been more important to talk about resilience and what it means for small businesses.”

The report noted that lower levels of resilience had an impact on revenue, with 42 per cent of professional services small businesses reportedly taking a $16,099 hit on average last financial year due to “poor resilience”.

Poor resilience was defined as missing business opportunities for reasons including pulling out of jobs early or being too tired to properly engage with stakeholders.

However, in comparison, the average revenue loss for similar reasons in other small businesses was $21,832.

Resilience aids business survival

The report also found that the most resilient business owners were the ones that were more likely to actively seek help in difficult periods.

Angela Bichler, owner and managing director of accounting firm Sydney West Business Services, said the current crisis has given her an insight into how business owners react under pressure.

“I work closely with many small-business owners and since the COVID-19 pandemic kicked in, I’ve seen around 75 per cent of my clients struggle to adapt, with 25 per cent of them seriously struggling to find a way forward for their business,” Ms Bichler said. 

“It’s been an incredibly busy time, but it’s also very rewarding to know that business and financial experts have an opportunity to step up and help see our small businesses through. We are really making a difference.”

Mr Allert believes the most successful business leaders were those who were more likely to lean on others for help.

“The findings suggest that being able to identify and use all the right resources to succeed professionally and personally is a hallmark of the most resilient small-business owners,” Mr Allert said.

“Those who can identify and draw on the right resources will find the going easier.

“They can tap into JobKeeper-ready payroll software or engage professional accountants to quickly access the government stimulus funds and retain staff through the current challenging circumstances.”

Accounting businesses more resilient, report finds
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