The QuickBooks COVID-19 Recovery Report has revealed that 74 per cent of small-business owners turned to an accountant or bookkeeper for support during the height of the pandemic.
The findings have coincided with a recent survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that found that three in five Australian businesses sought external advice, such as accounting services, in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Natira Drayton, vice-president and country manager, Intuit QuickBooks Australia, said that advisers are the hidden heroes supporting the Australian small-business community through this pandemic, “often burning the midnight oil to help their clients access vital government stimulus and improve cash flow”.
“Accountants and bookkeepers have been putting in long hours, often without payment, to help small-business owners not just survive, but in many cases, get on top of their cash flow, pivot and find new revenue streams,” she said.
The report also revealed that more than 27 per cent of small-business owners turned to their adviser for emotional support.
That number increased to 42 per cent for millennial business owners.
Small-business owner Kemal of Atez Electrics in Melbourne described his relationship with his adviser as pivotal to his business’ survival.
“As soon as this happened, I was on the phone with my adviser immediately. She’s like my counsellor. She put things into place so I didn’t have to hit the panic button,” he said.
Small businesses paying for the support of an accountant or bookkeeper increased by 23 per cent compared to pre-COVID.
When comparing research conducted with small-business owners prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, paying for the advice of an accountant or bookkeeper is now the number one tip small-business owners would give to someone looking to start their own business.
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Michaelia Cash added her support to the mammoth role Australian accountants and small-business advisers have played in helping to keep Australian small businesses afloat.
“It’s important that we recognise their contribution, assisting Australian business owners to navigate through this unprecedented global event,” Senator Cash said.