Accountants’ confidence defies economic gloom and turmoil

13th Aug 2020
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The news has come that we all expected - we are now officially in recession.

The UK economy shrunk by a staggering 20.4% in the latest three-month measure. It’s the highest figure on record.

And to shed further light on how dramatic the decline has been, the biggest quarterly contraction at the height of the 2008 financial crisis was only about a tenth – standing at just 2.1%.

Practices offer a more optimistic outlook

Yet, despite the latest confirmation of financial turmoil that the COVID-19 crisis has plunged the country into, IRIS research paints a brighter picture from an accountancy perspective.

Despite all the warnings of economic doom, our survey of nearly 1,200 customers found that 50% of accountants think their practice will be back at pre-pandemic trading status within six months.

In fact, on top of that, another 7% say they are already exceeding their revenues before the coronavirus outbreak reared its ugly head.

And another 18% reckon it will take up to a year to bounce back.

These figures suggest a much cheerier outlook than the overwhelmingly doom-laden headlines that we’ve been seeing for months.

Indeed, further evidence from our ‘next normal survey’ adds extra weight, with 58% agreeing, to at least some extent, that they have a high level of positive feeling about their business’ future. Of those, 16% had strong feelings of optimism.

Doubts over the future remain

Yet, some 42% lacked confidence about the future and 26% indicated fears that it will take much longer than a year to recover – if ever.

And the picture when compared to other major economic does make bleak reading for Britain, with its decline standing at nearly twice that of the US (10.6%) and much greater than Germany (11.9%).

So, there is a substantial amount of work for accountancy firms and UK businesses as a whole to do to fully adapt to the ‘next normal’ and not just survive, but thrive.

Revealing more about accountancy right now

In our report ‘Accountancy in the next normal – thriving amid rapid change’, we examine the survey results in greater depth and reveal:

  • What accountants say the most difficult challenges have been since the pandemic began
  • How accountants have reacted to the crisis
  • Accountants’ top priorities as move into the next phase
  • What business clients are saying about their own troubles and confidence for the future

Discover what the research tells us in full detail by downloading our guide for free here.

And for more information about what our findings for UK business were, read this article here