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Reasons to be cheerful: Accountancy

14 November 2022
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Fans of Ian Dury & The Blockheads will be aware that accountancy was not directly named amongst the band’s Reasons to Be Cheerful. A recent study has suggested that this might have been something of an oversight.

The study, undertaken by Intuit QuickBooks and released to coincide with International Accounting Day, which:

  • is actually a thing and
  • inexplicably didn’t feature in the song lyrics either

found that 83% of small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”) are turning to their accountant for support through uncertain times.

  • 38% stated that the accountant has helped them “significantly” in dealing with inflation risks
  • Making use of a qualified accountant also saved SMEs an average of 59 working days per year, and an average of £28,000 or 7% of average turnover
  • SMEs without an accountant were 16% less likely to report strong financial health (52% versus 62% of those with accountants).

So why is the above necessarily a reason to be cheerful? Well, the survey found that in the case of SMEs without an accountant, half of business owners took on the burden of financial admin. The other half relied on family and friends (20%) or someone else unqualified (24%) to manage their books. This can (through a tenuous link that allows us to reference song lyrics) result in a reason to be less cheerful, as it may have a detrimental impact on business owners’ stress levels.

“93% of UK SMEs surveyed said their accountant helped them feel less stressed.”

SMEs without an accountant were also less confident in their ability to pay taxes correctly (35% less confident), pass financial audits (31%), and meet compliance checks (22%).

Now, readers may say that not all accountants reduce stress. Missed deadlines, staff turnover, IT issues and lack of responsiveness are certainly no reason for cheer. Where the team is knowledgeable, stable, responsive and supported by reliable technology, however, we believe stress levels can trend in the right direction.